Earn your Diploma

Earn your High School Diploma

No high school diploma? Get a second chance to finish what you started. You can earn an accredited high school diploma for free online in just 5 to 18 months through LA County Library and the Career Online High School program. You’ll also receive a career certificate in 1 of 8 fields and personalized online career coaching.

This self-paced adult high school diploma program is 100% free to those who fit our program requirements and allows you to do all your studying online to fit your busy life. It is a fully accredited education that will allow you to pursue your educational, career, and personal goals. You can even transfer credits from eligible high school courses that you have successfully completed.

Program Requirements

  • Be an adult age 19 and older
  • Be a resident of the LA County service area
  • Have a library account in good standing, or sign up for one

How to Earn Your Accredited High School Diploma Online

  1. Take a quick self-assessment to determine that you meet the program requirements.
  2. Complete a prerequisite course in 2 weeks or less.
  3. Participate in an interview with library staff.
  4. Congratulations! You are admitted to the full program and can begin your next course!

What Students Can Expect

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Unlike some other free online diploma programs, 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). AdvancED provides nationally recognized accreditation for 32,000 public and private schools and districts across the United States and in 70 countries worldwide. This means that Career Online High School is recognized across the nation as a quality school system, delivering an accredited online high school diploma.

Why is Accreditation Important?

Accreditation is a process by which schools are certified as achieving minimum standards of quality, enabling students to:

  • Easily transfer high school credits from one accredited school to another
  • Earn a diploma from an institution that is nationally recognized as being part of a quality school system
  • Gain greater access to federal loans, scholarships, post-secondary education and possibly some military programs, which require that students attended an accredited institution
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Career Certificate & Coaching – Career Online High School Diploma

In addition to earning a free online diploma, you will also receive a career certificate in your desired field of study, and will receive personalized support from an academic coach who will be there to cheer you on every step of the way, and help you meet your goals.

Career Certification Areas

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Childcare & Education

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Certified Protection Officer

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Certified Transportation Services

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Food & Hospitality

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Career Preparation/
Professional Skills

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Homeland Security

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Office Management

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Retail Customer Service

Coaching & Career Portfolio

Career Online High School offers a supportive community of certified instructors, academic coaches, and career mentors who care about your success and are there for you every step of the way. Each student is assigned an academic coach who offers ongoing support and connects you with additional instructional help when needed. In addition to your accredited diploma and career certificate, you’ll get:

  • Online seminars on 21st century skills
  • Career webinars to prepare you for workplace realities and job markets
  • Career portfolio lessons that teach business writing and help you create career documents including a cover letter and resume

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is Career Online High School (COHS)?

COHS is a free online high school diploma and career certificate program for adults, available through LA County Library.

2. How do I get started?

Complete an online 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 5 business days to schedule an interview and discuss your application into the program.

3. Who can apply to COHS?

Adult residents 19 or older living within the LA County service area, have successfully completed 8th grade. Please note: Minors should pursue their high school education through existing high school programs. Program applicants must have an LA County Library card or be willing to apply for one.

4. Will COHS students receive their General Educational Development (GED)? What is the difference between a GED and high school diploma?

No. This is not a GED program. Successful graduates will earn an accredited high school diploma and a career certificate. While both the GED and high school diploma are important, some colleges, institutions, and organizations require a high school diploma and may not accept the GED. Additionally, COHS gives students the benefit of earning a career certificate and completing additional job preparation documents and training, which GED programs typically do not provide.

5. 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, each designed to be completed over the course of a month. 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 5 months. The program is self-paced, but plan to devote at least 8-10 hours each week to coursework.

6. Is all coursework web-based?

Yes. You can access it online, 24/7.

7. What type of career certification will be offered?

COHS offers certification in the following areas:

  • Childcare and Education
  • Certified Protection Officer
  • Certified Transportation Services
  • Food and Hospitality
  • General Career Preparation/Professional Skills
  • Homeland Security
  • Office Management
  • Retail Customer Service

8. If I choose a major like child care, how will I train to work with children?

While COHS provides you with all of the coursework you need to qualify for a childcare certificate, you will need to find a local agency in your community to fulfill the hands-on training hours required.

9. Is COHS accredited?

Yes. COHS 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. Learn more about Accreditation.

10. 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, so office hours are 6 am to 3 pm PST; however, coaches also have evening hours twice a week. The COHS academic coach will welcome the student initially and then reach out to all students at least once every 2 weeks, or more often for students needing additional assistance.

11. What will my career coach provide?

To arm you with the tools you need to find a job, your career coach will teach you to create essential documents, such as your resume and a cover letter. All students must complete this.

12. 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. Visit Career Online High School for a full list of Technology RequirementsPlease note: If you have any concerns about your technology not meeting these requirements, please contact your local library, who may be able to provide options, including using in-library computers, or checking out a laptop for use completing the program.

13. Is all coursework in English?

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

14. Will I need to purchase textbooks?

No, you will not; however, the Language Arts classes may require novels, which you can check out from the library.

15. 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 accredited by the AdvancED Accreditation Commission.

While COHS 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.

16. 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. We encourage you to visit our job search page or your local library, where staff may be able to help you find a local agency or resource that will best fit your needs.

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All LA County Library locations will close Monday, December 24 at 5 pm and be closed on Tuesday, December 25 for Christmas.

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