CASE STUDY

EPIC Charter Schools

Oklahoma

The educators in this statewide online school finally found a way to reach chronically disengaged students — with promising results.

Situation

For years, EPIC teachers and leaders searched for ways to help their least engaged students succeed in a virtual environment. 

EPIC offers online learning to serve some 30,000 students statewide, from preschool through high school. Many of EPIC’s middle and high school students enroll to complete coursework and eventually graduate, after struggling in a traditional school. 

But when students fail to complete work at EPIC, their success requires more than a change of school or scenery. By the summer of 2021, school leaders needed something that would really help student engagement and academic growth. And it needed to be simple to implement, without asking more from teachers.

Partnership

School goals: Reverse the pattern of disengagement, build motivation to complete schoolwork and get students over that finish line at graduation.

With no school counseling team — and teachers weary from other new programs and systems — EPIC needed a partner it could trust to serve Tier 2 students. After reviewing programs and curriculum options over summer break, the team selected EmpowerU. Implementation began as school started, with a focus on simplicity for the EPIC team and smooth integration with the school’s existing systems.

The first students began the course in November. The online lessons allow students to set goals and learn new skills at their own pace. Daily 1:1 support from an experienced EmpowerU coach provided accountability, as well as a positive relationship to enhance learning.

Results

Within just a few weeks, EPIC teachers noticed anecdotal results, including better attitudes and motivation. In the time since, they report that students who complete EmpowerU become more engaged learners with stronger academic performance.

Students also share positive feedback about the course. They often tell teachers that EmpowerU is a class they look forward to each week. And 96% of students report their coach was “very significant” to their success and participation.

Judging by their EmpowerU dashboard, EPIC leaders are confident that positive changes are taking place for students. They are designing additional data tracking to gain a deeper understanding of the benefits and correlate EmpowerU completion rates with other student success measures.

Staff Feedback

%

Reported they saw student growth in social-emotional well being or mental health

%

Reported they saw a positive impact on academic engagement and outcomes and/or attendance

Epic Student Outcomes Overall

%

of students made progress towards their goal

%

rated EmpowerU Daily Coaching as a factor of their progress/success

%

rated the course as helpful

%

would recommend the course to a friend

SOURCE:  Interview: Juliann Koehn, Social and Emotional Learning Specialist (August 2022)

TESTIMONIALS FROM EPIC

EVERYTHING THEY PROMISED

“When we purchased EmpowerU for our high school students we were excited, but it seemed too good to be true. We wondered if it would really work as well as they promised. Other SEL program we have used in the past underdelivered. But EmpowerU was everything they promised— and more.”

Tina Barber
Assistant Superintendent of Instruction Epic Charter Schools

BIGGEST DIFFERENCE

“After we started with the high school, we decided to also offer the EmpowerU course in middle school. We knew that building skills with younger students would make the biggest difference in the long run.”

MIND BLOWING

“The coaches make the difference. Our older students traditionally have a hard time engaging in learning. To see 85-90% of these students actively participating in the EmpowerU course is mind blowing for us.”

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Contact

EmpowerU is powered by people, from our highly-trained coaches to our developers — and everyone in between. We partner with schools, and our online platform increases capacity of student services with proven Tier 2 targeted interventions and turnkey Tier 1 curriculum.

EmpowerU’s revolutionary approach to student success helps students replace anxiety and depression with resilience and confidence. As active participants in their wellness journey, students complete engaging, online lessons supported by daily 1:1 motivational coaching that fuel improved emotional wellbeing, school attendance, and grades. EmpowerU offers site-based licenses to schools and colleges, as well as access to the credit-bearing course through third-party online schools or direct from the company.