We have identified seven steps that anyone thinking about establishing an alternative education program should consider. They are simple steps, yet extremely important to either starting a new program or changing existing programs to meet the needs of the alternative student.
1. Know the alternative education student (alternative education has no limits) .
2. Create program options with the individual student in mind; look different from traditional school.
3. Have a vision.
4. Celebrate success.
5. Provide quality professional development.
6. Provide student support services.
7. Stay “light on your feet” as a program.
A valued and successful alternative education program needs to be continually evolving. It must be vision-driven and able to quickly respond to the needs of stakeholders, students, and the community. Additional detail on these seven steps to success is available in the book “From DROPOUT to DIPLOMA: The ACCESS Code to Student Success”.
“From DROPOUT to DIPLOMA: The ACCESS Code to Student Success”
This new book offers a comprehensive look at the need for alternative education programs, the cost to society of high dropout rates, an in-depth overview of the Orange County Department of Education’s innovative ACCESS program, testimonials from students on the benefits of the program, and guidelines on setting up an effective alternative education effort.
The book was written by former Superintendent of the Orange County (CA) Department of Education, William Habermehl. He has been a sought-after speaker at both the state and national level, and one of his most well-received presentations has been about the ACCESS program – how it began and the impact it has on students, families, and the community.