The Ohio Appalachian Collaborative (OAC) Personalized Learning Network is composed of 27 rural schools that serve 48,000 students, 50 percent of whom live in poverty. The Ohio Department of Education’s (ODE) Straight A Fund provides support to accelerate student achievement by increasing access to advanced learning and effective instruction through a networked 6-12 grade blended-learning, dual enrollment system. The goals of the OAC are the following:
1. Eliminate the rural “opportunity gap” by increasing student postsecondary aspiration and preparedness and decreasing postsecondary costs through college credit earned in high school.
2. Amplify the local talent pipeline to help fuel the resurgence of the regional economy related to Marcellus and Utica shale development
3. Establish a sustainable collaborative that can grow to include other rural districts in the advancement of more personalized, cost-effective, emergent learning innovations such as blended and online learning.
The OERC is conducting an evaluation of the OAC. . Data elements investigated in this evaluation include the students enrolled in and completing dual-enrollment courses, including college credits and career credentials earned through dual-enrollment courses. The evaluation will also include investigation of students’ course-taking patterns, high-school credits earned, and attendance, discipline, and assessment results. Finally, the evaluation seeks to determine students’ graduation rates, and post-secondary enrollment and persistence, as well as employment and wage outcomes.