Seattle, WA, March 18, 2016 – Cengage Learning’s Career Online High School (COHS) announced today the graduation of the first two students from the Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County (WDC) program. The WDC launched COHS at the YouthSource one-stop center in early 2015, providing scholarships and support to out-of-school youth and adults to enable them to earn a fully AdvancED/SACS accredited online high school diploma and entry-level workforce certificate.

Esmeralda Ulloa, 17, is one of the first two graduates of the program and the first in her family to graduate from high school. Since graduating from COHS she found work as a receptionist and plans to continue her education by enrolling in a nine-month certificate program to become a medical administrative assistant. Ulloa earned both her high school diploma and an entry-level workforce certificate in food and customer service in just nine months, crediting her success to the flexibility of the COHS program and the encouragement she received from the staff at YouthSource and COHS. “My academic advisor would call me every two weeks,” she said. “She even congratulated me every time I passed a test.”

Developed by Smart Horizons Career Online Education (SHCOE), the world’s first AdvancED/SACS accredited online school district, COHS is a key strategic offering in the broad range of career development services that the WDC and YouthSource offer to residents in the greater Seattle-King County area.

“Marlena Sessions, CEO of the Seattle-King County WDC, is one of the foremost thought leaders in workforce development, and her dedicated team has worked tirelessly to provide new and innovative educational opportunities to their community for out-of-school youth and adults,” stated Ron Stefanski, Executive Director for ed2go, a Cengage Learning company. “The recent graduation of two students from the Career Online High School program speaks to this success on many levels. We congratulate these graduates, but also the partnership and collaboration that has made this achievement possible. We know from experience that Seattle-King County will soon benefit from the contributions of these graduates and those that follow. “