Smart Horizons Career Online Education and ed2go today announced a partnership with Teamwork Associates of Montego Bay, Jamaica, to expand their educational offerings to students in Jamaica. The partnership will enable both current high school students and adult high school dropouts in Jamaica to earn not only an AdvancED/SACS high school diploma but also a credentialed career certificate via the Career Online High School.

Teamwork Associates is a non-profit organization committed to meeting the educational and social needs of Jamaican citizens. The Career Online High School program will be offered onsite at the Teamwork School, operated by Teamwork Associates, which provides education at the nursery through high school levels. “The program aligns with the School’s mission to help its students realize their potential and become responsible citizens,” said Dr. Winsome Oban, Executive Director of Teamwork Associates. “The certificates being offered will provide a good range and opportunity for employment in Jamaica where unemployment in the 20–24 age group stands at 33 percent.”

Dr. Oban said that Teamwork Associates was attracted to Career Online High School because it provides a well-structured, accessible program that will enable her organization to expand its reach to those outside the school. “The program will also cater to high school dropouts and adults who need a high school diploma to move forward in their lives,” Dr. Oban said.

“The combination of core academic subjects and career preparation offered by Career Online High School fits well into the situation in Jamaica,” she continued. “Career preparation is especially relevant as our Ministry of Education is determined that each child should leave school with a skill. The level of student support and motivation that Career Online High School provides and the fact that AdvancED/SACS accreditation is recognized in Jamaica are added advantages.”

Students will be able to choose from certificate options such as Child Care, Protection Services, Food and Customer Service Skills, and Retail Customer Service. “Career Online High School will extend Teamwork School’s program offerings in areas of national concern and will enable more of our population to obtain employment with the added advantage of career certification,” said Dr. Oban.

According to Dr. Oban, two partner organizations—Jamaicans in the Diaspora and the National Association of Jamaican and Supportive Organizations—will provide scholarships for at least half of the initial group of 20 students enrolling in Career Online High School courses. Because most of the students do not have computers at home, they will complete the program at the school.

Career Online High School was opened by SHCOE and ed2go in 2012 as part of an effort to provide affordable, career-based online education opportunities for the millions of adults without secondary level education. The school offers an accredited 18-credit high school diploma and credentialed career certificate in a single comprehensive online program. Career Online High School served over 2,500 students in its first year of operation.

Dr. Oban called this new partnership with SHCOE and ed2go “significant and strategic” for Teamwork Associates, the Jamaican education system, and national development. “The partnership facilitates the Vision 2030 Jamaica – National Development Plan’s goal that ‘Jamaicans are empowered to achieve their fullest potential,’” she said. “Teamwork Associates is therefore very pleased to be joining our partners in empowering our nation’s young people to achieve their fullest potential.”