Library Launches New Option for Adults Seeking High School Diploma

Accredited Online Program is Free for Qualified Beach Residents

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

As Virginia Beach children head back to school this week, adults in Virginia Beach have a new opportunity to go back to school, too. On Sept. 1, Virginia Beach Public Library (VBPL) launched Career Online High School (COHS) for Virginia Beach residents ages 20 and older who are interested in pursuing a high school diploma and furthering their career goals. Since the program's "soft" launch, two applicants have already begun the enrollment process. ​

VBPL is the first library system in Virginia to offer COHS, a product of library vendor Gale. Part of the world's first accredited, private online school district, the program is designed to reengage adults into the education system and prepare them for entry into post-secondary career education or the workforce.

COHS is not a GED (General Educational Development) program. Participants earn both a high school diploma and a career certificate in one of several high-demand fields including office management, child care and education, homeland security and more. In addition to residing in Virginia Beach and being at least 20 years old, applicants must have a Virginia Beach library card, which is free to residents, and must have successfully completed eighth grade. Transfer credits are accepted. Interested residents may begin the process by completing an online self-assessment.

"Libraries provide free access to information and transformative opportunities for all community members," said VBPL Director Eva Poole. "Career Online High School is another exciting library service to help adults in Virginia Beach achieve their lifelong learning and career goals."

Virginia Beach Public Library offers a variety of free resources and programs for people who are pursuing educational and career goals, including Microsoft Office classes, taught by Microsoft-certified library staff; one-on-one, volunteer-led career coaching and resume-writing sessions; online courses on business and software topics through; online test preparation resources; and books, e-books, DVDs, streaming video and other materials on related topics.

Virginia Beach residents may access COHS by visiting

For more information, call (757) 385-0150, or email  

About Career Online High School
Virginia Beach Public Library will award a limited number of COHS scholarships to qualified learners looking to earn a high school diploma. A Virginia Beach Public Library card, free to Beach residents, is required. Once enrolled, COHS pairs each student with an academic coach, who assists with developing an individual career plan, offers ongoing guidance and encouragement, evaluates performance, and connects the learner with the resources needed to demonstrate mastery of the course material. Classes are supported by board-certified instructors and students have 24/7 access to the online learning platform. Coursework begins in one of eight high-growth, high-demand career fields (across a wide spectrum from child care and education to certified transportation), before progressing to the core academic subjects. Students are able to graduate in as few as six months by transferring in previously earned high school credits but are given up to 18 months to complete the program.​

About Virginia Beach Public Library
A community anchor for more than 50 years, Virginia Beach Public Library includes a central library, a joint-use library in partnership with Tidewater Community College, seven area libraries and a public law library. Services include workforce development and job-search support, small business resources, computer and technology classes, early literacy classes and outreach, and local history archives and programs. In addition to books, music and magazines in tangible and digital formats, the library provides online research tools accessible from home or work, as well as movies, music, and a variety of specialty collections. Visit for more information.