Cengage Learning’s ed2go and Smart Horizons Career Online Education Launch Clinton Global Initiative “Commitment to Action” to Re-Engage Youth and Young Adults in Education

First of its kind scholarship agreement to provide fully accredited high school diplomas and advanced degree career certificates to employees in retail, hospitality and food service sectors

Stamford, CT, August 14, 2013 – ed2go and Smart Horizons Career Online Education (SHCOE) today announced a Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) “Commitment to Action” to re-engage youth and young adults back into the educational system. Through a two-year commitment, ed2go and SHCOE will partner with companies in the retail and hospitality industry to provide employees  with an accredited  high school education via the Career Online High School. Through this first of its kind partnership and scholarship program, youth and young adults seeking to complete their education for further advancement in the workforce will have the opportunity to earn not just a high school diploma but also an advanced degree career certificate.

Launched in 2005 by former President Bill Clinton, CGI has established a growing network of global leaders dedicated to creating and implementing innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges.

“CGI is the perfect platform to help evolve the public discussion on how to support youth and young adults who are gated in their career pursuits because they lack high school diplomas and advanced degrees. At a time when millions of jobs are going unfilled because employers can’t find people with the right skills, we believe this innovative program can make a huge and lasting impact by not just offering the opportunity of a GED, but a fully accredited high school diploma and a career certificate,” said Ron Stefanski, Chief Business Development Officer at ed2go.

ed2go and SHCOE partnered in 2012 in an effort to provide affordable, career-based online education opportunities for the millions of adults in the United States without high school diplomas. Their partnership led to the establishment of Career Online High School , which offers students the opportunity to earn an accredited 18-credit high school diploma and credentialed career certificate in a single comprehensive online program. Career Online High School served over 2,500 students in its first year of operation.

“As part of our Commitment to Action, we have recently launched two new credentialed career certificate options for Career Online High School students—Retail Customer Service Skills and Food & Customer Service Skills. As we partner with major corporations, we have also developed a scholarship matching program,” explained Dr. Howard Liebman, SHCOE’s CEO and Superintendent of Schools. “Our initial goal is to enroll 200 to 400 new students who will be personally and professionally enriched by earning their high school diplomas and acquiring the real-world skills that lie at the heart of our new career-based certificates to support the retail and hospitality industries.”

“We have been overwhelmed by the excitement and enthusiasm among corporate partners in supporting our Commitment to Action with these two new certificate tracks,” said Ron Stefanski. “Clearly, socially responsible corporations are ready to take the lead in their efforts to solve the challenges of ‘strengthening the retail workforce,’ and ‘collaborating across the service sector’. Our relationship with an organization of CGI’s stature provides an unprecedented opportunity to move this work forward.”

Under the CGI Commitment to Action, the Career Online High School program will offer high school diplomas with “career certificates” in retail, hospitality and food service, and other key sectors commonly employing high school dropouts through scholarships with employers. Ed2go and SHCOE will train participating employers on program operations and provide them with marketing support, student access to the online learning environment and continuous reporting. Upon enrollment, students will be assigned an academic coach who will communicate with them proactively to maintain their active participation and engagement.

For more information on Career Online High School, please visit: http://www.careeronlinehs.org/

For more information or to read the CGI Commitment to Action, please visit: http://www.clintonglobalinitiative.org/commitments/commitments_search.asp?id=830506

About the Clinton Global Initiative

Established in 2005 by President Bill Clinton, the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), an initiative of Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation, convenes global leaders to create and implement innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges. CGI Annual Meetings have brought together more than 150 heads of state, 20 Nobel Prize laureates, and hundreds of leading CEOs, heads of foundations and NGOs, major philanthropists, and members of the media. To date CGI members have made more than 2,300 commitments, which are already improving the lives of more than 400 million people in over 180 countries. When fully funded and implemented, these commitments will be valued at $73.5 billion.

CGI also convenes CGI America, a meeting focused on collaborative solutions to economic recovery in the United States, and CGI University (CGI U), which brings together undergraduate and graduate students to address pressing challenges in their community or around the world, and, this year, CGI Latin America, which will bring together Latin American leaders to identify, harness, and strengthen ways to improve the livelihoods of people in Latin America and around the world. For more information, visit clintonglobalinitiative.org and follow us on Twitter @ClintonGlobal and Facebook at facebook.com/clintonglobalinitiative


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 and Education, Certified Protection Officer, Certified Transportation Services, Homeland Security, Office Management, Professional Skills, and Retail & Customer Service Skills, and Food & Customer Service Skills. For more information, visit our website at www.shcoe.org, call our office at 855-777-4265, or email us at [email protected]

About Cengage Learning and ed2go

Cengage Learning is a leading educational content, software and services company for the academic, professional and library markets worldwide.  ed2go, part of Cengage Learning, is the largest provider of turnkey online training and education solutions serving the adult education, career, and corporate training markets. With over 2,000 colleges, universities, community based organizations and other training providers, ed2go has served more than 2.5 million students. ed2go’s ever-growing catalog of Online Courses and Career Training Programs makes it simple for students to enrich their lives or reach professional goals in a supportive and engaging environment. ed2go also can help educational institutions jump-start their online education programs or augment existing distance learning options. For more information visit www.cengage.com or www.ed2go.com.