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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Career Online High School Going Strong in NJ, Part I

image from philly..com

By Anne Nagrant

Last year, the New Jersey State Library (NJSL) decided to try something new that would change lives. They heard about an innovative program, Career Online High School (COHS), and they wanted to make it available to their member libraries. Along with my colleague Sarah Withers, I directly help support COHS at NJSL and libraries in this state.

Gale works closely with library staff through the COHS onboarding, with webinars, weekly conference calls, emails, etc. Our team helps the libraries determine their approach to administering the program. We offer training sessions and provide marketing and student recruitment assistance. The library then begins to recruit and pre-screen potential students for the program, while Gale continues to support them every step of the way. On October 6, 2014, COHS launched in New Jersey.

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Public Libraries Across the U.S. Find Reinvention and Value through Innovative Education Program

By Kristina Massari

Public libraries across the country are finding innovative ways to deliver value to their communities, including presenting high school diplomas to adult residents through Career Online High School, an accredited high school completion and career certificate program. Career Online High School is now available at more than a dozen libraries from coast to coast, with several launching this month, and has graduated its first library students.

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Marketing the Virtual Library with the Wizard

By Nick Schultz

I’m lucky. Through my role with Gale Customer Care, I have the privilege of providing consultative services to the People’s University – many call this their local library – and the unsung heroes they employ on their journey to the betterment of society. After engaging with public librarians for the better part of two years, I think the following quote highlights the contrast between a librarian’s ideal library patron, Virginia Woolf, to the current reality.

“I ransack public libraries, and find them full of sunk treasure.”  -Virginia Woolf

As much of a modernist as Woolf was – I’m sure she’d be shocked to discover the virtual stream of information that exists in today’s world. The truth is most library patrons don’t allocate hours of time to “ransack” a library’s website troving for an online resource treasure chest.  In fact, according to a recent study done by Pew 91% of Americans think public libraries are important to their communities, yet 80% of Americans say they don’t know what their library has to offer.  Herein lies the challenge. How do libraries market their evolving services to their communities?

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Career Online High School recognized as part of White House College Opportunity Summit

College Opportunity Summit

Last Thursday, President Obama, the First Lady, and Vice President Biden convened the nation’s education, business and nonprofit leaders to collaborate and share best practices for increasing college opportunities for first-generation, low-income and underrepresented students – some of the very same students served frequently by our public libraries. Among these leaders was Michael Hansen, CEO of Gale’s parent company, Cengage Learning, and Dr. Howard Liebman, founder and superintendent of Career Online High School, who participated in this important discussion about how to engage disconnected youth and increase educational opportunities.

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New Jersey State Library Offers the Opportunity to Earn a High School Diploma

Nearly one in eight adults 25 and older in New Jersey does not have a high school diploma. Career Online High School, a new program sponsored by the New Jersey State Library, aims to change that. Using grants from the state and the Clinton Global Initiative, six libraries—Camden, Elizabeth, Long Branch, Scotch Plains, Somerset County, … Read more

Inspiring Video about Cincinnati Public Library’s “Making Dreams Come True” Program

The Cincinnati Public Library has launched the “Making Dreams Come True” program. Built on the Career Online High School platform, this innovative program enables adult learners (21 or older) in Ohio’s Hamilton County, to realize their dreams of a high school diploma and a more rewarding work life. The program takes about 18 months. The … Read more