From the Associated Press:
The Los Angeles Public Library announced Thursday that it is teaming up with a private online learning company to debut the program for high school dropouts, believed to be the first of its kind in the nation.
It’s the latest step in the transformation of public libraries in the digital age as they move to establish themselves beyond just being a repository of books to a full educational institution, said the library’s director, John Szabo.
The library hopes to grant high school diplomas to 150 adults in the first year at a cost to the library of $150,000, Szabo said. Many public libraries offer programs to prepare students and in some cases administer the General Educational Development test, which for decades was the brand name for the high school equivalency exam.
But Szabo believes this is the first time a public library will be offering an accredited high school diploma to adult students, who will take courses online but will meet at the library for assistance and to interact with fellow adult learners.
Library staff will be trained to help the adult learners and the library system is looking at making available spaces for the students so they can meet their fellow pupils.
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The AP article reports LAPL is partnering with Smart Horizons, a company with headquarters in Pensacola, FL. The program is accredited by the AdvancED Accreditation Commission. Learn more about AdvancedED here.
After applying for the program students will need to pass an initial interview to attend the Career Online High School, one of several Smart Horizon online school district. According to the company it’s the the world’s first accredited private online school district.
Gale Cengage Involvement
Gale Cengage is the organizer of the project. They are offering the Career Public High School to public libraries nationwide.
Participating public libraries award scholarships for Career Online High School to qualified learners looking to advance their careers, prepare for workforce entry or continue their education. Once enrolled, Career Online High School pairs each learner with an Academic Coach, who provides the student with an individual career plan, offers ongoing guidance and encouragement, evaluates performance and connects the student with the resources needed to demonstrate mastery of each concept and course.
“Gale is honored to play a role in connecting public libraries to Career Online High School, truly revolutionizing access to education for millions of Americans who need help the most. As one of our nation’s most trusted educational institutions, the public library is the perfect venue for Career Online High School,” said Nader Qaimari, a Senior Vice President at Gale. “Earning a high school diploma is a life-changing event and the positive impact on one’s financial and career success is astounding. We’re thrilled to help libraries fulfill their visions to improve lives and move their communities forward.”
See Also: Fast Facts About the LA Public Library