JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. –Over 455,000 Missourians left high school without earning a diploma. Now, through a new program from the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, those adults will have the opportunity to finish high school 100% online and at no cost through the Missouri Workforce Diploma Program.
Graduation Alliance has been selected as an adult high school diploma provider, made possible with the passage of SB718 by the 101st Missouri General Assembly. This program offers Missouri adults aged 21 and older the opportunity to earn their diploma for free while completing their coursework online, when and where it works best for them. Adult students will also receive support from teachers, 24/7 tutors, and a personal Academic Coach who monitors pace and progress.
“Going back to high school as an adult is challenging for a myriad of reasons,” Graduation Alliance CEO Ron Klausner said. “Our goal is to remove as many barriers to graduation as possible and give students access to a high-quality education with a robust support system made up of people who understand the unique challenges of adult learners.”
Graduation Alliance is accredited by Cognia, and successful graduates will receive an accredited traditional high school diploma that will be accepted by employers, colleges and universities, and the U.S. military. Adult students also have the opportunity to earn career certifications to further their education and build employability skills while earning their high school diploma.
“A high school diploma is a terrific milestone, but not the final destination,” Klausner said. “By providing students with opportunities to earn a credential simultaneous to their diploma, they will graduate with more confidence and preparedness for the workforce.”
Graduation Alliance provides workforce diploma programs in several states and is positioned to make a positive impact on Missouri adults living without a high school diploma. Nearly a quarter (24.7%) of adults over 25 without a high school diploma were living in poverty in 2020 — the largest group of people in poverty by educational attainment — according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
“Based on survey data collected six to nine months after program completion, 76% of our graduates have access to new or better jobs or promotions,” Klausner said. “They also reported wage increases, better opportunities for continuing education, and increased access to employer-sponsored healthcare. Graduation Alliance workforce diploma programs have a track record of improving students’ lives and the communities they live in.”
To qualify, you must be 21 years of age or older, be a Missouri resident, have access to a computer and the internet, and have not completed a GED or another high school equivalency. For more information and to sign up, visit MissouriDiploma.com.