TAVARES —Crystal Siblag, 31, of Leesburg, was one of the first students statewide to enter the Career Online High School (COHS) pilot program offered by the Lake County Library System earlier this year. Next week, Siblag will receive the honor of addressing the inaugural Lake County COHS Class of 2016 during their graduation.
The ceremony, in which six students will be awarded their diplomas, takes place at 9 a.m. on Monday, Oct. 10 at the Lake County Extension Center, located at 1951 Woodlea Road, Tavares. Lake County Commissioner Leslie Campione, liaison to the Library Advisory Board, and Amy Johnson, director of the Division of Library and Information Services for the Florida Department of State, will present congratulatory remarks.
Providing a unique opportunity for some of the 13 percent of Lake County adults without high school diplomas, Lake County partnered in December 2015 with Gale, a leading provider of library resources, to offer the innovative program which allows students to earn a Southern Association of Colleges and Schools-accredited high school diploma. Once enrolled, COHS 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.
Each student also earns a career certificate in one of eight career fields. Siblag said her COHS degree will allow her to further her education and eventually begin a career in health services.
Thus far, the Florida Division of Library and Information Services has provided Lake County 82 scholarships for the program, valued at $106,190, with seven total graduates thus far.
Residents can learn more about Career Online High School at one of the 15 Lake County libraries or by visiting http://mylakelibrary.org/cohs. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 352-253-6180.