“Walmart was the first retailer to provide Career Online High School to employees and is continuing to lead by expanding the program to family members,” said Jonathan Lau, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Skills Group, Cengage “Providing free access to the program for eligible family members of associates is a testament to the success and impact the COHS program has had and to their commitment to workforce development.”

“Walmart believes education opens doors,” said Brian Poland, Director of Walmart Lifelong Learning & Talent Development. “Career Online High School allows associates to create additional opportunities while working at Walmart, and we’re excited to provide these educational offerings to their eligible family members as well.”

Walmart’s Lifelong Learning program provides associates access to no-cost or low-cost education programs including ESL, high school, career certificates, and the most comprehensive college credit for prior learning program in the country. The COHS program is part of Walmart’s overall upskilling strategy that integrates training, education, and workforce development efforts to create opportunity for associates and their families.

In addition to an accredited high school diploma, program graduates earn a credentialed career certificate in one of eight high-growth, high-demand career fields (across a wide spectrum, from retail and customer service to certified transportation), further positioning them for success in the workforce.

Students have up to 18 months to complete their courses and may be able to complete the program in as few as six months by transferring previously earned high school credits. Once enrolled, the Walmart Lifelong Learning COHS program pairs each student with an academic coach, who assists with developing an individual career plan, offers ongoing guidance and encouragement, evaluates performance, and connects the learner with the resources needed to demonstrate mastery of the course material. Classes are supported by board-certified instructors and students have 24/7 access to the online learning platform.

COHS was created in 2012 by ed2go, a Cengage company, and Smart Horizons Career Online Education to provide affordable, career-based online education opportunities for the millions of adults in the United States without high school diplomas. Smart Horizons has full academic accreditation through the AdvancED Accreditation Commission, the same commission that represents 27,000 public and private schools and districts across the U.S. and in 65 countries worldwide.

The article first appeared in yahoo.com