The U.S. Department of Education found that one-third of incoming college freshmen are not ready for college-level math, reading, and writing, and Education2020, an online and blended learning platform, is trying to help lower that number.
In response to the less-than-stellar numbers that have plagued the education system, the Obama Administration has set a lofty goal of a 60% college graduation rate for the U.S. by 2020. According to E2020 CEO, Sari Factor, there needs to be the consideration of all educational options if that level is to be reached.
“We’ve got to discard the one size fits all mentality in favor of solutions that acknowledge students as individuals. No two will grasp a concept or idea in quite the same way, nor will they have the same response to how that content is delivered,” she said.
The strength of E2020, according to Factor, is that the learning environment offers students a chance to engage and master subjects at their own pace.
Students using the technology are able to have their progress tracked through its student information system (SIS) which displays their learning analytics to parents, teachers, and other authorized users. They are tracked according to their course grades, academic progress, and activity, and are placed upon a “watch list” if they begin to struggle.
The company has coaches to help students via chat and provides a mentor for struggling students. The Academic Support Team is available for students 18 hours per day, six days per week.
Factor said the online platform currently offers more than 125 core and elective courses, along with hundreds of state-specific courses. E2020 currently has approximately 500,000 students using its more than 600 courses.
“We are committed to continually iterating and innovating our offering to best propel student achievement,” she said.
E2020 allows for students to catch up, recover from poor course grades, or accumulate needed credits in order to graduate. Students can retake courses if needed in order to improve their GPA, require additional instruction, or are lacking enough credits for graduation. They can also take test preps for the SAT, ACT, GED, and several others. District and schools are also able to integrate advanced placement courses into their adoption of the program.
High school students planning to go to college are offered several courses to better prepare them for higher education classes including algebra, reading comprehension, sentence mechanics, and research and expository writing skills.
Factor said E2020 was named by the University of California as an approved virtual online learning provider this year with the requirement that UC faculty ensures students take college prep courses in high school and can fully participate in the first-year program at the university covering various fields of study.
“We are only going to see more colleges and universities create similar and stringent requirements for college prep and E2020 is well placed to help students fulfill these,” she said. “Our online learning solutions also help students recognize their full potential and stand out among their peers when applying to college.
“E2020 can support advanced placement classes in schools that have a low student population and could not otherwise support a teacher to lead that class; and the same goes for certain electives or languages like Mandarin that can set students’ apart but might not be sustainable for certain schools to offer.”
The most recent adoption of the program was by the state of Georgia. The state adopted seven of the company’s e2020 math courses for its K-12 Mathematics Learning Resource/Textbook Adoption Process.
The company, founded in 1998, currently serves more than 5,000 schools and districts in all 50 states.
Follow Dustin Bass on Twitter @dbass_cmn.