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Career Online High School

What is Career Online High School?

Career Online High School (COHS) is an online high school diploma and career certification program available through the Ventura County Library System.

Ventura County Library has temporarily suspended enrolling new students while we raise the money for more scholarships. 

** Interested parties or those interested in donating to sponsor a student may call us at: (805) 677-7159  to be placed on the waiting list for when we open again.

Who can apply to Career Online High School?

Ventura County residents (at least 19 years of age), who have completed 8th grade and wish to earn their high school diploma are eligible to apply.

Applicants must have a Ventura County Library card in good standing (or be willing to obtain one).  

Scholarships are limited and priority will be given to applicants living in the Ventura County Library service  area.

How will people be selected for the program?

Applicants will be required to successfully pass an online self-assessment and prerequisite course to participate in the program. Enrollment will be limited and the demand is expected to be high.

What other resources does Ventura County Library have for adult learners?

The Ventura County Library (VCL) offers FREE one-to-one tutoring for adults who want to improve their reading and writing skills.

VCL also provides access to LearningExpress Library for adult learners.

Find many more online resources in the eLibrary!

How long will it take me to complete the program?

Depending on how many credits you transfer in, you can be on your way to earning your high school diploma in as little as five months. You will be given up to 18 months to complete the program.

How much time will I need to dedicate to my coursework?

We recommend that you dedicate 8-10 hours per week to your coursework. Your academic coach will help keep you on track! We also provide you with a pace guide that helps you move through the program by completing one credit every two weeks.

When can I work on my courses?

Courses are self-paced and taught in an online learning environment, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

What if I need help with my coursework?

Your academic coach will connect you with one of the COHS instructors, who will provide you with additional academic support, when needed. Your library may also offer support.

Will COHS students get a GED?

No. This is not a GED or other high school equivalency program. Successful graduates will earn a high school diploma and a career certification through an accredited online high school.

What is the difference between high school equivalency (GED, HiSET, TASC) and a high school diploma?

While both high school equivalency 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 an equivalency.

In addition to providing a high school diploma, Career Online High School 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 career certification in an area such as child care, how will I train to work with children?

While we provide you with all of the coursework needed to qualify for a child care certification, you will need to find a local agency in your community to fulfill the hands-on training hours required. Your library may be able to assist.

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.

Is all coursework web-based?

Yes.  But for the in-person interview prior to receiving a scholarship (see How It Works), you will be required to visit your library.

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.

If you do not have access to a desktop or laptop, your library can help.

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 purchase or check out of the library.

Is COHS accredited?

Career Online High School is 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?

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 post-secondary institution has its own minimum standards including admissions exams, standardized test scores and other criteria.

If you are interested in attending a particular college or university, we recommend that you contact that institution’s admissions office to confirm whether the COHS diploma will satisfy their requirements.

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 have questions about their transcripts or meeting college admissions requirements may call 1-888-408-5783 or email for support.

Is the 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.

Coaches/instructors are not exclusively assigned to specific libraries. Each student’s assigned academic coach will welcome the student initially and then reach out at least once every two weeks – and more often for students needing additional assistance.

Does my library offer other resources for education and job preparation?

Ventura County Library is committed to helping people meet their education and job preparation needs. You are encouraged to visit your nearest branch and speak to the staff to help you find a local agency or resource that will best fit your needs.

Ask your library about the following services: online learning resources; GED preparation; career preparation; and adult literacy programs.

How do I get started?

Complete an online self assessment. After you have successfully finished the self-assessment, you will be contacted by your library within 5 business days to discuss the prerequisite course.

Upon successful completion of the course, you will be contacted again by your library within 5 business days to schedule an interview and discuss your application into the program.