Colorado State Library Provides Opportunity for Residents to Earn Accredited High School Diplomas Through the Public Library

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The Colorado State Library has partnered with Gale to offer accredited high school diplomas and career certificates at public libraries across the state. Qualifying Colorado adults in select communities can enroll in the Career Online High School (COHS) program starting today. Nearly half a million Colorado adults, or 9% of the population, do not have a high school diploma, according to the U.S. Department of Education.

“Libraries have always been an integral part of their local communities for learning and information.  The Colorado State Library is pleased to be a partner with them in this effort to help residents who want to complete their high school education and prepare for a career,” said Eugene Hainer, Assistant Commissioner, Colorado State Library.

Career Online High School is a great benefit for the people of Denver,” said Michelle Jeske, City Librarian, Denver Public Library, the first library in the state to start offering COHS. “The opportunities provided through COHS have a cumulative effect: helping people better themselves and ultimately their families, neighborhoods and the City as a whole. It is a natural fit for our mission to connect people with information, ideas, and resources that strengthen our community.”

Recent graduates @ Denver Public Library

The participating library systems throughout the state will award scholarships for COHS to qualified learners looking to earn high school diplomas and advance their careers. Each student enrolled in COHS is paired with an academic coach who offers ongoing guidance and encouragement, evaluates performance, and connects the learner with the resources needed to demonstrate mastery of the course material. Classes are supported by state board certified instructors, and students have 24/7 access to the online learning platform. Coursework begins in one of eight high-growth, high-demand career fields (across a wide spectrum, from child care and education to certified transportation) before progressing to the core academic subjects. Students have 18 months to complete the program but many have graduated sooner (10 months on average) by transferring in previously earned high school credits.

Career Online High School will help Colorado residents improve their education, their career opportunities, and their lives,” said Paul Gazzolo, senior vice president and general manager at Gale. “It also enables public libraries to demonstrate their impact on local economic and workforce development in a critical time for library funding.”

Interested Colorado residents can visit to learn more about the program, and see the complete list of libraries offering it. The nine participating library systems include:

Aurora Public Library
Berthoud Community Library District
Boulder Public Library
Broomfield Library
Denver Public Library
Edwin A. Bemis Public Library (Littleton)
Mesa County Public Library
Park County Public Libraries
Pikes Peak Library District

It’s anticipated that an additional seven library systems will join the Colorado state program later this year including: Grand County Library District, Lone Cone Library, Englewood Public Library, Pines and Plains Library District – Elizabeth Branch, Pueblo City County Library District, and Dolores Public Library.

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