About ChallengeU


ChallengeU is an innovative and dynamic company that offers a unique approach and opportunity for high school dropouts to re-engage as students and ultimately graduate from high school.  ChallengeU has designed a distinctive and compelling instructional platform that blends the best of online instruction with comprehensive social nurturance and personalized design for each student.  Our research-based approach is designed upon the comprehensive data on the national dropout crisis exemplified in the Gates Foundation and Pew Charitable Trust, tailored to the needs of the over 8,000 students who stepped away from Virginia high schools last year.  We realize that each year some of these students want a way to drop back in, but they need a workable, flexible program that fits their unique situation.  

ChallengeU has developed a customized platform to re-engage this student population on a cell phone, their preferred digital device.  By offering courses via cell phones, ChallengeU presents these often forgotten students with the possibility of “success in the palm of their hands.”  ChallengeU provides the cell phones, the unlimited data plans, and any other device (like calculators) necessary to facilitate each student’s success.

Students who enroll in ChallengeU take courses in an adaptive learning platform that streamlines the content they need to meet Virginia-mandated requirements.  Our learning program provides individualized pathways according to each student’s needs; that is, diagnostic exercises which analyze the performance of each individual student and places that student on a prescribed pathway that ensures that the required skill building is implemented to pass the Standards of Learning (SOL) assessments.  

Our program is built to help participants pass the Virginia Standards of Learning tests, earn verified credits, and graduate high school in the most direct route possible, all at no cost to students or their families or the school division.

At ChallengeU, we don’t just cover the Virginia Standards of Learning—our content is built around these standards with meticulous attention to SOL objectives, including each and every subpoint.  Even that is not enough. Our content is not merely aligned with the SOLs but is written by experienced online teachers who have a history of success working with our student clients.  Our content writers have a background teaching economically disadvantaged and disengaged populations, and they hold a proven record of success on the SOL with these very students.  Our content writers take difficult content and break it down into bite-sized, achievable lessons with drills, an abundance of explanations, graphics, illustrations, and short instructional videos, as well as strategically placed interactive encouragement.  We incorporate contemporary language that offers immediate relevance to these previously disengaged students, and we create a positive peer culture community. Our content is uniquely exemplary and aligned to SOL testing. Additionally, we offer one-on-one support through low teacher-student ratios from Virginia-licensed instructors.   

Furthermore, we reinforce and nurture our students with assigned Success Coaches, professionals who lead with a strong sense of love and care. Our focus is to encourage, motivate, and move students forward throughout their journey with ChallengeU. Our Success Coaches initiate extensive support to ChallengeU students through wraparound services by linking them to specific community resources and partners to help them through their personal challenges (such as employment, housing, health care, mental health, parenting skills, baby essentials, substance abuse support, food, family social support, or legal services, etc).  In addition to helping students earn their high school diploma, ChallengeU is committed to ensuring that upon graduation, all students are either Enrolled in a college/university/trade school, Enlisted in a branch of the armed forces, and/or Employed in the workplace.

Caring for students is a part of the ChallengeU DNA and brand.  We believe all students should have the opportunity to achieve their high school diploma and possess the essential knowledge and skills necessary to thrive in whatever career or college pathway they pursue. ChallengeU has given rigorous attention to this work. We are here to provide the nurturance, structure, and flexibility to attract, re-engage, and lead students to their high school diploma. We exist on the premise that our students deserve our best effort. That’s why we are offering students a second, third, or seventh chance!  We must grant them another opportunity to be a part of the pipeline of workers and leaders who will help secure the economic vitality of our nation.

Now is the time to work in partnership to re-engage these students and place them on the path to career or college readiness. The dropout epidemic is not just about those students who departed school before graduating but about our students, our community, and our future.