The Library District's Career Online High School (COHS) program provides adults in Southern Nevada with the opportunity to earn their diploma and gain essential skills to advance their careers and/or go on to college or trade school. The dedicated staff at the Library District's Adult Learning Centers are available to help students succeed through this flexible and supportive online program.
Below is one of our many success stories!
Amber's Journey to Career Success
Thirty-seven years ago, to escape an unhealthy family situation, Amber dropped out of high school and began working to support herself. Later, she became increasingly frustrated at being passed over for better-paying jobs because she lacked a diploma. She signed up for an adult high school class, but working all day and commuting 40 miles round trip to attend night class was unsustainable as a single mom.
“What do I do?” Amber asked herself. “I need to work. I have a son who depends on me. I had to take the jobs that required the bare minimum; the jobs that didn't require a high school diploma or GED, so I applied to everything I could find that didn't require a degree.”
Then she discovered the Las Vegas-Clark County Library District’s Career Online High School (COHS), and the possibilities began to unfold! The program re-engages adult learners in the education system and prepares them for college or trade school, and ultimately, good-paying jobs. Amber qualified for the program (learn more about what is required here), which set her up to earn an accredited high school diploma and credentialed career certificate – totally free – through funding provided by the Library District Foundation.
“I went to the library and spoke to (the Library District staff),” Amber said. “I told them my entire life has passed me by … due to not having my high school diploma. I didn't choose not to get my high school diploma. I couldn't.”
All COHS classes are supported by board-certified instructors, and adult students have 24/7 access to the online platform. Coursework begins in one of 10, high-growth, high-demand career fields before progressing to the core academic subjects. Students can graduate in as few as six months but are given up to 18 months to complete the program. The program boasts a 70% graduation rate, with 86 students successfully completing their courses since the program launched in 2016.
The COHS program gave Amber the flexibility of completing courses on her own time, and after only 18 months, at the age of 53, Amber received her high school diploma with a career track in Child Care and Education!
“Education is the key to unlocking opportunities and potential,” said Kelvin Watson, executive director of the Las Vegas-Clark County Library District. “This is another example of how libraries can provide access to resources that teach new skills and provide training for a new career at any age.”
The COHS program sets up the adult learners for success by pairing them with an academic coach, who assists with an individual career plan, offers ongoing guidance and encouragement, evaluates performance, and connects them with the resources they need to demonstrate mastery of their course material.
Career certifications offered include:
- Certified Protection Officer
- Child Care and Education
- Commercial Driving
- Food and Hospitality
- General Career Preparation
- Home Care Professional
- Homeland Security
- Hospitality and Leisure
- Office Management
- Retail Customer Service
“After years of searching, I found the program at the library,” Amber said. “The library staff really listened to me and they believed in me, and changed my life forever.” Amber plans to continue her education in a trade school and one day work with animals. “I can never thank them enough. There are no words. My life has turned around. At 53, I did it!”
To learn more, please click here Career Online High School.
Learn More about the Adult Learning Program
The COHS program is just one part of the Library District’s robust Adult Education Program, which provides free educational classes to those 16 years of age or older who are looking to increase their skillsets and expand their employment opportunities. All students enrolled in our Adult Learning Program are provided with career-readiness skills, access to limitless learning tools and professional training, guidance, and assistance in securing employment.
To help support this program and others like it, please donate to the Las Vegas-Clark County Library District Foundation.