One of the Largest and Oldest Library Systems in the Country Serving Over 800,000 Local Residents Now Offers Patrons the Opportunity to Earn a High School Diploma

Career Online High School’s public library partnership program introduced another major library partner yesterday as The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, Ohio, announced the launch of the groundbreaking program. The program will provide a limited number of free scholarships to qualified local adult learners looking to advance their careers, prepare for workforce entry or continue their education by earning a fully accredited high school diploma and credentialed career certificate. The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County is the now the third major library system in the country to offer this new educational program.

“Career Online High School is an exciting and innovative addition to our Library’s services and ties directly into our strategic plan goal to support lifelong learning,” Kimber L. Fender, the Eva Jane Romaine Coombe Director of the Library stated in the library’s press release announcing the program. “We believe that investing in the education of adults will improve workforce development as well as the overall quality of life in Hamilton County. Education is the common thread that runs through everything we do at the Library.”

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. 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.

“We’re excited to see another major library system offer Career Online High School to its patrons,” stated Dr. Howard Liebman, CEO and Superintendent of Smart Horizons Career Online Education. “It’s very gratifying to see the program gain momentum as we execute on our vision of engaging individuals in need of a high school diploma or workforce training by providing an affordable, flexible pathway to career and educational outcomes.”

Applicants must successfully complete an online self-assessment and a two-week prerequisite course, followed by an in-person interview and a scholarship review process. Once enrolled, the program pairs each student with an academic coach who provides the student with an individual career path, offers ongoing guidance, evaluates performance and connects the student with the resources needed to master the courses. Students will be given up to 18 months to complete the program.

The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County is offering Career Online High School to directly address the large local demographic of adults without a high school diploma as Hamilton County has high school graduation rates as low as 81.9 percent, according to a 2010 report by the Ohio Department of Education. Another 2010 state education report shows that Hamilton County accounted for 16.2 percent of the dropouts in the Southwest Ohio region. Research indicates adults with high school diplomas earn higher annual wages and are more likely to be productive citizens in the community.

About Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County
The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County is one of the oldest, largest, and busiest libraries in the United States, serving a population of over 800,000 with a collection of more than 9 million items. In support of its mission of connecting people with the world of ideas and information, the Library also offers a wide variety of services and more than 20,000 free programs each year. For more information, visit

About Cengage Learning and ed2go
Cengage Learning is a leading educational content, software and services company for the academic, professional and library markets worldwide. ed2go, part of Cengage Learning, is the largest provider of turnkey online training and education solutions serving the adult education, career, and corporate training markets. With over 2,000 colleges, universities, community based organizations and other training providers, ed2go has served more than 2.5 million students. ed2go’s ever-growing catalog of Online Courses and Career Training Programs makes it simple for students to enrich their lives or reach professional goals in a supportive and engaging environment. ed2go also can help educational institutions jump-start their online education programs or augment existing distance learning options. For more information visit or