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Redwood City Library Offers Free Accredited High School Diplomas

Free program offered thanks to grants provided by the California State Library and the Redwood City Library Foundation

Post Date:06/17/2016 10:59 AM
For Immediate Release

June 17, 2016


Media Contact:
Meghan Horrigan, City Manager's Office

REDWOOD CITY, CALIF.---The City of Redwood City announced today the receipt of a grant from the California State Library to award scholarships to community members ages 18 years old or older who want the opportunity to earn a free accredited high school diploma through the Redwood City Public Library. Students simultaneously earn a credentialed career certificate through the Career Online High School (COHS) program.

"This innovative partnership has the potential to give adult learners a high school diploma, along with new confidence and improved job prospects, through online classes offered through their local public library," said John Seybert, mayor of the City of Redwood City.

The normal tuition for COHS is $1095 for the complete program, but it is free for participants at Redwood City Public Library thanks to scholarships provided by the California State Library and the Redwood City Library Foundation.

"The Library Foundation sees this program as a natural extension of the Library's role as a hub of lifelong learning and literacy in our community," said Rouslana Yaroslavsky, executive director of the Redwood City Library Foundation.

The library's pilot program provides full scholarships to qualified adult learners who are looking to expand their career opportunities, prepare for workforce entry, and continue their education. In order to qualify for free enrollment, applicants must successfully complete an online self-assessment and an in-person interview.

Once enrolled in the program, each COHS student is paired with an online academic coach, who provides the student with an individual career path, offers ongoing guidance, evaluates performance, and connects the student with the resources needed to master the courses. Students will be given up to 18 months to complete the program.Community members who have existing high school credits can count them to reduce the number of classes needed to complete a diploma.

Career Online High School is different from taking a GED exam. Students who complete the program will receive an accredited high school diploma rather than a certificate of equivalency. In addition, COHS provides ongoing coaching and support instead of the independent study model of the GED exam, and it provides career-related activities in the learning modules rather than strictly focusing on academic knowledge.

For more about the program or to enroll in the Career Online High School program email or visit Project READ at the Downtown Library.

About Career Online High School

Career Online High School is committed to preparing students for careers and post-secondary career education by delivering high-quality, supportive, and career-based online education. Objectives include offering students an affordable, flexible opportunity to earn their high school diplomas, preparing students for careers and employment based on employer-driven academic requirements and creating a positive, academic environment that facilitates all students reaching their maximum potential.

About the City of Redwood City
The City of Redwood City is a San Francisco Bay Area community located in the heart of Silicon Valley, the technology-rich region extending from the San Francisco Peninsula to the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains. Redwood City is the third largest city within the County of San Mateo, with 82,881 residents. The city enjoys an average of 255 sunny days a year, which it boasts via the city slogan: "Climate Best by Government Test". Incorporated in 1867, Redwood City is home to the San Mateo County History Museum (located in the county's old courthouse) and the only active deep water port within the south bay of San Francisco. The city's vibrant downtown, quickly becoming known as the entertainment hub of the San Francisco Peninsula, offers residents, visitors, and businesses a unique retail, entertainment, and restaurant experience. For more information, visit the City of Redwood City's website, or follow @RedwoodCity on Twitter and

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