HOLYROOD — A new program aimed at the 10% of Kansas adults who do not have a high school diploma is launching in the Sunflower State.

The Central Plains Diploma Completion Program is completely online and free to Kansans across the state who are over the age of 20 and have completed at least some of the 10th grade. The program is hosted by Central Plains Unified School District 112 in conjunction with online education company Graduation Alliance.

"Historically, dropout recovery efforts across the nation have been targeted at teenagers," said Greg Harp, chief development officer for Graduation Alliance, which is facilitating the program. "But working-age adults who could benefit from a pathway to a high school diploma have been left out. This new program is a way of saying ‘you matter and you haven’t been forgotten.’ "

About 200,000 working-age adults in Kansas do not have a high school diploma, a factor that often limits their opportunities to find a job and their chances of promotion if they have a job. These obstacles are further compounded during times of high unemployment, such as the situation facing Kansas and other states as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Even if you have a job and it hasn’t been affected yet, or if you don’t have a high school diploma, this is the right time to finish what you started," said Greg Clark, superintendent of USD 112. "A diploma is added insurance against economic hardship and, of course, the pathway to additional education, training and career opportunities, which brings even more protection in tough times."

Individuals who are interested in taking the next step in earning their diploma may visit KansasDiploma.com for more information.