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  • Press Release

State Library of North Carolina Offers Free Accredited High School Diploma

The State Library of North Carolina is offering opportunity youth living in Halifax, Hertford, Northampton and Wayne counties scholarships to earn a high school diploma through Gale Presents: Excel Adult High School. The program, provided to public libraries by Gale, part of Cengage Group, is designed to help adults obtain their high school diploma entirely online, as well as prepare them for college or the workplace and is a collaboration between the State Library of North Carolina and local public libraries in participating counties.

In North Carolina, one in nine youth aged 16-24 are considered opportunity youth and are disconnected from formal education and employment. These years represent a critical period in the transition to adulthood and youth who are cut off from school and employment lose access to needed social support and experiences that can help them build a path to the future. Excel Adult High School offers a unique environment for non-traditional learners to return to school, including a fully online experience, 24/7 tutoring, and a success coach. Offering this program in partnership with public libraries allows young adults to restart their education in a supportive environment and help move past challenges they may have encountered in the traditional school setting.

Additional features of the program include:

● The accredited high school diploma is accepted by colleges, employers, and the military (not an equivalency exam).

● The 21.5-credit curriculum is aligned to national standards. Learners can select from more than 100 core academic, elective, and college-level courses.

● There’s no cost to eligible students.

● The program is 100% online, with 24/7 access to courses.

● The schedule is flexible and self-paced — learners can finish in 24 months or less. Students can graduate sooner with transfer credits.

● Transfer credits are accepted from previous high school(s) and passed portions of the GED®, HiSet®, or TASC exams.

● Unlimited one-on-one tutoring sessions and support from success coaches is offered.

● Course translations and read-aloud tools for English language learners are available.

● Students can earn up to 21 free college credits through ACE (American Council on Education) courses.

● The counseling team can assist with course selection, college planning, and career guidance.

State Library staff will also work with local libraries to provide additional library programming and connect scholarship recipients to community organizations and resources. Graduation ceremonies will be held locally for graduates to celebrate their achievements with family and friends and community leaders.

Applications will be accepted starting Aug. 15 until all available scholarships have been awarded. Eligible North Carolinians can apply or learn more about Excel Adult High School in North Carolina by visiting:

This program was supported by grant funds from the Institute of Museum and Library Services under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) as administered by the State Library of North Carolina, a division of the NC Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (IMLS grant number LS-252476-OLS-22).

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