A Profile in Learning: Education Changes Lives… Here’s Proof

Amanda Catalfamo is 3Amanda4 years old and lives in Sacramento. She is a Sacramento Kings fan, and fluent in German and Spanish. She plays guitar and knows sign language.

Raised in Canandaigua, New York, she is the youngest of three. Both of her siblings are college graduates. However, Amanda dropped out of high school due to a stubborn streak. As a freshman, she struggled academically and continued to fall further behind each year and was told she needed to attend summer school to make up her failed classes. Feeling that she had no place to turn for help, she left school during her junior year. “I already had a job and I felt like making money was more important than going to school,” said Amanda.

Amanda1 

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New Library Program to Help High School Dropouts

Posted January 12, 2016

By Leslie Postal, Orlando Sentinel

High school dropouts can turn to libraries in Lake, Orange Counties for free help earning diplomas

Adults without high school diplomas who live in Orange and Lake Counties now have a new way to finish school, courtesy of their public libraries.

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Career Online High School Offered at 11 Public Library Systems across Florida, Bringing Hope to Adults without a High School Diploma

Posted Jan 3, 2016

 By Kristina Massari

 A pilot program to offer accredited private high school diplomas and career certificates is now available online at 11 public library systems across Florida. The Career Online High School project is brought to residents in selected communities by the State of Florida and is administered by Smart Horizons Career Online Education through a partnership with Gale, a part of Cengage Learning. According to the United States Census Bureau, more than 1.2 million working residents of Florida aged 25 to 44 years of age, or 12.1% of the state’s working-age population, lack high school diplomas.

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Broward Libraries to Offer Online High School Diplomas

Posted on December 30, 2015; originally posted in the Sun Sentinel on December 29, 2015. 

By Brittany Shammas, Sun Sentinel

Broward County library to offer free, online high school diplomas to adults

Broward County adults who do not have high school diplomas will be able to get them – and some career training – through an online program launching at the public library.

Funded by the state for the first time this year, Career Online High School offers accredited high school degrees and career certificates. Enrolled students take all their courses online with the support of an academic coach.

The Broward County Library system is one of 11 in the state to pilot the program. It will provide full scholarships for 75 county residents to complete their degrees and certificates through the program, which normally would normally cost about $1,300.

“There are a lot of reasons people don’t complete their high school diplomas,” said Vonda Ward Byrant, learning services coordinator for the library system. “We want to give them a second chance.”

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Fighting Educational Trauma: Public Libraries + Career Online High School

Posted on November 16, 2015

By Dr. Howard Liebman, Founder and CEO/Superintendent of Smart Horizons Career Online Education

There is an epidemic in the United States that gets little recognition—the high school dropout crisis. Every 26 seconds another student gives up on school, resulting in more than 1 million American dropouts a year, or 7,000 every day. Today, there are nearly 40 million adults without a high school diploma and there are limited options available for students age twenty-two and older who are looking to return to high school.

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From Toddlers to Seniors: Learning at Every Life Stage

Posted November 6, 2015

By Rosemary Long

Libraries continue to be represented in popular media as book repositories, a place for story time, and – in the most progressive TV shows – a place where people use (get this!) real, live computers!

Popular culture hasn’t caught up with the reality of today’s public library, where the mission has transitioned from providing information to delivering outcomes-based learning. Not just information seeking, but engaging in active learning. Gale’s online education programs helps libraries impact lives by supporting education, skills development, and personal enrichment.

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Gale’s Career Online High School Offers a Fresh Start (and Cheerleaders)

Originally published by Library Journal

By Lisa Peet on August 7, 2015

When Gale, part of Cengage Learning, announced in January 2014 that it would offer Career Online High School (COHS) through public libraries, the response was enthusiastic. The program, developed by Smart Horizons Career Online Education (SHCOE), a Florida-based distance learning company, offers a high school diploma accredited by the AdvancED Accreditation Commission and a career certificate in one of eight specialized areas of study through participating public libraries. Students apply for scholarships and, if accepted, have up to 18 months to complete the program—at their own pace, on their own schedule, from any computer with a broadband connection.

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Embedding Your Library in the Community: How to Overcome Obstacles and Lead Transformational Change

By Steven V. Potter, Director and CEO at Mid-Continent Public Library

What happens when your strategic plan blocks attempts at innovative programs?
One of the most innovative and community-changing programs I have seen in several years is Career Online High School. The immediate impact of this program at the early-adopting libraries was stunning to me. Clearly, a program like Career Online High School provides a very meaningful answer to that tired old question, “Since everyone has a Kindle, do we still need libraries?”

When I saw Career Online High School, I was amazed but unhappy.I know our strategic plan. I know our key performance indicators. I know our demographics and needs. I know Career Online High School does not easily align into our strategic direction, but I also know we have a diverse population and there are people in our community who could use this program. So that’s the end of the story, right? Not so fast! A program like Career Online High School can be a great opportunity to create a partnership with another organization.

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Chattanooga Public Library’s First Career Online High School Student Graduates

Reprinted from Chattanoogan.com

Missy Forshee is the very first graduate of the new accredited high school diploma program for adults offered through the Chattanooga Public Library. Ms. Forshee was presented with her official diploma by Mayor Andy Berke on Tuesday, May 5 at 2 p.m. She celebrated at the library with her family and friends, including her daughter who is her motivation and inspiration to improve her life and earning potential. 

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Career Online High School Going Strong in NJ, Part II

 By Anne Nagrant

On October 6, 2014, the New Jersey State Library (NJSL) launched Career Online High School (COHS), at six libraries. Check out Part I to learn how they got started and promoted COHS. Now, I’ll dive further into the program and awarding diplomas.

Selecting Students
It is in everyone’s best interest for the library to find and select students who are most likely to reach their goal of graduating from COHS. Gale provides training to library staff on program requirements and student interview techniques, but ultimately the choice is in the hands of library staff.

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