(TUCSON, Ariz.) – According to the U.S. Department of Education, Arizona was one of only four states in 2015 whose high school graduation rates had declined for the past three years, especially among low-income and minority students who represent a majority of the state’s school-age population.
With Career Online High School (COHS), Pima County Public Library is playing a pivotal role in helping to reverse this trend by offering a viable alternative for adult learners who have few options to obtain a high school diploma. Conducted entirely online, COHS offers adult students a chance to earn an accredited high school diploma while preparing for a career in one of eight high-demand, high growth fields, including child care and education, homeland security, and office management.
Designed for adults 22 years and older who do not have a high school diploma or equivalency, the program offers the flexibility to take classes online and access schoolwork 24/7, while also receiving support and free educational resources at their local library. Once enrolled, students are paired with an online academic coach who offers ongoing guidance and evaluates performance. Students must complete the program, offered at no cost to them, within 18 months.
To be considered, applicants must complete an online self-assessment and prerequisite course, followed by an in-person interview. For more information, please visit the Library’s website, which also includes information for Library supporters interested in helping to sustain the service by making a donation toward tuition assistance.
Amber Mathewson, Interim Director, says, “As an institution already committed to adult literacy, GED preparation, and workforce development, the Library is perfectly situated to offer COHS. We believe that education empowers individuals and fuels real transformation. We’re very proud to join other public libraries nationally who are helping adult learners unlock their potential.”
This project was launched with funding from the Arizona State Library, Archives & Public Records, a division of the Secretary of State, with federal funds from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.
Ongoing support is generously provided by The Pima Library Foundation, Friends of the Pima County Public Library, Friends of the Oro Valley Public Library, and Friends of the Green Valley and Sahuarita Libraries.
About Pima County Public Library
For more than 100 years, we have been here for people just like you. Today, at 27 libraries, online, or out in the community, our dedicated staff and volunteers are always looking ahead to help you find what you’re looking for. Every day, we’re making our mission a reality by educating and connecting people and inspiring ideas.