Out of necessity, I have tried multiple methods of restoration. Fortunately I was forward thinking enough to back up the moodle data using mutiple methods - I was able to get all the courses visible by:
1) Exporting my moodle database (mysqldump -h example.com -u myusername --password=mypassword -C -Q -e --create-options mydatabasename > moodle-database.sql) (from http://docs.moodle.org/24/en/Site_backup)
2) Dropping the old database and creating a new database, ensuring UTF-8 encoding.
3) Doing a full restore of database in 2.4 format
4) Upgrading normally
The difference I believe is the forced encoding. I will do a test tonight to confirm and let everyone know. As I understand it, anything but UTF-8 may have limitations in terms of length of displayed information.