PITTSBURGH, Oct. 14, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Garfield Jubilee Association, 3Rivers Workforce Investment Board, the City of Pittsburgh and Cengage Learning are collaborating to connect Pittsburgh's out-of-school youth with career credentials and accredited high school diplomas, the organizations announced today. The 3Rivers Workforce Investment Board is funding the pilot initiative, which will be offered at the Garfield Jubilee Association, a national YouthBuild affiliate.
The program, Cengage Learning's Career Online High School, is offered through Smart Horizons Career Online Education (SHCOE), the world's first AdvancED/SACS accredited private online school district.
"The University of Pittsburgh is pleased to help bring this program to life, and we're especially grateful to the 3Rivers Workforce Investment Board for funding it," stated Dr. Alan Lesgold, Dean of Education, University of Pittsburgh. "The program combines strong community-based action by Garfield Jubilee with some recent work at our university on motivation, and the major contributions of our own alumnus, Dr. Richard Goldman, the founder of Smart Horizons."
"As the leader of the area's public workforce system, 3Rivers Workforce Investment Board always seeks to bring new and innovative ways to connect people to opportunity. SHCOE works systemically with key partners to offer more young people the opportunity to earn a high school diploma," said Stefani Pashman, CEO, 3Rivers Workforce Investment Board. "By combining studies with the occupational skills training offered by YouthBuild, we are giving youth the solid foundation they need to build brighter careers and futures."
Garfield Jubilee Association will offer Career Online High School as part of its YouthBuild program, which is considered one of the strongest programs of its kind in western Pennsylvania. Garfield's YouthBuild provides disadvantaged youth 18 to 24 years of age with educational and academic enrichment programs, post-secondary education and resources and workforce development programs. Garfield expects to enroll 70 students initially in the program and will be tracking students' success as part of a citywide collective impact initiative.
"Coupling the YouthBuild model with Smart Horizons, a program that has already seen successes nationwide, connects our out-of-school youth with sustainable career and educational opportunities. We must continue to build pipelines such as this one for all youth in our region," said City of Pittsburgh Mayor William Peduto.
"This program represents a great collaboration of organizations working together to help make the lives of Pittsburgh residents brighter," said Joann Monroe, Executive Director of Garfield Jubilee Association. "The Career Online High School represents exactly the kind of opportunity we want to offer as part of both our YouthBuild program and our overall mission at Garfield Jubilee to develop programs and activities that benefit and stabilize the welfare of low-to-moderate income families."
The Career Online High School is specifically designed to reengage older youths into the education system and prepare them for entry into post-secondary career education or the workforce. Classes are supported by certified instructors and coaches; students have 24/7 access to the online learning platform. Students begin coursework 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.
"Smart Horizons is proud to team with Garfield Jubilee and the 3Rivers Workforce Investment Board to help change the lives of Pittsburgh residents through education," said Dr. Richard Goldman, founder of Smart Horizons Career Online Education. "It's gratifying to work with such a well-respected group of organizations and we are especially grateful to Dr. Lesgold at the University of Pittsburgh for his support of this project."
About Smart Horizons Career Online Education
Smart Horizons Career Online Education, founded in 2009 and located in Pensacola, Florida, is a private, AdvancED/SACS accredited online school district. AdvancED/SACS District accreditation signifies that SHCOE and all of its schools are fully accredited and that SHCOE is recognized across the nation as a quality school system. Smart Horizons Career Online Education offers 18-credit, career-based high school diploma programs that are designed to prepare students for entrance into the workplace. Career certificate offerings include Childcare Education, Office Management, Protection Services, Homeland Security, Transportation Services, Professional Skills, Retail Customer Service Skills, and Food & Customer Service Skills.
About Cengage Learning
Cengage Learning is a leading educational content, technology and services company for the higher education and K-12, professional and library markets worldwide. The company provides superior content, personalized services and course-driven digital solutions that accelerate student engagement and transform the learning experience. Cengage Learning is headquartered in Boston, MA with an office hub located in San Francisco, CA. Cengage Learning employees reside in nearly 40 different countries with company sales in more than 125 countries around the world. www.cengage.com.
SOURCE Smart Horizons Career Online Education