Kansas City-Area Institutions to Give Local Residents Access to Accredited High School Diplomas

Posted January 22, 2016

By Kristina Massari

Three Kansas City-area institutions – Kansas City Public Library, Mid-Continent Public Library and Literacy Kansas City – to offer accredited online high school diplomas and career certificates to area residents through Career Online High School. According to the Missouri Department of Education, Kansas City Public Schools’ drop-out rate for 2015 was 10% compared with the Missouri statewide average of just 2.2%.

“As we see communities like Kansas City working on improving education access, it is exciting to see Career Online High School inspire innovative partnerships between libraries and local organizations as a one solution that can make a difference,” said Paul Gazzolo, senior vice president and general manager, Gale, a part of Cengage Learning. “The program will help these organizations support local economic and workforce development but, more importantly, it will provide residents with education that can lead to life-changing opportunities.”

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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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