Could it be time to go back to high school in a hybrid learning environment on a career college campus?

The reality is that approximately 45 million adults in the United States are unable to pursue their dreams because they lack a basic high school diploma. Statistics show that high school dropouts earn less money, and are more likely to be unemployed, incarcerated, and live in poverty than those with higher levels of educational attainment.*

Soaring enrollment numbers in the Bridge to Start High School program ( suggest that for many Americans, it is indeed time to head back to school. But for these students, “high school” looks nothing like what it did the first time around—this is high school in a hybrid learning environment on a career college campus that caters to adult learners. The program, created via a partnership between ed2go ( and Smart Horizons Career Online Education, is a unique solution that addresses ATB (Ability to Benefit) issues, while helping adults get re-engaged back into the educational system in order to ultimately earn a post-secondary degree.

The Bridge to Start High School program enables students who did not graduate from high school to earn an accredited high school diploma and a credentialed career certificate. Bridge to Start high school students are enrolled in Career Online High School, a division within the AdvancED/SACS-accredited Smart Horizons Career Online Education private online school district.

Since its launch in early July, the Bridge to Start program’s enrollment rate has increased dramatically, and the program has recently expanded to 9 additional private, post-secondary institutions in 32 campuses across the United States. With increasing numbers of post-secondary institutions expressing an interest in Bridge to Start, the official goal of reaching 100 campuses by the end of March seems well within reach.

“There’s growing buzz about the Bridge to Start program,” said Ron Stefanski, Chief Business Development Officer for e2go/Cengage Learning. “This program’s value proposition makes sense to our post-secondary partners—’Let’s all do well, by doing good.’ We’re strategically growing enrollments via a unique program that enables adults to create new opportunities for themselves. Bridge to Start is the perfect solution for these individuals as well as our partner schools.”

Dr. Howard Liebman, Smart Horizon Career Online Education’s Cofounder and Superintendent of Schools, also sees Bridge to Start as a win-win for both students and schools. “This program has proven to be beneficial for both students and post-secondary institutions,” Dr. Liebman said. “It enables students to earn a diploma and career certificate to further their education and employment goals, and it’s a big plus for colleges because the majority of the Bridge to Start students go on to enroll in the colleges where they completed their coursework. To date, approximately 75 percent of our high school graduates have matriculated into a post-secondary institution. These are impressive data points that we are very proud of as an educational organization.”