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Frequently Asked Questions

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The Los Angeles Public Library offers free grants to qualified adult learners so they can earn an accredited high school diploma and career certificate online through Career Online High School.

What is Career Online High School (COHS)?

COHS is an online high school diploma and career certification program available through the Los Angeles Public Library. This program offers free scholarships to a limited number of qualified adult students.

Who can apply to COHS?

  • Adult residents (18 and over) and employees of the City of Los Angeles who wish to earn their high school diploma are encouraged to apply. Minors should pursue their high school education through existing resources such as the Los Angeles Unified School District.
  • Program applicants must have a Los Angeles Public Library card or be willing to apply for a library card.
  • Program applicants who have already received a standard high school diploma, or a high school equivalency certificate, are not eligible for this program.

How will people be selected for the program?

Begin by taking the Are You Ready? survey. Once you enroll in and complete your two-week Part 1 prerequisite course, the library will contact you to discuss your scholarship. If you have questions, you can call 213-228-7540 to speak with a library staff member or email cohs@lapl.org.

Will COHS students receive their GED or high school equivalency certificate?

Graduates will earn a high school diploma and a career certificate from an accredited high school. They will not receive a high school equivalency certificate.

What is the difference between a GED and high school diploma?

When a student completes the GED, TASC, or HiSET exam, they receive a high school equivalency certificate. While both an equivalency certificate and a 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 an equivalency certificate. In addition to a high school diploma, with COHS, you can also earn a career certificate and complete additional job preparation documents and training.

Can I apply for COHS if I already have a GED or high school equivalency certificate?

The library has a limited number of scholarships. Program applicants who have already received a standard high school diploma, or a high school equivalency certificate, are not eligible for this program.

What type of career certification will be offered?

  • General Career Preparation
  • Office Management
  • Child Care and Education (CDA)*
  • Home Care Professional
  • Security Professional
  • Food and Hospitality (CPFM)*
  • Commercial Driving (CDL)*
  • Hospitality and Leisure
  • Retail Customer Service
*Prepares students to obtain the industry credential

If I choose a career certification like child care, how will I train to work with children?

COHS provides all the coursework you need to qualify for the industry credential of child development associate (CDA). You will need to find a local agency in your community to fulfill the hands-on training hours required for certification. More information can be found on the CDA credentialing website.

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. You can review minimum technology requirements for courses and run a system check to confirm that your computer meets the requirements.

Is all coursework in English?

Yes. At this time, all coursework is available in English only.

Will I need to purchase textbooks?

No.

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.

Is a high school transcript necessary to apply?

While access to a high school transcript is strongly encouraged in order to transfer credits to COHS, it is not a requirement to apply. Enrollees without access to their high school transcript need to complete all 18 credits within 18 months.

How do I transfer my high school credits or GED credits to COHS?

After you complete the two-week prerequisite course and enroll in the full Career Online High School program, you should request that your high school transcripts and/or GED transcripts be sent to the Office of the Registrar for evaluation. The registrar will review your transcripts and apply credits for any coursework you’ve previously completed that fulfills our credit transfer requirements.
  • You can transfer up to 14 credits.
  • Career Elective Courses (4 credits) must be completed with Career Online High School because they are required to earn the career certification.
  • Download a transcript request form.
  • To request credit for the GED: go to the GED website and request your GED transcript.

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?

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.

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 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?

We are committed to the success of our graduates as they advance into the workplace or pursue postsecondary education and training. COHS 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.

How many students have graduated from the program so far?

Los Angeles Public Library launched COHS in April 2014. As of June 1, 2021, there have been 554 graduates from the Los Angeles Public Library’s Career Online High School. Many graduates have gone on to get promotions at their workplaces, find new jobs, and enroll in college.

Does the Library offer other resources for online education for adults?

The Los Angeles Public Library is committed to helping people achieve their education and job preparation goals. The Library encourages people to visit its 73 locations and to explore our list of online educational resources.

How do I get started?

Complete an Are You Ready? survey. After you have successfully finished the self-assessment, you must enroll in one two-week prerequisite course in the career area of your choice. You will be contacted by the library within five business days to discuss enrollment in the program, only upon the successful completion of the two-week prerequisite course. If you have questions, call 213-228-7540 to speak with a library staff member or email cohs@lapl.org.

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