New Broward county programs provide new options for a high school diploma

Residents in Broward county seeking to complete their high school diplomas can now head to library, thanks to the new Career Online High school program, available throughout the county library system. The Broward program, which will offer high school degrees and career certifications, is one of 11 pilot projects being introduced by the state.

To participate in the program, an individual must be at least age 19, a resident of Broward County, a member of the Library system, and completed at least Grade 9 in high school. Participants must also take and pass courses in Math, English Social Studies, Science, and a career elective. The course takes approximately 18 months and is available online daily. Under the program, full scholarships valuing $1,300 will also be offered to 75 county residents to complete their diplomas.

In addition to the GED test, County librarian Matthew Union explained the pilot program will also provide career training electives in childcare and education, homeland security, transportation services, office management, retail customer service, food customer service, and general career preparation.

The new program means good news for Martha Champion, who operates an adult career center in Miami that offers GED course and tests. Champion says her program has seen a “significant increase, of over 300 percent,” in individuals seeking to pursue their GED. “Unlike other tests that can be taken online, the GED tests cannot. This has created a choke in the high demand for the certificate.”

Although 22-year-old Canute Smelly obtained his GED last May, he says he is most interested in the career-focused component of the online program.

“I now have the GED, but I don’t have a career,” Smelly said. “I want to be an airport security officer, but need training. I would love to get into this new program and improve my qualifications.”

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