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Earn Your High School Diploma at Your Library

The County of Los Angeles Public Library is offering adults aged 19 and older the opportunity to earn an accredited high school diploma and career certificate online through Career Online High School.

Fulfill your dream and advance your career, prepare for workforce entry or continue your education by applying today. We have a limited number of seats available for individuals living in the Los Angeles County service area.

Applicants who successfully complete an online self-assessment and prerequisite course, followed by an in-person interview will be considered for admission.

Once enrolled, COHS pairs each student with an online academic coach, who provides the student with an individual career path, offers ongoing guidance, evaluates performance and connects the student with the resources needed to master the courses. Students will be given up to 18 months to complete the program.

Get started here!

How it Works

Step One
Take the online assessment to determine that you meet the basic requirements of the program.
Step Two
Complete a prerequisite course in two weeks or less.
Step Three
Participate in an interview with library staff.
Step Four
Congratulations! You are admitted to the full program and can begin your next course!

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is Career Online High School?
Career Online High School (COHS) is an online high school diploma and career certification program available through the County of Los Angeles Public Library. This program offers free enrollment to a limited number of qualified adult students.
Who can apply to COHS?
Adult residents living within the Los Angeles County service area who are at least 19-years-old, have successfully completed 8th grade and wish to earn their high school diploma. Minors should pursue their high school education through existing high school programs.
Program applicants must have a library card or be willing to apply for a library card. You can apply for a library card at any County Library. Click here for more information on applying for a library card.
Will COHS students receive their GED?
No. This is not a GED (General Educational Development) program. Successful graduates will earn a high school diploma and a career certification through an accredited high school.
What is the difference between a GED and high school diploma?
While both the GED and the high school diploma are important, there are several differences between them: among the most significant is the fact that some colleges, institutions, and organizations require a high school diploma and may not accept the GED. In addition to providing a high school diploma, COHS gives students the benefit of earning a career certificate and completing additional job preparation documents and training.
What type of career certification will be offered?
Through COHS, students may earn a certificate in the following areas:
Childcare and Education
Certified Protection Officer (Security Officer)
Office Management
Certified Transportation Services (Trucker/Commercial Driver)
Homeland Security
General Career Preparation
Retail Customer Service Skills
Food Service and Customer Service Skills
If I choose a major like child care, how will I train to work with children?
While we provide you with all of the coursework you need to qualify for a childcare certification, you will need to find a local agency in your community to fulfill the hands-on training hours required.
What is the career portfolio?
To arm you with the tools you need to find a job, we will teach you to create essential documents, such as your resume and a cover letter. All students must complete this.
Is all coursework web-based?
What device(s) can I use to access my coursework?
You must use a desktop or laptop. A smart phone, tablet or iPad will not support the learning management system.
Is all coursework in English?
Yes. At this time, all coursework is available in English only.
Will I need to purchase textbooks?
No, you will not; however, the Language Arts classes may require novels, which you can check out of the library.
How long will it take for students to complete the program?
Students will be given up to 18 months to complete the program, which will consist of 18 credits. Students accepted into the program may transfer up to 14 credits from their former high school. Depending on how many credits the student is able to transfer, the program can be completed in as few as five months.
What is the history of COHS?
COHS began in 2011 and was fully accredited as of February 2012. Since February 2012, 1953 students have enrolled in the program with a retention rate of 66%.
Is COHS accredited?
Career Online High School is fully accredited as an online school district by the AdvancED Accreditation Commission, the national commission that confers the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Council on Accreditation and School Improvement (SACS CASI) accreditation seal. This means that the SHCOE district and all of its schools are accredited, and that Smart Horizons Career Online Education is recognized across the nation as a quality school system, delivering a SACS accredited online high school diploma.
Students and community members can learn more about the district accreditation process at
Will my local community colleges and universities accept a Career Online High School diploma?
The prevalence of online “diploma mills” and counterfeit degrees has unfortunately created some skepticism around the legitimacy of diplomas from online institutions. Career Online High School is NOT a diploma mill. Career Online High School is accredited by the AdvancED Accreditation Commission, the national commission that confers the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Council on Accreditation and School Improvement (SACS CASI) accreditation seal. While Career Online High School itself is a new institution and may not immediately be familiar by name, it is easy to demonstrate that the school is recognized across the nation as a quality school system, delivering a SACS accredited online high school diploma. It is important to understand that a high school diploma alone (from any type of accredited high school), is not enough to guarantee a student admission into a college or university, as each postsecondary institution has its own minimum standards including admissions exams, standardized test scores and other criteria.
What if I need help with the admissions process following graduation?
Career Online High School is committed to the success of its graduates as they advance into the workplace or postsecondary education and training. Any alumni of the COHS program who has questions about their transcripts or meeting college admissions requirements may call 1-888-408-5783 or email for support.
Is COHS staff credentialed? When are they available to assist students?
Yes, all COHS instructors are state certified. Most of the academic coaches and academic instructors are located in Florida. Office hours are 8 am to 5 pm Central Time; however, coaches have evening hours twice a week and the hours will likely be expanded. Staff is not exclusively assigned to a specific library. The COHS academic coach will welcome the student initially and then reach out to all students at least once every two weeks – and more often for students needing additional assistance.
Does the Library offer other resources for education and job preparation?
The library is committed to helping people meet their education and job preparation needs. The library encourages you to visit our website or your local library and speak to the staff to help you find a local agency or resource that will best fit your needs.
How do I get started?
Complete an online self-assessment. After you have successfully finished the self-assessment, you will be invited to take the two-week prerequisite course. Upon successful completion of the course, you will be contacted by the library within 7 business days to schedule an interview and discuss your application into the program.