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UPDATE: New Jersey State Library’s Department of Labor Literacy Innovations Grant Application

 

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This is the grant which will award scholarships to Career Online High School to 125 New Jersey residents through selected libraries. If the project fulfills its objectives, it could increase the state’s capacity to assist residents who have not been successful in a traditional high school environment, acting as a potential second chance system. We are following the model begun by the Los Angeles Public Library. LAPL is going to be recognized by the Clinton Global Initiative for this program at CGI’s gathering in Denver, CO, this summer. Sacramento Public Library has recently signed on with COHS. We are proud to announce that New Jersey will be the first to offer this program on a state level. Typical graduates of this program will either proceed directly into the workforce or go on to further education at a college, trade, or vocational school. McDonald’s and Taco Bell are investing in this program and are offering it to their employees.

Important reminders about the grant:

  • The deadline to apply is July 11, 2014.  Application materials and a description of the grant are available at: www.www.njstatelib.org
  • Please note that all size public libraries are invited to apply.  We suggest a minimum of 10 students be enrolled in the COHS program at your library.
  • Reminder – to be eligible for this program and to be able to enter the rigorous pre-screening process, students must be at least 19 years of age and must have completed at least one year of high school.
  • Qualified applicants are not required to be U.S. citizens.****Career Online High School will accept out of country high school transcripts from students for the program. To get credit towards their COHS diploma, the enrolling student must have their transcripts evaluated by a NACES member evaluation agency. Please note that all evaluation fees are the sole responsibility of the student and not part of the New Jersey State Library’s Department of Labor Literacy Innovations Grant Award. See attached for the list of qualified evaluation agencies the student may contact.
  • Any questions?  Contact Peggy Cadigan, Deputy State Librarian for Innovation & Outreach, New Jersey State Library.  609-278-2640, X113 or pcadigan@www.njstatelib.org.

Career Online High School is fully accredited by AdvancED/SACS. AdvancEd is the national commission that confers the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Council on Accreditation and School Improvement (SACS CASI) accreditation seal for secondary education.   Learn more about the District Accreditation Process at  http://www.advanc-ed.org/.

As a point of information, the New Jersey Department of Education does not formally recognize or endorse any online high school diplomas. However, AdvancED is the accrediting agency for 13 parochial schools in New Jersey including schools in the Dioceses of Paterson and Metuchen, and for some schools in the Diocese of Trenton. In addition, the colleges listed below already accept COHS as an accredited diploma for enrollment and have the program available to students (for a fee).

  • Atlantic Cape Community College, Brookdale Community College, Burlington County College, Camden County College, County College of Morris, Gloucester County College, Hudson Community College, Mercer County Community College, Middlesex County College, Passaic County Community College, Rutgers – reviews transcripts on a case-by-case basis, Sussex County Community College, Union College, Union County College, Warren County Community College

 New Jersey State Library Literacy Innovations Grant 2014 – 2015

  • Project Documents
  • Overview
  • Introduction and Project Rationale
  • Project Description – Timeline; Funding; Eligibility, Application and Contract Award

If you have questions about the program or grant application, please contact Peggy Cadigan, 609-278-2640, x113, pcadigan@www.njstatelib.org.

“I spent three days a week for 10 years educating myself in the public library, and it’s better than college. People should educate themselves – you can get a complete education for no money. At the end of 10 years, I had read every book in the library and I’d written a thousand stories.” – Ray Bradbury

 


Project Documents

The NJSL Literacy Innovations Grant Project Application Packet  is a Word document attachment to this page. 


Overview

Goal: Continue to showcase New Jersey libraries as community anchors. Expand New Jersey library horizons with service models that transcend traditional roles.

Objectives: Offer access to Career Online High School to a minimum of two New Jersey public libraries that demonstrate a need for this program in their community.

Measures of Success:

  • Two or more New Jersey public libraries will award high school diplomas to 100 students.
  • Contract libraries promote and document this program

 


Introduction and Project Rationale

womanchilddiplomaNew Jersey State Library is proud to announce our Department of Labor Literacy Innovations Grant 2014-2015 The New Jersey State Library is launching a groundbreaking program through Career Online High School to help address New Jersey’s high school dropout crisis. New Jersey has over one million residents lacking a high school diploma, which translates into approximately 12% of the state’s population. People lacking a high school diploma are more likely to be unemployed, impoverished, and incarcerated – and are estimated to cost taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars nationwide in lost earnings, welfare and medical costs.

A well-educated and well-trained workforce will enable New Jersey’s employers to compete in the global market. To address this critical need, the New Jersey State Library has contracted with a leading provider of educational content, tools and services to libraries, schools and businesses to offer Career Online High School (COHS), part of the world’s first accredited, private online school district. COHS is fully accredited in the state of New Jersey and is specifically designed to reengage adults into the education system and prepare them for entry into post-secondary education or the workforce.

This program builds upon a rich history of literacy efforts in libraries including services to new Americans, ESL, and citizenship education. Our proposed Literacy Innovations project is the latest step in the transformation of public libraries in the digital age as they move to establish themselves beyond just being a repository of books to a full-fledged community resource.

Through the NJSL Literacy Innovations program an individual will be able to earn a high school diploma completely online through a career-focused process. Learning and literacy will be accessible to students in a non-traditional, online environment, allowing them to take classes remotely or at their local public library. Adult students will have the ability to select a career pathway and gain career skills in high-demand job disciplines. Upon completion of the program, these students will be able to combine literacy skills with occupational skills.

 


 If we receive the grant, what are the expectations for our library?

  • NJSL will fund the entire cost of the scholarships available through Career Online High School.
  • NJSL will help subsidize the cost of a graduation ceremony to be held in your library.
  • NJSL will give selected libraries a limited number of laptop computers to be used by program participants.
  • NJSL and Gale Cengage Learning will help with student recruitment and the provision of marketing materials, but the library will be responsible for developing a local outreach plan.

The most critical component for the success of the project is the library’s willingness to appoint a staff member to administer the program. This person will be responsible for helping to recruit potential students, engaging with the students and monitoring the students’ progress.

But don’t panic! The students will be assigned an academic coach by Career Online High School. The library staff member is not responsible for academic assessments or performance evaluation. The library staff member’s chief role is to recruit and encourage participants and monitor their progress.


 Project Description

Career Online High School offers students the opportunity to earn an accredited high school diploma while learning real-world career skills. This is a product offered through Gale Cengage Learning. Part of the world’s first accredited, private online school district, Career Online High School is specifically designed to reengage adults into the education system and prepare them for entry into post-secondary education or the workforce. Note – this is NOT a GED program.  Successful graduates will earn a high school diploma and a career certification through an accredited high school.

Through a competitive process, New Jersey public libraries will be selected to host this program for members of their local communities. This represents the first effort in New Jersey to offer high school diplomas through public libraries and the first such state level endeavor in the nation. This program builds upon a rich history of literacy efforts in libraries including services to new Americans, ESL, and citizenship education, and is the latest step in the transformation of public libraries in the digital age as they move to establish themselves beyond being solely a repository of books to a full-fledged community resource.

Through the NJSL Literacy Innovations Program an individual will be able to earn a high school diploma completely online through a career-focused process. Learning and literacy will be accessible to students in a non-traditional, online environment, allowing them to take classes remotely or at their local public library. Adult students will have the ability to select a career pathway and gain career skills in high-demand job disciplines. Upon completion of the program, these students will be able to combine literacy skills with occupational skills.

For more detailed information: http://www.careeronlinehs.gale.com/

To review the achieved WebEx recorded on May 22, 2014 at 11:00 am: https://cengage.webex.com/cengage/lsr.php?RCID=ab8da282b1297ef6b824107894283fd1


  Project Timeline

  • Gale Cengage Webinar (program overview):May 22, 2014
  • Application posts online: May 22, 2014
  • Application deadline: July 11, 2014
  • Evaluation period: July 14 – July 18, 2014
  • Award notification date: No later than July 24, 2014
  • Orientation / Project launch: September 8, 2014
  • Implementation deadline: June 30, 2015
  • Participant project report date: September 3, 2015

Funding

The New Jersey State Library received a Literacy Innovations grant from the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development through the Federal Workforce Investment Act. This funding will be used to purchase access to the Career Online High School database and scholarship seats will be awarded to the libraries selected through this competitive process, granting said libraries access for a limited number of participants.


Eligibility, Application, contract Award and Subsidy Process

Eligibility:

  • New Jersey public libraries in good standing are eligible to apply.
  • Students must have completed at least one year of high school in order to participate.

Application Process:

  • Applications not received by the deadline will not be considered.
  • Each application will be reviewed for required elements. Incomplete applications will be deemed ineligible.
  • The evaluation process for all accumulated applications will begin after the deadline date.
  • A New Jersey State Library Task Force will evaluate all eligible applications.
  • Libraries that apply agree to submit final project reports to the New Jersey State Library no later than September 3, 2015.
  • Participating libraries must agree that the New Jersey State Library can share their report data with the New Jersey library community and the library community outside the state, and selected media venues.
  • The Project Timeline details all the application process dates.

Contract Award Process:

The criteria for receiving a contract award include:

  • Applicant fulfills application process and signed contract award agreement if so offered.
  • Applicant partners with a local institution(s) or organization(s) i.e. Literacy Volunteers of America. This is not required but is encouraged.
  • Applicant describes current staff knowledge/capacity & interest, including approaches to staff training, staff scheduling, and programmatic scheduling.
  • Task Force evaluation will use a rubric which lists required elements and has point differentiations for the responses from applicants. Each of the following categories will be ranked in the range from 1 to 10, where the project application requirements are: not met (0), partially met (1-6), fully met (7) and exceeded (8-10).
  1. Application Certification
  2. Overall project description depth and clarity; evidence of community input toward project
  3. Description of potential partner(s) – not required but encouraged
  4. Governance: Roles & responsibilities, who will own project?
  5. Objectives: What will the project achieve?
  6. Stakeholders: Which ones and their interests will be served by the project? Who will make use of the product/service and how, who will be the suppliers?
  7. Overview of implementation timeline
  8. Actions and activities (in detail)
  9. Description of marketing strategy and public relations plan
  10. Measures of success (benefits, measurable, clear, simple, actionable)
  11. Professional development required (if any)
  12. Resources, technological or facilities requirements
  13. Integration with other projects and programs
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