St. Louis Libraries Now Offers Accredited Diplomas to Adults

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The thousands of dollars that actor Jon Hamm will raise at a St. Louis County Library event next week will fund scholarships for an adult online high school in St. Louis.

The St. Louis County Library and St. Louis Public Library are following the lead of more than 100 major public libraries—including Kansas City, Los Angeles and Denver—that offer Career Online High School, a nationally accredited program allows adult students to earn a high school diploma while gaining career skills in one of eight employment fields.

The libraries consider the program valuable because it provides a real high school diploma, not a GED or other high school equivalency certificate, from an accredited online school.

St. Louis County Library Director Kristen Sorth said the St. Louis region lacks education options for adults. There are several programs for high school-age dropouts and programs to earn an equivalency credential like a GED, but Sorth couldn’t find good options for older adults.

“There are some programs out there that address younger individuals who dropped out,” Sorth said. “But there’s really nothing for individuals ages 25 years and older.”

The library found that more than 56,000 adults older than 25 in St. Louis County lack a high school diploma, according to census figures.

Sorth said the library chose Career Online High School because it was the only accredited online high school program it could find. It had also heard favorable feedback from other libraries who use the program.

Read the full story from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Interested in learning more about Career Online High School, visit

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