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Library—and Florida—Celebrate First Class of Career Online High School Graduates in State (Sept. 26, 2016)

Public Invited to Historic Commencement Ceremony during Adult Literacy Week

JACKSONVILLE, Fla., Sept. 26, 2016 – The Jacksonville Public Library will celebrate the graduation of nine students who have earned high school diplomas and career certificates through Smart Horizons Career Online High School (COHS), an innovative program for adult learners offered at Jacksonville Public Library’s Center for Adult Learning. The private, accredited online high school is made possible by a grant from the State of Florida and in partnership with Gale Cengage Learning.

The graduation ceremony will be the first of its kind in Florida, and highlights the importance of National Adult Education and Family Literacy Week (Sept. 26 – Oct. 1), which raises public awareness about the need and value of adult education and family resources. Family, friends, and members of the community are invited to attend the event to show support and congratulate students for their hard-earned achievements. The media is invited to attend and take photos.

WHEN:         Wednesday, Sept. 28, 6 p.m.
                     Reception following commencement                   

WHERE:      Main Library, Hicks Auditorium
                    303 Laura St. N. – 32202

Kate Stewart, Ph.D., executive director of Jacksonville Community of Entrepreneurs (JaxCoE) will provide the keynote address following remarks by Dr. Charles Moreland, director of Community Affairs for the City of Jacksonville; Amy Johnson, director of the Division of Library and Information Services, State of Florida; Harold Liebman, Ph.D., co-founder and CEO of Smart Horizons Career Online High School; Barbara A. B. Gubbin, director of the Jacksonville Public Library; Ronnie King, chair-elect of the Board of Library Trustees; and Yosef Avraham, COHS graduate.

About Career Online High School

COHS was developed in 2012 through a partnership by ed2go, a division of Cengage Learning, and Smart Horizons Career Online Education in an effort to provide affordable, career-based online education opportunities for the millions of adults in the U.S. without high school diplomas. The program was adapted in 2014 for the public library market by Gale, a division of Cengage Learning. Jacksonville Public Library was one of 11 initial libraries in Florida to launch the pilot program in 2015. JPL has awarded 63 COHS scholarships to date; students are in various stages of completing their high school diplomas and career certificates to help prepare them for entry into post-secondary education or the workplace. COHS has now expanded to 25 public libraries across Florida.

About COHS Graduates

Jacksonville graduates range in age from 19 to 36. They have earned high school diplomas and certifications for office management, child care and education, food and customer service, homeland security and certified protection officer. To qualify for the program, students must be Duval County residents, at least 19 years of age, and have a Jacksonville Public Library card. After completing an online assessment and a two-week prerequisite with a score of 70 percent or better, and an in-person interview, students have 18 months to complete the program, which consists of 18 credits and includes coursework in high-growth, high-demand career fields as well as core academic subjects.

About Center for Adult Learning (CAL)

Since 1985, JPL has worked to meet the needs of limited readers and English learners through the Center for Adult Learning. CAL provides a community learning environment for adults who are no longer part of the K–12 educational system as well as for adults who meet criteria for the English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) program. CAL offers GED prep classes and more at the Main Library and at the Bradham and Brooks Branch Library Learning Center. CAL also offers GED classes through LEAP—Library Enhanced Access Program—a grant-funded Jax Journey anti-crime initiative. Call 630-2426 more information about CAL or the Career Online High School.

About the Jacksonville Public Library

The mission of the Jacksonville Public Library is to enrich lives, build community and foster success by bringing people, information and ideas together. Last year, more than 3.4 million visits were made to Jacksonville Public Libraries, items were checked out more than 5.9 million times, and nearly 11,000 programs and services were offered to Duval County residents at the Main Library and 20 branch locations. For more information about the Jacksonville Public Library, call 630-BOOK (2665) or visit  


303 Laura St. N.
Jacksonville, Florida 32202

Monday, September 26, 2016

Jacksonville Public Library