FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich. – January 3, 2018 – Gale, a Cengage company, today announced that more than 300 adults have graduated from Career Online High School through Florida public libraries since the pilot program launched in 2015. Career Online High School provides qualifying Florida residents the opportunity to earn a free, private, accredited high school diploma. The program is specifically designed to reengage adults into the education system and prepare them for entry into post-secondary education or the workforce.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 2.7 million Florida residents age 25 or older do not have a high school diploma. Lack of high school completion severely limits individuals' career path and financial outlook, and has a significant economic impact on Florida. To address this, the state began offering Career Online High School through a select number of public libraries. By early 2017, 28 libraries were offering the program and more than 13 graduation ceremonies have taken place at libraries across the state.
View or download Florida high school dropout infographic, here.
"Career Online High School is really having a positive impact and has been instrumental in helping Florida adults accomplish their education and career goals," said Amy Johnson, Director, Division of Library and Information Services, Florida Department of State. "The success of the program is a great example of how Florida public libraries are contributing to the community by providing educational resources and support that are not only transforming the lives of residents, but are helping to strengthen Florida's workforce."
Since the program began, 85% of adults enrolled in Florida's Career Online High School have either graduated or are still in the program pursuing their private high school diploma. The graduates are a testament to the program's success at changing the lives of residents.
"I always felt lost and incomplete without a high school diploma. I found myself again through this program; I gained self-confidence," said Sang Um, who graduated through Lake County Library System. "I am now enrolling in college to study teaching, and one day will work at a school assisting special needs kids."
Career Online High School helps public libraries bring economic growth to citizens of the community. For example, the average lifetime earnings of a high school graduate with no college is $549,000[i], which is $205,009 higher than an adult without a high school diploma. For Florida's 300 graduates, this translates to $61,503,000 over a lifetime. Additionally, federal, state and local governments stand to gain $2.5 billion in tax revenue and reduced expenses for every 400,000 adults who earn a high school diploma, saving taxpayers money[ii].
Career Online High School is offered at participating public libraries in Florida who award scholarships to qualified learners. Students can access and complete program courses online using library computers or from home, with up to 18 months to finish the program. Additionally, students can complete the program sooner by transferring previously earned high school credits. Concurrently with the diploma, students earn a workforce certificate in one of eight trade areas, ranging from protection officer to customer service to commercial driving.
With Career Online High School, Florida residents can:
- Earn an accredited private high school diploma while preparing for a career in one of eight high-demand, high-growth fields.
- Take classes online, with the flexibility of 24/7 access to classwork.
- Be supported by certified instructors and an academic coach who care about their success.
- Gain career readiness with a career portfolio including a resume, a cover letter and job preparation support.
"Gale's mission is to empower learning and it's quite inspiring to see the life-changing impact Career Online High School has had on Florida residents," said Paul Gazzolo, senior vice president and general manager at Gale. "Every graduating class highlights the success and value of the program and the significant role public libraries play in providing career and educational resources to the community. Congratulations to the State of Florida and its graduates on such a phenomenal accomplishment."
Florida residents interested in learning more about the program or would like view the list of libraries that offer the program can visit: careeronlinehs.gale.com/fl.
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.