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SER National Partners with ed2go and Smart Horizons Career Online Education on Clinton Global Initiative "Commitment to Action"

SER National to provide scholarships to Career Online High School to combat the dropout rate among underserved populations in the communities it serves across the country.

PENSACOLA, Fla., March 18, 2014 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- National non-profit corporation SER National has announced that it will join Smart Horizons Career Online Education and ed2go's Commitment to Action through the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI). The Commitment to Action includes a scholarship-matching program that will benefit members of underserved populations served by SER National, enabling them to earn high school diplomas at the Career Online High School (COHS). Over time, SER National plans to make 100 total scholarships available through the commitment.

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"One of our major interests, our internal call to action, is to address the silent epidemic of high school dropouts in the United States, especially among minority communities and among males," said Ignacio Salazar, CEO for SER National. "The CGI commitment provides an opportunity to do this."

SER National began offering the COHS program in 2012 through its SER Career Academy. SER, which stands for "Service, Employment, Redevelopment," helps Hispanics and other underserved people achieve economic freedom and self-sufficiency through employment and education initiatives. SER National currently oversees a network of community-based organizations in more than 200 cities in 16 states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia. Within this extensive network, SER serves over 1.2 million people each year.

"COHS has worked very well for our clientele, especially within certain programs we sponsor," said Salazar. "Offering COHS has been another piece of the larger pie of programs we've launched that are geared toward a comprehensive approach to the problem of young people dropping out of school and falling off the map."

The Career Online High School provides affordable, career-based online education opportunities targeting the millions of people in the United States without high school diplomas. It is part of the world's first SACS accredited online school district, Smart Horizons Career Online Education, which founded the school in 2012 in partnership with ed2go, the nation's largest provider of turnkey online training and part of Cengage Learning. Students attending COHS earn both an accredited high school diploma and credentialed career certificate in one comprehensive program.

Smart Horizons Career Online Education and ed2go recently created a Commitment to Action through the Clinton Global Initiative, a nonprofit organization dedicated to finding innovative solutions to the world's most pressing challenges, including the national dropout crisis. As part of this agreement, Smart Horizons Career Online Education and ed2go have engaged both private and non-profit corporations to offer high school scholarships to combat the dropout (and jobless) rates within the communities they serve. Other organizations that have partnered on the Commitment to Action include Taco Bell, Brown Mackie College, the Los Angeles Public Library, Project Hope Alliance and Kinexus Workforce Development Organization.

"Through the Clinton Global Initiative Commitment to Action, we are now looking to offer additional scholarships to enable more people to go through COHS and earn their diplomas and career certificates," said Salazar. "CGI helps get our efforts onto an international platform that increases visibility and the possibility of acquiring matching funds for scholarships. It's all part of our strategy to provide opportunities for the people we serve."

About SER National

Established in 1964, SER National is a private nonprofit corporation that helps Hispanics and other underserved people achieve economic freedom and self-sufficiency through employment, education and empowerment. SER National currently oversees a network of community-based organizations in more than 200 cities in 16 states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia. Within this extensive network, SER serves over 1.2 million people each year. COHS has been offered through an online program called Ser Career Academy that is made available throughout the SER National network. For more information visit www.ser-national.org or call 469-549-3600.

About Smart Horizons Career Online Education

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 Education, Office Management, Protection Services, Homeland Security, Transportation Services, Professional Skills, 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

Media Contact: Dr. Howard Liebman, Smart Horizons Career Online Education, 855.777.4265, [email protected]

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