To learn more about the Career Online High School (COHS), please review these questions and answers:

  • What is Career Online High School (COHS)?

    COHS is an online high school diploma and career certification program available through your California public library. This program offers free enrollment to a limited number of qualified adult students.

  • Who can apply to COHS?

    Adults who are at least 19 years old and wish to earn their high school diplomas can apply to the library high school program.  Minors should pursue their high school education through existing high school programs.

    Program applicants must live within the jurisdiction of a library participating in the program and have a library card in good standing from that library, or be willing to obtain one.

    Need help with locating the name of your local library? Email cohs@library.ca.gov.

  • Will COHS students receive their GEDs?

    No. This is not a GED® (General Educational Development) program. Graduates earn a high school diploma and a career certificate through an accredited high school.

  • What is the difference between a GED and a 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 a high school diploma, with COHS, you can also earn a career certificate and complete additional job preparation documents and training.

  • What type of career certification will be offered?

    The high school program includes a career certificate in the following areas:

    • Child care  (CDA)*
    • Commercial driving (CDL)*
    • Food and hospitality (CPFM)*
    • General career preparation
    • Home care professional
    • Hospitality and leisure
    • Manufacturing
    • Office management
    • Security professional
    • Retail customer service

    *Prepares students to pursue the industry credential

  • What is the career portfolio?

    To prepare you with the tools you need to find a job, you will learn how to create important documents, such as your resume and a cover letter.

  • Is all coursework web-based?

    Yes. The courses are 100% online.

  • What device(s) can I use to access my coursework?

    You can use a desktop computer, laptop, tablet, or iPad for all coursework. You can access your courses using smartphones, but we recommend the previous devices for the best learning experience.

  • Is all coursework in English?

    Yes. Currently, all coursework is available in English only.

  • Will I need to purchase textbooks?


  • How long will it take for students to complete the program?

    You have up to 18 months to complete the program, which consists of 18 credits. You may transfer up to 14 credits from former accredited high schools.  Depending on how many credits you transfer, the program can be completed in as few as five months.


  • What is the history of COHS?

    COHS was founded in early 2010 and accredited as the world’s first online private school district in February 2011.

  • Is COHS accredited?

    Yes. COHS is accredited by Cognia, the national commission that confers the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Council on Accreditation and School Improvement (SACS CASI), North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement (NCA CASI), and the Northwest Accreditation Commission (NWAC) accreditation seals.

  • Will my local community colleges and universities accept a Career Online High School diploma?

    Because the high school diploma is Cognia/SACS/NCA/NWAC accredited, it should be accepted by many colleges and universities. However, admissions requirements are always up to an individual college. Also, if you are interested in pursuing post-secondary education within your state you should check with your state to understand the requirements. States may impose requirements for receiving state financial aid. For example, an online high school diploma may not be recognized by some colleges and universities within your state to receive financial aid. We recommend you check with the institution for any specific restrictions—this is particularly important for residents of New York and New Jersey.

  • What if I need help with the admissions process following graduation?

    We are committed to the success of our graduates as they advance into the workplace or pursue postsecondary education and training. COHS California alumni who have questions about their transcripts or meeting college admissions requirements can call 1-866-999-7853 or email enrollment@shcoe.org for support.

  • Is COHS staff credentialed? When are they available to assist students?

    Yes, all COHS instructors and academic coaches are state certified. Staff have regular office hours from 9:00am­–5:00pm CT as well as evening hours at least one day a week.

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

    Your library high school is committed to helping you meet your education and job preparation needs. Talk to the staff at your local library and find out about the services and resources offered.

  • How do I get started?

    Complete the short online “Are You Ready?” survey. After you have successfully finished the survey, you will be contacted by your California library within 5 business days to discuss the prerequisite course. Upon successful completion of the course, you will be contacted by the library to schedule an interview and discuss your application into the program.

Take a short online survey to see if Career Online High School is right for you: