On Saturday, June 18 at 2 p.m., Gwinnett County Public Library had the opportunity to celebrate nine hard-working individuals as the newest graduates of the library’s free Career Online High School program. The program is specifically designed to re-engage adults in the education system and prepare them for entry into postsecondary career education or the workforce. The graduation ceremony took place at the new Norcross Library Branch.

Career Online High School (COHS) is a partnership between the library and Smart Horizons, the accredited school that offers the COHS curriculum. Following an application process, adult students who qualify are offered a scholarship to complete an 18-month program that satisfies high school degree requirements.

“The library is often referred to as the people’s university,” said Charles Pace, GCPL Executive Director. “In my mind, there’s nothing more important that we can do as a library than be an educational institution and an educational resource for the community. We’re happy to be able to provide these classes and this service to the citizens of Gwinnett County for no charge whatsoever.”

COHS offers students a pathway towards educational and career goals for learners who need the flexibility and availability of a fully online school program. Many COHS graduates go on to accomplish additional degrees and/or certifications to start working in careers such as Child Care, Home Health Aids, Office Management, Retail, Hospitality, and Food Preparation. Each year the library awards 25 scholarships to individuals in need of a high school diploma. Gwinnett County is home to more than 100,000 adults who have yet to attain high school-level credentials.

Career Online High School scholarships are supported through private funding and donations. To support the program, please contact GCPL’s Director of Development, Jason DiFranco at jdifranco@gwinnettpl.org or visit https://www.gwinnettpl.org/foundation/donate-now/