Smart Horizons Career Online Education (SHCOE) is pleased to announce the 21 most recent graduates of its high school program at the Madison Correctional Institution in Madison, Florida. The commencement ceremony will be held Friday, April 26, 2013 at 9:30 am ET at the Madison facility.

The Florida Department of Corrections named SHCOE as an official provider of online education for inmates in Florida prison facilities in February of 2012. Pilot programs went live at the Madison facility in April 2012 and at the Lowell Annex Correctional Institution in Ocala, Florida, in May. The programs at Madison and Lowell are the first online secondary education programs at any correctional facility in the United States. The first group of graduates of the Madison program received their diplomas in a ceremony last October.

“This collaboration with the Florida Department of Corrections focuses on lowering recidivism,” said Dr. Howard Liebman, CEO and Superintendent of SHCOE. “Research shows that higher levels of educational attainment correlate to lower rates of incarceration. Inmates graduate from the program with a career certification in addition to the diploma. By stressing career-focused skills and knowledge, the program prepares inmates to successfully enter the workforce upon their release.”

Founded in 2009, SHCOE is the world’s first AdvancED/SACS-accredited online school district, offering an instructional program through the Smart Horizons Career Online High School (SHCOHS) that enables students to earn a high school diploma and a credentialed career certificate in one, comprehensive online program.

“This online program is the first of its kind,” said Dr. Howard Liebman. “And we are thrilled with its success thus far. We look forward to honoring the accomplishments of these 21 graduates and are very proud of all the SHCOHS students in Florida Department of Corrections facilities.”

Dr. Liebman also had praise for Katie Roach, who assists the inmates in her capacity as facilitator for the high school program.

  • Musical Prelude and Procession of Graduates
  • Welcome Address by Ms. Teresa Salafrio, Principal of SHCOHS
  • Invocation by Chaplain Bradley, Madison Correctional Institution
  • Remarks by Dr. Howard Liebman, CEO and Superintendent of SHCOE
  • Student Speaker, James Dennis
  • Keynote Speaker from the Florida Legislature
  • Presentation of Diplomas by Dr. Liebman
  • Closing Remarks by Dr. Liebman and Mr. C. West, Assistant Warden, Madison Correctional Institution

Florida legislators, government officials, and all media representatives are cordially invited to attend the ceremony on April 26.