Wendy Wilson, 24, has worked hard to achieve a career in retail sales, working at various outlets in the Lone Tree area. But, she said, she’s hiding a secret.
“I never graduated from high school,” Wilson said. “I’ve done OK just by working hard and being a good employee, but I’ve always regretted not graduating, and I’m afraid every time I look for a job and have to fill out an application.”
Thanks to a new Douglas County Libraries program, Wilson, and others like her, can earn their high school diplomas through an online program that can be catered to their needs.
The district’s new Career Online High School is an accredited online high school designed to help students over 19. In addition to the high school coursework, students also have access to in-person support and career certification in some areas.
“What’s great about this program is that even though coursework is entirely online, students have access to a personal academic coach who can offer encouragement and guidance as needed through text, email or by phone.”
—Tiffany Curtin, adult literacy specialist with the library district
Like most high schools, the Career Online High School requires students to take elective classes. Students can receive a career certificate, which they can present to future employers, showing they have some background and education in a particular field. Childcare, office management, commercial driving, homeland security and law enforcement are some of the fields students can earn a certificate in.
“As an accredited program, students are able to enter college or go into careers with their diplomas,” Curtin said. “And we know that a lot of people who don’t complete their high school program for a variety of reasons, one of which is they don’t feel connected. We want to make sure every student has the support they need to succeed.”
As for Wilson, the opportunity is one she said she’ll consider.
“I like that it’s online, and that I can still work and go to school at the same time,” she said.