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Career Online High School

The Career Online High School program offers adults 21 and older the opportunity to earn an accredited high school diploma and career certificate online. The Library offers a limited number of scholarships to qualified adult learners who are looking to advance their careers, prepare for workforce entry, and continue their education. Career Online High School through the Prince George's County Memorial Library System is open to all eligible PGCMLS card holders. Applicants who successfully complete an online self-assessment, a prerequisite course, and an in-person interview will be considered for enrollment.

Staff Lead

Yassin Kargbo, CCSP
COH Staff Lead Public Service Specialist II

In addition to earning a high school diploma, students will earn a career certificate in one of these high-demand fields:

Not sure if the program is right for you?  Check out the frequently asked questions to learn more.

Frequently Asked Questions

Career Online High School (COHS) is an online high school diploma and career certification program available through PGCMLS. This program offers free enrollment to a limited number of qualified adult students.

Adult residents of Prince George’s County, Maryland who are at least 21-years-old in September of any given year, have successfully completed 8th grade and wish to earn their high school diploma.  Minors should pursue their high school education through existing high school programs.

Program applicants must have a library card in good standing or be willing to apply for a library card. Information about registering for a library card may be found on the website, or by visiting any branch library.

No.  This is not a GED (General Educational Development) program. Successful graduates will earn a high school diploma and a career certification through an accredited high school.

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 providing a high school diploma, COHS gives students the benefit of earning a career certificate and completing additional job preparation documents and training. 

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

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. All students must complete this.

You must use a desktop or laptop. A smartphone, tablet, or iPad will not support the learning management system.

Yes. All coursework is available in English only.

Students will be given up to 18 months to complete the program, which will consist of 18 credits. Students accepted into the program may transfer up to 14 credits from their former high school. Depending on how many credits the student is able to transfer, the program can be completed in as few as five months. The average time to complete is 12 months.

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 68 to 72%.

Career Online High School is accredited 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), North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement (NCA CASI), and the Northwest Accreditation Commission (NWAC) accreditation seals.

This means that the Smart Horizons Career Online Education 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 an AdvancED/SACS/NCA/NWAC accredited online high school diploma.

AdvancED provides nationally recognized accreditation for school districts and individual schools and represents 32,000 public and private schools and districts across the United States and in 70 countries worldwide, educating 20 million students. Learn more about the District Accreditation Process at

The prevalence of online “diploma mills” and counterfeit degrees has unfortunately created some skepticism around the legitimacy of diplomas from online institutions. Career Online High School is NOT a diploma mill. Career Online High School is accredited 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), North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement (NCA CASI), and the Northwest Accreditation Commission (NWAC) accreditation seals.

While Career Online High School itself is a new institution and may not immediately be familiar by name, it is easy to demonstrate that the school is recognized across the nation as a quality school system, delivering a SACS accredited 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 postsecondary institution has its own minimum standards including admissions exams, standardized test scores and other criteria.

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

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. Staff is not exclusively assigned to a specific library. The COHS academic coach will welcome the student initially and then reach out to all students at least once every two weeks – and more often for students needing additional assistance.

PGCMLS is committed to helping people meet their education and job preparation needs. The library encourages you 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. There are many resources available for customers in the Digital Services section of, from online coaching and live tutoring to language training. All these services are available free of charge.

Complete an online self-assessment. After you have successfully finished the self-assessment, you will be able to continue to the prerequisite course. Upon successful completion of the course, you will be contacted by the library within a week to schedule an interview and discuss your application to the program.