A successful high school completion program will generate inspired students who are eager to continue learning. Many of the students who did not succeed in a traditional high school classroom, took a hit to their self-confidence during the process of dropping out of high school. With an adult diploma program designed to meet the unique needs of these students, they emerge from the program confident and inspired, and often times looking to immediately enroll in a college program. Here are some key attributes of what a successful program looks like:

The right pace

Because the high school completion program offers a blended learning model, the program is tailored to student needs and designed for student success. An online and flexible blended high school program meets unique student needs with the in-classroom instruction of the traditional educational system and online coursework. Students own their online learning experience and navigate the process independently and at their own pace, while relying on instructors or their peers when they need support, or have questions.

Mentoring & coaching

The classroom facilitator serves as an all-important mentor that the student might be lacking in his/her personal support system. Students connect with the classroom facilitator during required in-class learning time a few times a week, but also have the opportunity to study independently from home or on lunch breaks at work. This blended learning model prevents students from feeling discouraged during any step in their learning process. Students can turn to the trusted facilitator and stay engaged and not lose focus on their greater academic and professional goals.

Peer-to-peer support

Along with role modeling and guided mentorship, students are surrounded by peers who share the same experience and journey. As a result, students remain dedicated to their studies, perform better academically and adopt the abilities and resourcefulness to successfully transition into college. While earning their high school diploma in a high school completion program, students engage with the curriculum in an intimate classroom and form relationships with their classmates. These relationships help keep the students motivated to push forward. Students see their peers as they near the end of their program, and are encouraged to follow in their footsteps to graduation.

Familiarity eases transition

Unlike standardized learning environments, a high school completion program setting is supportive, comfortable and helpful. Students become familiar with the faculty and school, which make integrating into the college community an easy and comfortable transition upon completion of the high school program.

Learn to learn

Positive role models and supportive, like-minded peers help students engaged in a high school completion program stay on course. Mentors help students develop time management and prioritization skills as well as emotional and social skills such as self-awareness, self-control, grit, persistence, collaboration and conflict resolution, according to the April 2014 report "Building a Grad Nation: Progress and Challenge in Ending the High School Dropout Epidemic."* Emotional and social learning, in addition to pedagogy, greatly affects student academic success, school attendance, college preparation and career aspirations. Often times, this is the first time that these students have had someone take in interest in their success, and has profound effects on their motivation.

Conditioned for success

Students earning their high school diploma through a high school completion program have learned to conform to the rigors and demands of a school-oriented lifestyle. They've adjusted to the routine of going to class, completing assignments independently and prioritizing schoolwork. As long as students don't break their momentum and receive ongoing support, they're likely to aspire for higher education and matriculate. Throughout the program and upon graduation, keep graduates motivated and celebrate victories to help initiate college endeavors.

Ensuring college and career readiness plays a part in bolstering matriculation as well. During the high school completion period, school professionals can pedagogically and emotionally prepare students for post-secondary education, as well as professional careers in the skilled trades, for example. Students aren't just measured on their current knowledge; they're taught new information, skills and expectations. The program serves as a skills refresher and career motivator for advancing academic success beyond the high school diploma. Equip students with the skills, tools and resources to complete high school, graduate from your college and enter the workforce. Help guide and excite students embarking on an educational and professional path, and students will organically want to continue to achieve goals beyond high school classroom walls with your college program.

Success begets success

Students learn upon graduation that although obtaining a high school diploma is undoubtedly a great accomplishment, it's only a stepping stone to more, bigger and better. While completing the high school program, students build confidence, feel inspired and set higher goals - starting with career college enrollment. Once these high school completion students graduate the high school program, they have learned that higher education, excellent career opportunities and a better quality of life overall are within reach.

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

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*Building a Grad Nation