Los Angeles Public Library is the First Library to Offer Career-Based High School Completion Program to Residents in Need

Gale, part of Cengage Learning and a leading provider of educational content, tools and services to libraries, schools and businesses, announced today the launch of Career Online High School to its public library partners. Now available to public libraries nationwide, this groundbreaking program allows libraries to demonstrate their critical impact on the quality of life and economic growth of their communities by enabling library patrons to earn an accredited high school diploma and credentialed career certificate. Part of the world’s first accredited, private online school district, Career Online High School is specifically designed to reengage adults into the education system and prepare them for entry into post-secondary education or the workforce. Los Angeles Public Library, one of the largest public library systems in the United States, is the first institution to deliver Career Online High School to its community.

The dropout crisis in the United States has reached epidemic proportions in recent years. Every 26 seconds another student gives up on school, resulting in more than 1 million American dropouts a year, or 7,000 every day. Today, there are nearly 40 million Americans without a high school diploma and there are limited options available for students age twenty-two and older who are looking to return to high school. People lacking a high school diploma are more likely to be unemployed, impoverished, and incarcerated—and are estimated to cost taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars in lost earnings, welfare and medical costs. Career Online High School addresses this crisis by providing adults access to a supportive academic environment and engaging curriculum that emphasizes the practical skills students will need in the workplace.

According to U.S. Census Bureau statistics on educational attainment, Los Angeles, along with other major urban centers, has among the highest high school dropout rates, with upwards of 25 percent of residents lacking a high school diploma. Recognizing the life-changing opportunities available to individuals who graduate from Career Online High School, the Los Angeles Public Library is the first to partner with Gale to deliver the program, and is preparing to launch the service soon.

“The population of adults without a high school diploma is as high as 60 percent in some of the geographic areas served by our library system,” says John Szabo, the City Librarian of the Los Angeles Public Library, which serves over four million people. “Our mission is to educate and empower every individual in our city’s diverse communities. We could not be more excited to offer Career Online High School and make a real impact in helping these adults reach their education and career goals. This is a game-changing program for our library and a life-changing program for our patrons.”

Accredited by AdvancED/SACS, Career Online High School offers courses supported by state-board certified instructors. AdvancED is the national commission that confers the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Council on Accreditation and School Improvement (SACS CASI) accreditation seal. In addition to offering the convenience of an anytime-anywhere online learning platform, Career Online High School enables students to earn their high school diplomas while gaining real-world career skills. To build confidence and success, students begin coursework in one of eight high-growth, high-demand career fields (anything from child care and education to certified transportation), before progressing to the core academic subjects. Many students are able to graduate in as few as 4 to 6 months by transferring in previously earned high school credits.

Participating public libraries award scholarships for Career Online High School to qualified learners looking to advance their careers, prepare for workforce entry or continue their education. Once enrolled, Career Online High School pairs each learner with an Academic Coach, who provides the student with an individual career plan, offers ongoing guidance and encouragement, evaluates performance and connects the student with the resources needed to demonstrate mastery of each concept and course.

“Gale is honored to play a role in connecting public libraries to Career Online High School, truly revolutionizing access to education for millions of Americans who need help the most. As one of our nation’s most trusted educational institutions, the public library is the perfect venue for Career Online High School,” said Nader Qaimari, a Senior Vice President at Gale. “Earning a high school diploma is a life-changing event and the positive impact on one’s financial and career success is astounding. We’re thrilled to help libraries fulfill their visions to improve lives and move their communities forward.”

For more information on Career Online High School, please visit www.gale.com/cohsinfo. For questions or to schedule an interview with a spokesperson for Gale, Career Online High School or the Los Angeles Public Library, please contact James McCusker atjames.mccusker@cengage.com or 203-965-8663.