Study: Retention up 10% with Own it!



Retention Soars After Mindset Training Study

Attendance and Course Completion Also Rise, Aiding At-risk Students


ATLANTA – April 27, 2016 – Students were 10 percent more likely to remain enrolled in school if they completed a short mindset training course according to a study conducted by Graduation Achievement Charter High School. Those same students also achieved dramatically higher attendance and course completion.

Retention is a key indicator of student success and a critical factor for a school whose population exhibits high churn rates.

“Sixty-nine percent of the students who took the training in the fall are still with us this second semester,” said Dr. Monica Henson, superintendent of the statewide school. “That’s a significant improvement and a strong indicator that many students will seize the chance to improve when given good training.”

Students who completed the training during the school’s initial enrollment periods had average attendance rates of 86 percent, 20 to 30 points higher than typical rates, and completed 60 percent of their core academic classes on time, which is 23 percentage points higher than the school’s baseline completion rate.

Popularly called Grad High, Graduation Achievement Charter High School is the state’s first virtual charter high school and serves a diverse population of more than 1,500 students in more than 230 cities and more than 75 percent of the counties in Georgia.

Grad High serves many of the most at-risk populations, so finding ways to keep students in the game is a high priority for school leadership. Almost 80 percent of Grad High’s students enrolled during the study period exhibited at least one high-risk factor, with most of those students exhibiting multiple factors.

The mindset training course, called Own It, was developed by a team of educators that includes company president Dana Van Deinse, former principal of the largest online charter school in Arizona.  Van Deinse is deeply familiar with the frustrations of keeping at-risk students on track.

“We’ve known that when we teach a student to own their choices, face difficult situations and to set goals, we can start to change academic outcomes in our schools.  Now, we have the data to support our work and know we are making a difference,” said Van Deinse.


Grad High initially piloted Own It in a program that showed significant but anecdotal results. So for the 2015-16 school year, the school worked with the program’s creators to correlate data on approximately 1,400 students grades 9-12 over the first semester.


Graduation Achievement Charter High School

Grad High offers students across the state of Georgia an accredited, online option for obtaining their high school diploma. As a public charter school, this is a no-cost option for students seeking flexible schedules in an independent learning environment. Students are supported across the state through learning centers located in Atlanta, Augusta, Marietta and Savannah. For more information or to enroll for fall semester, visit or contact 844-776-8678.

Media contact: Linsey Wisdom,


Own It U LLC

Own It is produced by Own It U LLC, and more than 10,000 students have taken the course since it’s release in the fall of 2014.  Own It U also offers mindset training for educators as part of its mission to help education evolve toward a student-centered, student-driven culture. Own It U LLC is headquartered in Mesa, Arizona. Find out more at, or call 480-766-3854.

Media contact: Bryce Johnson,