Fifteen graduates of an online program offering high school diplomas were recognized for their accomplishments last Saturday morning at the Michelle Obama Neighborhood Library.  

It was the second-ever graduating class of adults ages 19 or older who received such a recognition through the Career Online High School (COHS) program available by the Long Beach Public Library since it was implemented in March 2016.  Since then, 28 students have earned their diploma.

Available by scholarship through select California libraries, Career Online High School offers adults the opportunity to complete their high school education and earn career certificates in eight “high-growth, high-demand fields” with students graduating with a resume, cover letter and other tools to start or advance their career, according to COHS.

Upon enrollment, students must first take a test and receive 70 percent or higher to be qualified for the program. The library interviews the candidate to view if they are qualified for the program.

Only individuals given a scholarship can be admitted into the program, said Gina Robinson, general librarian and COHS coordinator at LBPL.

Robinson said the scholarships are paid in a combined effort by the library, its foundation and the California State Library. The scholarships cover the entire cost of the program.

During the program, students are paired with an online academic coach who provide them with a career path plan, guidance and resources needed to pass the course.

Students have the flexibility to access classwork 24/7 and are given up to 18 months to complete the program.

Classes are taught by board-certified instructors who help students focus on child care, education, food, hospitality and office management.

The program lasts a minimum of six months with students receiving a maximum of 18 months to complete all their work, Robinson said.

“Students are able to submit their high school transcripts to the COHS program in order to receive credit for work they’ve already done, so once enrolled in the COHS program they pick up where they left off,” she said.

To be eligible for the program at LBPL you must be 19 years old or older, live in Long Beach and have a LBPL account in good standing. Residents can learn more about Career Online High School here.

Los Angeles residents can sign up through their public library here while Los Angeles County residents can apply here.