DALLAS, HOUSTON and Farmington Hills, Mich., October 10, 2017— Five Texas libraries have partnered with Gale, a leading provider of library resources and a Cengage company, to offer the opportunity to earn an accredited high school diploma and career certificate at public libraries across the state. Qualifying Texas adults can enroll in the Career Online High School program starting today through the following public library systems: Houston, Dallas, Frisco, Grapevine and Sulphur Springs.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 2.34 million (17.3 percent) Texas adults over the age of 25, do not have a high school diploma. In May 2016, El Paso Public Library was the first library in Texas to offer the program. They currently have 50 students enrolled, 6 students who have already completed the program and expect more than 15 students to graduate in April 2018.
"The Houston Public Library is very excited to be a part of this collaboration to bring Career Online High School program to Texas," states Dr. Rhea Brown Lawson, Director of the Houston Public Library. "We continuously strive to provide critical tools to help our community achieve success in their lives. Enabling adults to earn their high school diploma opens new doors of opportunity that otherwise may have been permanently closed. This resource will not only benefit individuals, but will also benefit our entire community."
Participating library systems throughout the state will award scholarships for Career Online High School to qualified learners looking to earn high school diplomas and advance their careers. Each student enrolled in the program 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.
"Nearly a quarter of our neighbors in Dallas lack a high school diploma," said Dallas Public Library Director, Jo Giudice. "Career Online High School not only gives them the chance to graduate, but also provides career training that prepares students to take the next step."
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—ranging from office management to food and hospitality—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.
"Earning an accredited high school diploma paves the pathway for adults to advance their education and improve their employment outlook," said Paul Gazzolo, senior vice president and general manager at Gale. "Graduates of Career Online High School not only walk away with job and academic skills, but also the confidence necessary to achieve their education and life goals. We're proud to partner with Texas public libraries in this effort to provide resources and training to the Texas community in a welcoming and supportive environment."
Texas residents interested in learning more about the program can visit: www.careeronlinehs.gale.com/tx.
About Career Online High School
Career Online High School was developed in 2012 through a partnership by ed2go, a division of Cengage that provides students with online continuing education and career training, and Smart Horizons Career Online Education in an effort to provide affordable, career-based online education opportunities for the millions of adults in the United States without high school diplomas. In 2014, the program was adapted for the public library market by Gale, a Cengage company.
About Cengage and Gale
Cengage is the education and technology company built for learners. The company serves the higher education, K-12, professional, library and workforce training markets worldwide. Gale, a Cengage company, provides libraries with original and curated content, as well as the modern research tools and technology that are crucial in connecting libraries to learning, and learners to libraries. For more than 60 years, Gale has partnered with libraries around the world to empower the discovery of knowledge and insights – where, when, and how people need it. Gale has 500 employees globally with its main operations in Farmington Hills, Michigan. For more information, please visit: www.gale.com.
About the Houston Public Library
The Houston Public Library (HPL) operates 35 neighborhood libraries, four HPL Express Libraries, a Central Library, the Houston Metropolitan Research Center, the Clayton Library Center for Genealogical Research, The African American Library at the Gregory School, and the Parent Resource Library located in the Children's Museum of Houston. Serving more than seven million customers per year in person and online, HPL is committed to excellent customer service and equitable access to information and programs by providing library customers with free use of a diverse collection of printed materials and electronic resources, Internet, laptop and computer use, and a variety of database and reference resources with live assistance online 24/7.
About Dallas Public Library
Dallas Public Library serves the city of Dallas with 29 locations throughout the city and with online access to books, audiobooks, movies and music. The library offers many opportunities for lifelong learning from our early childhood storytimes to S.T.E.A.M. programming for k12 to adult education. The library offers adult basic reading, English as a Second Language, and High School Equivalency classes at no cost to the learner. For more information about adult education programs, please contact: 214-671-8291.