All photos provided by Tampa-Hillsborough County Public Library. The Hillsborough County Public Library Cooperative offers adult residents the opportunity to receive a high school diploma and career training in one of nine high-growth fields.

Adults who want to complete their high school education and gain career training can do so through the Hillsborough County Public Library Cooperative’s Career Online High School. This program is a self-paced, supportive and accredited online educational program.

The program offers nine career tracks: General, Food and Hospitality, Home Care Professional, Office Management, Child Care and Education, Retail Customer Service, Commercial Driving, Security Professional and Hospitality and Leisure.

According to Cheryl Wolfe, digital media and PR coordinator, “These tracks are offered as part of this online high school program in order to help students prepare for a career in one of these high-demand, high-growth fields.”

This program is unique in that it results in an accredited high school diploma and a certificate in a career field chosen from the program’s offerings, so it does not require a final test or the need to take the GED.

Wolfe explained, “The library is able to offer this program as a limited scholarship program to qualified adults. Program candidates are adult residents of Hillsborough County who are 19 years and older, have a library card and are able to dedicate approximately eight hours per week to complete the online coursework. Computer access is available at all library locations.”

This program was first offered with great success in 2018-2019. Thirty residents have completed the program and received their high school diploma thus far.

Wolfe said, “With Career Online High School, students can earn their high school diplomas through the library. Participants may be able to transfer GED and previously obtained high school credits into the Career Online High School program.”

Program participants can earn an accredited high school diploma in less than 18 months. At the end of the program, students will have a portfolio including a resume, cover letter and job preparation support.

Wolfe said, “The Career Online High School program is great because there is an academic coach. During the program, participants earn a career certificate and put together a portfolio while gaining real-world career training through a flexible, supportive online education program.”

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