Santa Monica Public Library Awards 12th Scholarship in Its Career Online High School Program

September 20, 2018

Santa Monica Public Library Awards 12th Scholarship in Its Career Online High School Program

Santa Monica, CA — For the City of Santa Monica, back to school time isn’t just for school age students. Santa Monica Public Library has announced that it is on track to graduate twelve adult students from its Career Online High School program by the end of 2019. Four students have already graduated, and eight more will complete their courses by the end of next year.

Part of its Literacy Education for Adults & Families (LEAF) program, the Library began offering Career Online High School to residents 19 years and older in September 2016 to help the over 3,000 Santa Monica residents who have less than a high school education. ( The Library sees the program as a way to support the City of Santa Monica’s Cradle to Career Initiative, which is “focused on helping 16-24 year-olds build the skills needed to get jobs and careers that lead to livable wages and room for advancement.”

Career Online High School is an accredited program that provides adult learners with an opportunity to earn their high school diplomas — not a GED or high school diploma equivalent — and a career certificate in one of ten in-demand career fields of their choosing. The 18-credit program generally takes between six and eighteen months to complete, depending on how many credits students transfer from their previous high school experience. All course materials are available through an easy-to-navigate online learning platform, and students are assigned their own personal academic coaches to help answer any questions that arise, provide feedback, and offer connections to additional learning resources, if necessary.

“The Santa Monica Public Library, in partnership with the California State Library, is proud to offer this program as part of our commitment to supporting the well-being of all of our community members,” shared Patty Wong, Director of Library Services. “Career Online High School offers a confidential, easy and alternative way to complete high school and graduate with a diploma — for free! The program is tailored to each individual student’s needs. It’s self-paced so they can balance the many demands of their busy lives, and coaches are available for positive reinforcement when the going gets tough.”

“My previous high school experience was hard, to put it into one word,” shared Cristina Santiago, the Library’s first Career Online High School graduate. “Because the program was flexible, self-paced and completely online, the Library made it possible for me to overcome my challenges to earn both my high school diploma and a career certificate in office management in just a year and a half! There were times along the way that I wanted to quit, but my two beautiful daughters and my coach inspired me to keep going. I thank everyone at the Library, especially the manager of my local library branch, for this opportunity to expand my career opportunities and make a better life for my family.”

To learn more about Career Online High School, visit the Santa Monica Public Library’s website. If you or someone you know would like to get started with Career Online High School today, complete this short self-assessment questionnaire.

About Santa Monica Public Library

Santa Monica Public Library’s mission is to provide resources, services, and a place for the community to read, connect, relax and learn. The library was founded in 1890, and it currently serves a population of 92,472.

About Career Online High School

Career Online High School was developed in 2012 through a partnership between Cengage Learning and Smart Horizons Career Online Education (SHCOE). This 18-credit, career-based high school completion program is designed to prepare adult students for entrance into the workforce or post-secondary education. Graduates earn both a high school diploma and a career certificate aligned to ten high-growth, high-demand employment areas. SHCOE, founded in 2009, is the first private, AdvancED/SACS/ NCA/NWAC accredited, online school district in the United States. In 2014, Career Online High School was adapted for the public library market by Gale, a Cengage Company.

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