Sacramento Public Library Introduces COHS to Patrons; Media, Including The Sacramento Bee, Cover Announcement

Career Online High School’s public library partnership program introduced its second major library partner last week and garnered media coverage in the process. As reported in The Sacramento Bee, the Sacramento Public Library recently became the second California library to offer the groundbreaking program, following the Los Angeles Public Library earlier this year. The program will provide scholarships for local residents to earn an accredited high school diploma and credentialed career certificate.

“Education is the common thread that pulls together everything we do,” said Sacramento Public Library Director Rivkah K. Sass. “Career Online High School helps move Sacramento Public Library from educational partner to educational provider.”

Career Online High School is specifically designed to reengage adults into the education system and prepare them for entry into post-secondary career education or the workforce. The school is part of the world’s first SACS-accredited private online school district, Smart Horizons Career Online Education (SHCOE). The district launched Career Online High School in 2012 with Cengage Learning’s ed2go, and developed the library program in partnership with one of the largest library resource companies in the world, Gale, which is also part of Cengage. The program addresses the nation’s dropout crisis, which sees roughly 3 million people drop out of high school each year, with an estimated 45 million total.

At the Clinton Global Initiative’s CGI America Meeting last year, SHCOE and ed2go announced a first-of-its-kind scholarship program targeting high school dropouts. Several public library systems, in addition to an array of corporations and non-profit organizations, have partnered with Career Online High School on this scholarship program.

“Public libraries have begun transforming themselves into multi-purpose community centers that make a wide range of career and educational resources available to their patrons,” said Dr. Howard Liebman, CEO and Superintendent of the SHCOE district. “It’s an innovative way to make a direct impact to struggling local communities by expanding access to education.”

Sacramento Public Library will award scholarships for Career Online High School to enable qualified learners to earn a high school diploma and advance their careers. The classes are online, but as Sass told KFBK News, she recommends people start off by coming to the library for in-person support. The library also provides free computer and Internet access.

Once enrolled, Career Online High School pairs each student with an Academic Coach, who assists with developing an individual career plan and offers ongoing guidance and encouragement. Classes are also supported by board-certified instructors and students have 24/7 access to the online learning platform.

Coursework begins in one of eight high-growth, high-demand career fields 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.

“There are people who want a diploma—they don’t just want the GED,” Sass told The Sacramento Bee. “It has meaning for them.”

Read the full story in The Sacramento


This program is supported by the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services, under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act, administered in California by the State Librarian.

Career Online High School with Sacramento Public Library is offered in partnership with the Califa Group, a non-profit consortium representing more than 220 libraries in California and elsewhere.