Career Online High School

The Program

Career Online High School (COHS) is a nationally accredited program that enables adults to earn a high school diploma and a career certificate in a variety of high-demand career fields. All coursework is free and offered online, providing learners the flexibility to juggle jobs, family, and other responsibilities while still succeeding in their studies.

Each student must complete 36 classes and be willing to devote a minimum of 10 hours to coursework each week. Students have up to 18 months to finish the program and are paired with an academic coach to encourage and guide them all the way to graduation.

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

On August 4, 2022, the Library Foundation along with friends, family, library supporters, and community members cheered graduates on as they walked across the stage!

Congratulations 2022 San Jose Public Library Career Online High School graduates! Thank you to our amazing partners and generous sponsors for helping us support these students and providing full scholarships for adult learners so they can earn their diplomas.

The Need

Factors like family income, pregnancy, mental health, and unsupported learning differences can all lead young people to drop out of high school before graduation. Currently, 17% of Santa Clara County students do not graduate high school, and as the cost of living continues to rise, surviving in San José and Silicon Valley without a diploma becomes increasingly difficult. The Alliance for Excellent Education’s Graduation Effect economic model projects that if the United States were able to reach a 90% high school graduation rate, it would translate to a $3.1 billion increase in annual earnings, create more than 14,000 new jobs, and save $16.1 billion in health care costs.

The Impact

Since launching in 2016, the San José Public Library’s COHS program has a 70% completion rate – highest in the nation for any such program. To date, 155 adult learners have earned both an accredited high school diploma and career certificate in one of the following fields:

  • Child Care
  • Commercial Driving
  • Food and Hospitality
  • General Career Preparation
  • Home Care Professional
  • Hospitality and Leisure
  • Manufacturing
  • Office Management
  • Retail Customer Service
  • Security Professional

The Library Foundation partners with the California State Library, and generous sponsors to offer full scholarships for adult learners to enroll in COHS and earn their diplomas. The Library has awarded 241 scholarships over the course of the program (see chart). To learn more about the program and how to enroll, please visit the SJPL website.

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Sylvia's Story

“I gained a lot from the program. It was hard, but I learned that if I want something, I need to be perseverant. Right now, I am looking to obtain a college diploma. I plan to become a coach for parents who have autistic kids. It is never too late to achieve your dream!”

– Sylvia Nolasco, COHS Class of 2021




Program graduates since 2016

Scholarships awarded to graduates

Free and offered online

Make A Donation

If you would like to make a gift to support this program, please use our donate form below and select “Other” under “Where to Give” and indicate COHS in the space provided.

Thank You to Our Donors

The COHS program is made possible through the generosity of the following corporate partners and individuals.

Picture Book Tier $1K+

Friends of Village Square Library

City of San José – District 1

City of San José – District 2

Jason Molenda