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Maryland Accepting Proposals to Establish Adult High Schools

Joint Program Provides Adult Learners with Alternative Pathways to a High School Diploma

BALTIMORE (Sept. 10, 2018) - The Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation today announced the Adult High School Pilot Program is now accepting proposals for pilot operators. Maryland-registered, private non-profit organizations with experience and success providing adult education and workforce development, appropriately trained instructional personnel, funding, and financial stability are encouraged to submit their proposals to establish adult high schools throughout Maryland. Applicants interested in applying must submit their Notice of Intent to Apply by September 19, 2018. Final proposals are due January 11, 2019.

The Adult High School Pilot Program establishes an alternative pathway for adults who did not graduate from high school to earn a high school diploma in an environment that meets the needs of the adult learner. Students may potentially earn post-secondary credits and/or an industry-recognized certification while completing their secondary education requirements. The program is a joint initiative between the Maryland Department of Labor and the Maryland State Department of Education.

“A Maryland high school diploma is a vital credential for adults seeking to obtain and retain employment or enter postsecondary education or training,” said Labor Secretary Kelly M. Schulz. “This program strengthens our workforce and provides our workers with more opportunities for growth and advancement.”

The Adult High School Pilot Program considers the holistic needs of learners by creating a pathway to a high school diploma, coupled with career training or postsecondary education and support services. The program encourages mobility for Marylanders by addressing the needs of adult learners and improving their quality of life by providing academic services based on Maryland’s high school graduation requirements, industry recognized credentialing opportunities, postsecondary education and training opportunities, and individualized services that address challenges impeding the learner’s pathway to achievement.

In the first round of solicitations earlier this year, Goodwill Industries was approved as the first organization to open an adult high school under the pilot program. The Baltimore City-based school, slated to open in early 2019, will provide students with individual learning plans based on their unique interests and abilities. This innovative model will support learners as they pursue a high school diploma and begin post-secondary education, and then place those learners on career paths that offer employment and growth opportunities.

“The adult high school concept is an exciting option for these participants to earn a Maryland high school diploma by taking required courses aligned to the Maryland College and Career-Ready Standards,” said State Superintendent of Schools Dr. Karen B. Salmon. “We value this partnership with the Department of Labor, and look forward to reviewing the customized curriculum, training, and wraparound services designed by non-profits for adult learners in our state.”

As a pilot operator, providers will offer academic services to adult learners based on the Maryland graduation requirements for public high schools, which are aligned with the Maryland College and Career-Ready Standards. Students will earn credit to meet high school diploma credit requirements. In addition to the academic component, the pilot operator will address the college and career-ready component by providing training in in-demand industries and opportunities for students to enroll in postsecondary education classes. Submitting a proposal to open an adult high school and receiving approval by the state to do so allows the pilot operator to offer the aforementioned services along with additional services that meet the needs of the learners.

Private non-profit organizations interested in applying to become a program operator must submit a detailed proposal, including a three-year budget. Refer to the Solicitation for Proposals for the complete description of eligibility.

Find more information about the Adult High School Pilot Program and for a link to the Solicitation for Proposals.

About the Maryland Department of Labor
The Maryland Department of Labor is committed to safeguarding and protecting Marylanders. We're proud to support the economic stability of the state by providing businesses, the workforce, and the consuming public with high-quality, customer-focused regulatory, employment, and training services. For updates and information, follow the Maryland Department of Labor on Twitter (@MD_Labor), Facebook and visit our website.

About the Maryland State Department of Education
The Maryland State Department of Education is dedicated to supporting a world-class educational system that prepares all students for college and career success in the 21st century. With excellent stewardship from our divisions, we oversee state and federal programs that support the needs of a diverse population – students, teachers, principals, and other educators – throughout Maryland. For updates and information, follow MSDE on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, and visit our website.

Theresa Blaner
Director, Communications and Media Relations
410-230-6241 (office)
443-721-8637 (cell)