Retail giant Wal-Mart announced it is extending the benefits for its continuous education and career development program to associates’ family members as well.
Through the Career Online High School program, driven by a partnership between Bentonville, Arkansas-based Wal-Mart and Cengage Learning, an educational content, technology and services company, associates can earn an accredited high school diploma and pursue a credentialed career certificate in a high-demand area at no personal cost. The program is part of a larger Wal-Mart initiative to upskill and retain workers by engaging them with low- to no-cost education, training and development.
COHS was created in 2012 by Cengage Learning and Smart Horizons Career Online Education to give U.S. adults without high school diplomas the opportunity to earn one online. For Wal-Mart’s Lifelong Learning COHS program, students are paired with an academic coach to help them with career planning, connect them to helpful resources and serve as a mentor. Courses are taught by board-certified instructors, and students have up to 18 months to complete them.
Expanding the COHS program to Wal-Mart associates’ eligible family members is part of Cengage’s vision that access should be available to anyone interested in re-engaging in education, wrote Jonathan Lau, senior vice president and general manager for Cengage Learning’s Skills Group. “Expanding the COHS program to family members is an extension of their community engagement efforts. Education builds confidence and we’re excited empower so many more people with this program.”
Since Wal-Mart announced its partnership with Cengage Learning in 2016, 200 associates have received their high school diploma through COHS. Another 400 students are enrolled in the program.
Bravetta Hassell is a Chief Learning Officer associate editor. Comment below, or email editor@CLOmedia.com.