Friday, July 2nd, was a big day for The Matrix Career Online High School Diploma graduates, who decided to achieve their high school diploma later in life, as adults. However, it was also a big day for the program itself, which celebrated its final round of graduates due to a lack of funding.
Ron Norwood, Career Coach at The Matrix Center, saw the program from start to finish, when it began soon after he was hired in February 2019. In partnership with ED2GO, which provides online courses and training for a large variety of workforce skills and academic degrees, Matrix was able to bring this program to adults who never achieved their high school diploma. The diploma is also distinct from a GED, making it no different than graduating from high school.
Often, the reason why graduates didn’t achieve their degrees while in school is due to life circumstances. However, one major advantage of the program was that it was held entirely online and could be done at a pace that works for each person. This became particularly beneficial during the COVID-19 pandemic when many people were laid off or working from home. A drive-by graduation was even held for graduates in August of 2020.
Ron Norwood is sad to see the program go,
“I’m saddened that so many people are in need and want to obtain their high school diploma but there isn’t many options and many residents lack personal funds to finance their education. But it has been an honor to give back and serve my community. Seeing the smiles and motivation that it has sparked in a person or family is the ultimate reward.”
At the start of 2019 when the program began, 50 interested adults enrolled. Since funding could only guarantee a handful of graduates per cohort, a total of 32 graduates have completed the program, including the final graduating class of 2021.
Mr. Norwood continues to receive requests from interested adults wanting to achieve their high school diploma online through the program but unfortunately, he has had to turn them away.
“I actually got a call yesterday from a woman inquiring about the program, but I had to refer her to Wayne County Community College, which in fact does not offer the same program. The reason why we get so much interest in the program is because parents don’t have to drive or even leave their house, which means they don’t need to get child care or take time off of work. It’s really a win-win all around for these adults who just want to have a high school degree so they can find better opportunities in the job market.” – Ron Norwood, Career Coach at The Matrix Center
Graduate Chanelle Harris describes how the program has helped her