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Adult Education

Career Online High School

Career Online High School


The San Diego Public Library's Career Online High School (COHS) offers adults the opportunity to earn an accredited high school diploma and career certificate online.

The library's program provides a limited number of scholarships to qualified adult learners who are looking to expand their career opportunities, prepare for workforce entry or continue their education.

To be considered for the program, applicants will successfully complete an online self-assessment and prerequisite course, followed by an in-person interview.

Once enrolled in the program, 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.

Take a look at the timeline for Career Online High School - Steps For Student Success (PDF)

Congratulations 2nd COHS Graduating Class!

Celebrated Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Allison Iles, Emily Kindel, Richard Andrade, Genevieve Redondo, and Ciara McKoy

Graduating class (left to right): Allison Iles, Emily Kindel, Richard Andrade, Genevieve Redondo, and Ciara McKoy. Not pictured is Daniel Tran.

Chuck Leachman, Misty Jones, Greg Lucas, and Allison Iles.

Gale Cengage Chuck Leachman, Library Director Misty Jones and State Librarian Greg Lucas congratulating graduate Allison Iles.

Greg Lucas and Ciara McKoy

State Librarian Greg Lucas congratulating graduate Ciara McKoy.

Photos by Darlene Platt

See press release for more detail about the graduation ceremony.

Want To Help Support Scholarships?

You can give a motivated student a second chance at success by sponsoring a scholarship. See more information about sponsoring a scholarship.

Why This is Such a Great Program

  • Kirk, a 52 year old man who is a Mission Valley resident and went to 10th grade in high school reflected, "I'm the only one of all my brothers and sisters who didn't graduate from high school. I want to do this because this is something I told my mom I would do. Even though she's not alive today, I want to still keep my word."
  • Cindy, a 49 year old woman from Mission Hills who completed 11th grade said, "I've got the experience, but I don't have a diploma. I can't get promoted in my job unless I get a diploma. I am so eager to get started, because this opens up more opportunities to me."

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Career Online High School (COHS)?

Career Online High School (COHS) is an online high school diploma and career certification program available through the San Diego Public Library. This program offers scholarships to a limited number of qualified students.

Who can apply to COHS?

City of San Diego residents (at least 19 years of age) or employees of the City of San Diego who wish to earn their high school diploma and have a San Diego Public Library card in good standing.

How will people be selected for the program?

Enrollment is limited and the demand is expected to be high. Adults must successfully pass an online self-assessment and prerequisite course, as well as an in-person interview to become an applicant in the program.

Will COHS students receive their GED?

No. This is not a GED program. Successful graduates will earn a high school diploma and a career certification through an accredited online 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
Students and community members can learn more about the District Accreditation Process at

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 if I don't qualify for a scholarship due to residency?

There may be other options available to you. Please contact for more information.

Does the Library offer other resources for education and job preparation?

The San Diego Public Library is committed to helping people meet their education and job preparation needs. Visit our other services that provide opportunities for Adult Education.

Learn More

To learn more about this program please email and our enrollment team will contact you.

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