How Illinois Adults Can Potentially Receive Their High School Diplomas

How Illinois Adults Can Potentially Receive Their High School Diplomas

Did you know? Almost 1.5 million Illinois adults, or 11% of the population, do not have a high school diploma, according to the U.S. Department of Education.

Reaching Across Illinois Library System (RAILS), a state agency serving libraries in northern and western Illinois, is working with Gale, a library resource provider, to offer accredited high school diplomas and career certificates at Illinois public libraries. The program, Career Online High School (COHS), is open to residents in select communities.

Gale, a Cengage company, and Reaching Across Illinois Library System (RAILS), a state agency serving libraries in northern and western Illinois, are working together to offer accredited high school diplomas and career certificates at public libraries across the state.

Through an innovative program, Career Online High School (COHS), Illinois adults in select communities who have a library card can participate in the program.

"Providing an opportunity for any interested adult to earn a high school diploma is an important role libraries can play to support education, strengthen the Illinois workforce, and contribute to thriving communities across the state,” said Veronda Pitchford, RAILS Director of Membership Development and Resource Sharing.

“Libraries in Illinois, and throughout the country, are making a strong impact on local economic and workforce development with Career Online High School,” said Paul Gazzolo, senior vice president and general manager at Gale. “But more than that, libraries are providing education for their communities that can lead to life changing opportunities – a better job, better pay, and a better life.”

Several public libraries throughout Illinois, including Addison, Chicago Ridge, Gail Borden, Glenside, McHenry, Mokena Community, and Waukegan, are currently offering the COHS program. More are expected to join. The participating libraries will award scholarships for Career Online High School to qualified learners looking to earn accredited high school diplomas and advance their careers. Each student enrolled in Career Online High School is paired with an academic coach who offers ongoing guidance and encouragement, evaluates performance, and connects the learner with the resources needed to demonstrate mastery of the course material. Classes are supported by state board certified instructors, and students have 24/7 access to the online learning platform. Coursework begins in one of eight high-growth, high-demand career fields (across a wide spectrum, from child care and education to certified transportation) before progressing to the core academic subjects. Many students are able to graduate in as few as six months by transferring in previously earned high school credits.

Interested Illinois residents can learn more about Career Online High School and which libraries are currently offering the program by visiting: http://www.careeronlinehs.gale.com/rails/.

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