Graduating Student holding a rolled up diploma in front of him. Photo by

Help At-Risk Teens Succeed: Alternative School Programs Get Them to Graduation

Did you know that most young people would consider high school graduation to be instrumental for a stable financial future?

Of those leaving school before earning their diplomas, there are still plenty who realize that dropping out isn’t in their best interest.

However, chains of decisions seem to have led up to the point where they see no other option. That said, it is possible to boost at-risk teens graduation rates by offering affected learners an alternative to their current educational environments.

How Learners Become At-Risk Students

Few wake up one morning and decide to leave their public schools. Nobody starts high school with the goal to quit.

Rather, there is a gradual process that starts with small decisions.

During the middle school years, the student might begin struggling with some subjects. This shaky foundation carries over into high school.

It is human nature to avoid challenging tasks. However, a test-oriented learning environment does not stop to help a struggling student.

Gradually, the work backs up. Knowledge gaps may now jeopardize academic progress. There may be some talk of repeating a grade.

For many students, this is an embarrassment. They do not want to face peers who are in the next grade while they repeat one. The learner avoids going to school.

In the school’s system, administrators now brand the teen as someone with poor attendance habits or excessive absences.

A guidance counselor may attempt to reach out to the student. However, these efforts typically do not bear much fruit.

Gradually, they finally just drop out. One day, the student simply decides not to go back. Traditional schools have few resources to provide a safety net for these teens.

Providing At-Risk Teens Graduation Opportunities

An alternative high school picks up the support where the regular high school often leaves off.

A move results in a “clean slate”, ridding the youngster of the labels they wore of being unmotivated, troubled, or difficult to teach. Discussions with admissions counselors do not focus on the past; instead, they look toward the future.

Different learning programs target the problems a teen experienced:

Credit recovery

If the student is behind in credits, their existing school does not offer a specific course, or failing credits jeopardize timely high school graduation, the process of credit recovery is a viable option for recovery.

The alternative school works with the student’s high school to ensure proper credit transfers after finishing the course. Because of an open enrollment option, the teen can start at any time.

Alternative education

In some situations, life interferes. A teen may experience an unplanned pregnancy; there are mental health challenges, or maybe a substance abuse problem derailed educational plans. It is not too late to continue working toward the diploma! Alternative education features teacher-led classes that take place at convenient times of the day.

Virtual school

Alternative learning programs do not have to take place at a brick and mortar school. In some situations, the online learning model makes more sense for the student. Just as learning styles vary, so do the delivery methods of the coursework. All work is in keeping with the state’s standards. Most importantly, there is plenty of opportunity for interactivity as well as immediate feedback. Some teens find this setting more rewarding than a classroom with 40 other students.

Taking Advantage of This Learning Opportunity

American High School Academy enables teens and adults to earn the high school diploma that seemed out of reach.

Because each situation is different, the learner begins their journey by discussing her or his unique circumstances and needs with an admissions counselor. Parents are welcome to join the conversation.

This process allows the school to identify the program that meets the educational requirements of the student.

Most importantly, it helps determine the right learning environment for the teen. After all, you do not want to repeat the same mistakes that the traditional school setting made.

Find out how an alternative education could be the solution for getting your at-risk teen to graduate from high school.

American High School Academy, is a private, fully accredited high school based in Miami, Florida that offers both online and classroom high school courses.  We also offer credit recovery, dual enrollment, and study abroad programs among others.

Contact us if you need help deciding or just wish to talk to someone who can answer your questions. We’re here to help!

Your Future is Waiting!

American High School Academy can help you get back on track to graduate high school.

American High School Academy Can Get You There

Make an appointment with an Admissions Advisor to learn more about finishing your High School Diploma with American High School Academy.



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Most students are referred to American High School Academy by their home school district. However, students and family members can contact us directly to learn more or to enroll in our programs.

Contact us Monday - Friday from 9:00 am - 5:00 pm  and Saturday 9:00 am to Noon or use our online form to request an appointment to speak with an Admissions Advisor.