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Career Online High School

All about Career Online High School

What is Career Online High School?

It’s a program provided by the St. Charles Public Library for adults to earn their high school diploma.

So it’s like a GED?

GEDs are not high school diplomas. Career Online High School (COHS) provides its students with an actual high school diploma, which demonstrates the student’s commitment to completing their high school education, something that potential employers look upon more favorably.

How do I know if I’m eligible to apply for COHS?

As long as you are at least 21 years of age and eligible for a St. Charles Public Library Card, you can pursue a diploma through Career Online High School.

How much will this program cost?

COHS is offered free by the St. Charles Public Library and our partner Reaching Across Illinois Library System (RAILS). Upon acceptance into the program, you are entitled to all of the coursework and benefits without any fees. If you need certain books for the Language Arts classes, you can borrow them with your St. Charles Library card. The Library also has computer workstations available for taking the online classes.

What kind of technology will I need?

The courses are 100% online, and require access to the Internet via a desktop, laptop, or tablet (Android or iPad) computer.  COHS courses are not compatible with smartphones at this time.

So what’s the program like?

It’s a fully accredited, online high school curriculum. You must complete a total of 18 credits to earn the diploma. Four of those credits will be from career-focused courses chosen by you (for example, office management, homeland security, food and customer service). The other 14 credits include your standard high school courses: Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies.

What if I already took some of those courses?

Once you have completed the COHS Readiness Survey and been accepted into the program, you are encouraged to contact your previous high school(s) and have them transfer your transcript(s) to COHS. COHS then determines which courses can be counted towards the credits requirement of a COHS diploma. This can be the difference between one student requiring the fully allotted time to complete the degree (18 months), and one needing as little as five months to finish the entire program!

Take Assessment

Okay, well what does the application process look like?

There are a few steps to take before earning a spot in the program, and it all begins with the online readiness survey. It’s a very short questionnaire that simply asks for more details about eligibility and potential to commit to the program. Once finished, one of the St. Charles Library’s COHS managers will follow up with you and confirm your interest in moving forward.

Sounds exciting! How do I get more specific questions answered?

We appreciate your enthusiasm. Visit the Career Online High School website for an in-depth FAQ section or to learn more about the program, courses, graduation requirements and more.

You are also welcome to email our COHS managers at They’ll be happy to help you!

Get Started with COHS:

  • Live in the St. Charles Public Library District
  • Be at least 21 years old at the time of your first course
  • Possess a St. Charles Public Library card
  • Prepare to commit 10 hours per week to studying and completing coursework

Complete the readiness survey

Take a two-week prerequisite course (upon completion you can enroll in the full program)

Upon Acceptance to COHS:

  • Take classes online with 24/7 access to coursework
  • Receive support from certified instructors and an academic coach
  • Earn an accredited high school diploma while preparing for a career in one of eight high-demand, high-growth fields
  • Graduate with the tools to advance in your profession or take the next step toward additional educational endeavors 

Quick Facts about COHS:

  • The program consists of 18 total credits (see Graduation Requirements for more detail)
  • Graduates earn an accredited high school diploma as well as certificate of study in your chosen career area
  • You create a career portfolio containing important documents such as cover letters, a resume and more
  • The program is self-paced; each credit is designed to be completed in two to four weeks
  • Your previously completed high school courses might transfer to COHS and reduce the time required to complete your degree program
  • The COHS program can be completed in as few as five months or as long as 18 months
  • Funding for the Career Online High School program is provided by Reaching Across Illinois Library System (RAILS) and the St. Charles Public Library

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