Smart Horizons Career Online Education has been named a 2021 Cognia™ School of Distinction for excellence in education. Cognia, the global nonprofit school improvement organization, recognized 59 schools and 20 systems across the globe as Schools of Distinction.

Smart Horizons Career Online Education is part of Cognia’s inaugural Schools of Distinction program that recognizes pre-K–12 education institutions that exemplify excellence in education and service to learners. Cognia selected Smart Horizons Career Online Education as one of the 59 schools and 20 systems out of more than 1,200 institutions that were eligible for its 2021 Cognia Schools of Distinction

“We are honored to be recognized as a Cognia School System of Distinction,” said Dr. Howard Liebman, Superintendent of Schools for Smart Horizons Career Online Education. “This certainly validates our work and continued success in re-engaging adults into the educational system.”

Smart Horizons Career Online Education first earned Cognia Accreditation in 2011 and reaccreditation in 2016 and 2021. Smart Horizons Career Online Education participated in Cognia’s rigorous Accreditation Engagement Review process, which is based on research-based performance standards. The process includes a third-party review by education experts of evidence, interviews, and classroom observations. The evaluation covers Leadership Capacity, Learning Capacity, and Resource Capacity, as well as a demonstrated commitment to continuous improvement. 

“Smart Horizons Career Online Education is to be commended on their award as a School of Distinction,” said Dr. Mark A. Elgart, President and CEO of Cognia. “Cognia Accreditation is already a mark of distinction recognized around the world. Being named a School or District of Distinction further recognizes the commitment to excellence in education Smart Horizons Career Online Education has for its learners,” he added. 

For Cognia Global Network member institutions, Cognia offers an opportunity to be further recognized as a school or system of distinction in the year in which an accreditation engagement review is held. Unlike the typical five-year accreditation cycle, this new program recognizes institutions that have hosted a Cognia Accreditation Engagement Review within the recognition year. Learn more about Cognia membership online at

About Smart Horizons Career Online Education
Founded in 2009, Smart Horizons Career Online Education is a private, Cognia-accredited online school district. SHCOE offers online high school diploma programs designed to reengage adults and older youth in the educational system and prepare them for the workplace or postsecondary education. The high school program includes a vocational certificate in career pathways such as Home Care Professional, Child Care, Office Management, Security Professional, Commercial Driving, Retail Customer Service, Food and Hospitality, Hospitality and Leisure, General Career Preparation, and Introduction to Manufacturing (coming soon). To date, more than 12,500 students have graduated from the SHCOE district. For more information, visit

About Cognia
Cognia is a global, nonprofit improvement organization dedicated to helping institutions and other education providers grow learners, teachers, and leaders. Cognia offers accreditation and certification, assessment, and professional services within a framework of continuous improvement. Serving 36,000 public and private institutions from early learning through high school in more than 85 countries, Cognia brings a global perspective to advancing teaching and learning. Find out more at