Local Residents Are First to Earn High School Diploma Through Innovative Program

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San Francisco Public Library offers accredited diplomas and career certificates to residents through Career Online High School

Kevin Surles, Vinh Tran and Hassan Basbassi are the first San Francisco residents to earn high school diplomas through the Career Online High School program at the San Francisco Public Library.  The library partnered with Gale, a leading provider of library resources and a Cengage company, in 2015 to offer the innovative program in an effort to help the city’s 94,000 adults who lack a high school diploma.

Last weekend, the Library celebrated the first graduates with staff, family and friends in the San Francisco Public Library’s Learning Studio.  “The Library’s Career Online High School program is a great opportunity for individuals seeking a second chance,” said City Librarian, Luis Herrera. “We are impressed by the diversity of the graduates and their drive to improve their lives; all three graduates, upon entering the program, were fully committed to making a better place for themselves, their families and their communities and we are honored to assist these individuals on their roads to success.”  

San Francisco Public Library awards scholarships for Career Online High School to qualified learners looking to earn a high school diploma and advance their careers. Once enrolled, Career Online High School pairs each student 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 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. Students are able to graduate in as few as six months by transferring in previously earned high school credits but are given up to 18 months to complete the program. 

Hassan and Vinh both majored in Homeland Security, while Kevin majored in Office Management.  “Kevin, Vinh and Hassan’s achievements are a great example of the direct social and economic impact libraries have on their communities, and Gale is proud to partner with them to make it happen,” said Paul Gazzolo, senior vice president and general manager at Gale. 

Residents can learn more about Career Online High School at the San Francisco Public Library, or by visiting the library’s website at sfpl.org.