It is important to understand these students' backgrounds, and fears towards education and potential mental roadblocks holding them back from taking the first step towards earning their high school diploma. They might be hesitant to return to school, and may have struggled in a traditional learning environment, or have had failed attempts at the GED program. Here are three rebuttals educators or enrollment teams can use when talking with potential students who question their ability to return to and complete high school:

"I've been out of school for too long."

Re-engaging in high school can be scary. The idea of classrooms, textbooks, assignments, coursework and exams can be terrifying to someone who's been away from that environment and type of responsibility for years.

Calm their fears. Reassure students that anyone, no matter how long they've been away, can return to school and be successful. A successful high school completion program should be designed to support the needs of these students. It provides a classroom-supported online learning environment. Students progress at a pace that is comfortable to them, and have access to a classroom facilitator who is there to answer questions, or provide guidance if a student doesn't understand a particular learning concept. By explaining the high school completion program, and the support available through the program facilitator, students' fears should be calmed.

Students who feel like "no one cares if I'm there" are essentially set up for failure.* The classroom facilitator should be invested in the student success, and be a source of motivation as well as academic support.

"I dropped out the first time, but I want a second chance"

It's not uncommon for many non-completers to eventually reach a point in their lives when they regret dropping out and want more academically or professionally. Typically, the only thing holding them back from starting over is a high school diploma. This can be remedied through a high school completion program or even high school equivalency (HSE) exam.

Reassure students by talking about success stories, like George, a 23-year-old who completed Penn Foster's High School completion program through the Institute of Technology (IOT) in Fresno, California. George dropped out of high school when he was 16. Boredom at school drove him to abandon his education and start working instead. Looking back, he calls it his "biggest mistake." Years later, as a father to a 9-month-old son, George decided it was "high time to make some changes." George went back to school, earned his high school diploma with the Penn Foster/IOT HSC program and has enthusiastically set out to achieve his associate degree, and eventually, a master's degree. Very quickly your campus will have your own success stories that you can showcase to prospects.

"I can't make the commitment all at once. I have job/family commitments"

A high school completion program introduces flexibility and options for learning. Emphasize that this model isn't a singular "one-size-fits-all" program. The blended learning solution can meet the needs of nontraditional students who are encumbered by a finite schedule and other significant responsibilities. The HSC program enhances learning experiences with both online and in-classroom teaching and active technology-based tools. While juggling a job and family duties, a student can access digital lecture materials and assignments independently from home, as well as meet with the classroom facilitator and peers for face-to-face collaboration in the classroom. Imagine a specialized curriculum designed to accommodate the individual student, whether students seek interactive classroom support or prefer to control their own learning experience outside classroom walls.

Not only does a blended environment support diverse learning styles, it boosts student satisfaction and achievement, which subsequently drives the motivation and commitment to keep moving forward.

Continue reading the Career College Guide to Transforming High School Non-Completers Into Your Best Students now:

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*Helping Dropouts Back In