Career Online High School

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IMAGE-TS-COHS frontpageMendocino County Library wants to see you succeed…

Did you know that high school graduates earn almost $200,000 more over a lifetime than those without a high school diploma? Did you know that you can earn your high school diploma in 18 months, or less?

The Mendocino County Library, in partnership with Gale/Cengage, offers the opportunity to earn an accredited high school diploma and career certification online through Career Online High School (COHS). We want to help you exceed your goals, advance your career, and continue your education.

We are able to provide a limited number of scholarships so that we can provide this opportunity free of charge to successful applicants.

Applicants who successfully complete an online self-assessment and a two-week prerequisite course, followed by an in-person interview, will be considered for a scholarship to attend Career Online High School.

Once enrolled, COHS pairs each student with an 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 are given up to 18 months to complete the program.


  • What is the history of Career Online High School?

    COHS was founded in early 2010 and accredited as the world’s first online private school district in February 2011. Since February 2012, approximately 6,200 students have enrolled in the program with a retention rate of approximately 66% to 72%.
  • What is Career Online High School (COHS)?

    Career Online High School is an online high school diploma and career certification program available through the Mendocino County Library.
  • Am I eligible to apply to this online high school program?

    You are eligible to apply if you meet the following requirements:

    • You are a resident of Mendocino County and 19-years-old or older.
    • You have a Mendocino County Library card in good standing.
    • You have completed eighth grade and wish to earn your high school diploma.

    Minors should pursue their high schoold education through existing high school programs. Library staff can asist in providing information about alternative high school settings and services.

  • How are people be selected for the program?

    Enrollment is limited and demand is expected to be high. Prospective students must successfully complete an online self-assessment. Once the self-assessment is completed, prospective students will be contacted by their libraries and if they are eligible will be given a link to a two-week prerequisite course. Those who pass the prerequisite course with a score of 70% or above within a two-week period will then be interviewed in person by the program manager to determine if they will receive a scholarship. Successful completion of the prerequisite course does not guarantee a scholarship will be awarded.

    Learn how the program works in detail.

  • Are the Career Online High School staff credentialed?

    Yes, all instructors are state-certified.
  • Is Career Online High School 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. Students and community members can learn more about the District Accreditation Process at
  • 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.
  • 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 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 receiving a high school diploma, you also earn a career certificate and complete additional job p reparation documents and training.
  • Will I receive a GED or a diploma?

    This is not a GED program. Successful graduates will earn a high school diploma and a career certification through an accredited high school.
  • If I choose a career certification in an area such as childcare, how will I train to work with children?

    While we provide you with all of the coursework needed to qualify for a childcare certification, you will need to find a local agency in your community to fulfill the hands-on training hours required. The library may be able to assist.
  • What type of career certification can I pursue?

    You 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
  • Is all coursework web-based?

    Yes. If you need, computers are available at all of our Library branches. There is also free Wi-Fi if you prefer to use your own device.

    Note that you can work from anywhere once you begin COHS, but for the in-person interview prior to receiving a scholarship (see How It Works), you will be required to visit a Mendocino County Library branch.

  • Is all coursework in English?

    Yes. At this time, all coursework is available in English only.
  • Will I need to purchase textbooks?

  • 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, the library can help.
  • How long will it take to complete the program?

    You will be given up to 18 months to complete the program, which consists of 18 credits. You may transfer up to 14 credits from your former high school(s). Depending on how many credits you transfer, the program can be completed in as few as five months.
  • Does the library offer other resources for education and job preparation?

    Your 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 a librarian 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.

    Please note, you must meet the following requirements to be eligible for the Career Online High School program:

    • You are a resident of Mendocino County, are 19-years-old or older, & have a Library card in good standing.
    • You have completed at least the eighth grade and wish to earn your high school diploma.
  • How can adults learn more about the program and apply for a scholarship?

    Visit the Mendocino County Library Career Online High School website