SCCLD Helps Adults Obtain High School Diplomas, Learn New Careers

Online program makes it simple, convenient to graduate

SANTA CLARA COUNTY, CALIF. – The Santa Clara County Library District (SCCLD) has partnered with Gale, a Cengage Company, and the California State Library to offer an innovative and fully accredited program – Career Online High School (COHS). Designed to reengage adults into the educational system and help them achieve their career goals, COHS is a convenient and flexible program that is conducted entirely online at the student’s pace.

To qualify, applicants must be SCCLD residents, be at least 19 years of age, and have a library account in good standing. All classes are taught in English, with participants needing to read at a seventh-grade level or above. SCCLD has a limited number of scholarships. The program, which started after Labor Day, already has several participants, with room for more.

“Sometimes life gets in the way of reaching one’s goals,” said County Librarian Jennifer Weeks. “Career Online High School is a great new opportunity for SCCLD patrons who want to obtain an official high school diploma to improve their job skills and open the doors for college study. Best of all, participants can design their own schedule, allowing them to balance other priorities like work, family, and personal commitments.”

Once enrolled, COHS pairs each student with an Academic Coach, who offers ongoing guidance and encouragement, evaluates their performance, and connects the learner with the resources needed to demonstrate mastery of the course material. Classes are supported by board-certified instructors and students have 24/7 access to the online learning platform.

Coursework begins in one of eight high-growth, in demand career fields (across a wide spectrum from childcare and education to transportation), before progressing to the core academic subjects. Students can graduate in as few as six months by transferring in previously

earned high school credits but have up to 18 months to complete the program. In addition to a high school diploma, participants who finish will also receive a credentialed career certificate.

“This is a great chance for adults to proactively transform their lives,” said Mike Wasserman, County Supervisor and President of the Library Joint Powers Authority Board. “The Library offers many free resources for lifelong learning and with the addition of Career Online High School, participants have a path to new career opportunities and higher earning potential.”

Data from the U.S. Census shows that over 10% of adults over the age of 25 in Santa Clara County lack a high school degree. In the community of Gilroy, one of the cities within SCCLD, that figure is nearly 20%. COHS offers a way to reduce the number of adults living in the County without a high school certificate, enhancing lives in the process and helping boost the economy.