Approximately 500 cadets (students) in grades 9 through 12 attend Carver Military Academy in Chicago, IL, with 93.2% from low-income families. Before integrating the Fuel Education (FuelEd) online curriculum into their original credit and credit recovery program, only 50% of the cadets graduated. In 2015, their 5–year graduation rate improved to 100%. Major Rouse, Carver’s principal, credits much of this improvement to the FuelEd curriculum.
Academy instruction includes traditional face-to-face classes, Advanced Placement classes, and FuelEd online courses - both original and credit recovery. Major Rouse believes the FuelEd program is working well for students and the school in three ways:
1. It helps students get back on track to graduate which improves the school’s graduation rate.
2. It provides original credit course options for students, thereby keeping them in Carver (which is a school of choice).
3. It is safer for students to take courses during the normal school day rather than after school or over the summer, which would expose them to traveling after dark, or possibly commuting to schools or areas of the city they do not know well.
Carver is now classified as a Level 1 school by Chicago Public Schools for achieving a 100% graduation rate and over 65% college enrollment and persistence rates in 2015.