“Detroit Collective Impact” is a collaboration with McDonald’s, Michigan Virtual University, Matrix Human Services, and Kinexus

Atlanta, GA, June 13, 2016 — Cengage Learning’s Career Online High School (COHS) was recognized today at the 2016 Clinton Global Initiative America meeting for its Commitment to Action to bring together business, social services and higher education to increase access to education and workforce training in Detroit. The commitment was recognized onstage by President Clinton.

Cengage Learning’s Detroit Collective Impact, a collaboration with McDonald’s, Michigan Virtual University, Matrix Human Services, and Kinexus, is designed to support the city’s recovery from bankruptcy by re-engaging adults with their education. The program provides access to a career credential and accredited high school diploma via COHS. The online high school is accredited by AdvancED/SACS/NCA/NWAC, the accreditor for thousands of schools and districts across the country. Approximately 23 percent of Detroit residents age 25 and over do not have a high school diploma.

“We are truly honored that President Clinton and the CGI America team have recognized our efforts to bring life-changing education opportunities to Detroit residents,” said Ron Stefanski, Executive Director of Strategic Alliances, Cengage Learning and a Detroit resident. “This program and others around the country are a testament to the positive impact education can have on an individual and a community. We hope to inspire even more creative public-private collaborations that will open access to workforce training programs for people in need.”

Dr. Howard Liebman, Superintendent of Schools for the COHS school district, also attended the event, where he was invited to lead a table discussion on Workforce Development Strategies for Re-Entry Population. “It was an honor to have our COHS program featured, and to be asked to lead a discussion on how educational programs like COHS can benefit the correctional population and help keep people from returning to prison.”

The COHS program typically takes 12-18 months to complete. The Detroit Collective Impact program launched last year with 20 students and recently graduated its first student, who received her entry-level workforce certificate and high school diploma. The goal is to graduate 1,350 disconnected older youth and adults.

Partners in the Detroit Collective Impact program include:

  • Matrix Human Services, a Detroit-based nonprofit, social service organization that has been serving the community for 109 years to fight generational poverty.
  • Michigan Virtual University (MVU), one of the largest and leading nationally recognized supplemental virtual school programs in the country.
  • McDonald’s Corporation, which offers COHS to all eligible employees in corporate and franchise-owned restaurants. Detroit franchisee Errol Service is recruiting participants from among the 1,200 Detroit-area associates who qualify.
  • Kinexus, a Michigan non-profit dedicated to creating economic vitality by connecting business, workforce, and the community.

COHS was created in 2012 by Cengage Learning and Smart Horizons Career Online Education 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 space by Gale, a division of Cengage Learning.

Cengage Learning and Smart Horizons also work with several partners to support commitments through the Clinton Global Initiative. Collectively, the program has reached over 11,000 adults.

For more information on the Detroit Collective Impact, please visit: https://www.clintonfoundation.org/clinton-global-initiative/commitments/detroit-collective-impact-pathway-education-work

To learn more about the COHS program and partnership opportunities, please visit:  http://www.careeronlinehs.org/.

About Cengage Learning
Cengage Learning is a leading educational content, technology, and services company for the higher education and K-12, professional, library and workforce training markets worldwide. The company provides superior content, personalized services and course-driven digital solutions that accelerate student engagement and transform the learning experience. Cengage Learning is headquartered in Boston, MA with an office hub located in San Francisco, CA. Cengage Learning employees reside in nearly 40 different countries with company sales in more than 125 countries around the world. For more information visit www.cengage.com.

About Smart Horizons Career Online Education
Smart Horizons Career Online Education, founded in 2009 and located in Pensacola, Florida, is a private, AdvancED/SACS accredited online school district. AdvancED/SACS District accreditation signifies that SHCOE and all of its schools are fully accredited and that SHCOE is recognized across the nation as a quality school system. Smart Horizons Career Online Education offers 18-credit, career-based high school diploma programs that are designed to prepare students for entrance into the workplace. Career certificate offerings include Childcare Education, Office Management, Protection Services, Homeland Security, Transportation Services, Professional Skills, Retail Customer Service Skills, and Food & Customer Service Skills. For more information visit www.shcoe.org.

About Clinton Global Initiative America
Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) America brings together leaders from the business, philanthropic, nonprofit, and government sectors to develop solutions that encourage economic growth, support long-term competitiveness, and increase social mobility in the United States. CGI America’s annual convening is designed to be a working meeting that promotes collaboration. Each CGI America participant makes a Commitment to Action: a new, specific, and measurable plan that supports increased economic growth and opportunity. To date, CGI America participants have made more than 500 commitments, which have improved the lives of nearly 2.4 million people. For more information visit www.clintonfoundation.org/clinton-global-initiative.