County of Marin - News Releases - Career Online High School

For Immediate Release
January 11, 2017

Library Offers Online Diploma/Certificate Program

Career Online High School can be completed in less than a year

San Rafael, CA – Education and experience are the key to launching a successful career, but not every adult in Marin County has been fortunate enough to have extensive access to schooling early in life. Now, local residents 19 years old and over have access to a new program that helps them earn a credentialed high school diploma or a career certificate through the Marin County Free Library (MCFL).

A young man and a young woman hold diplomas while wearing graduation gownsLibrary card holders over age 18 can qualify for the program.

The MCFL recently introduced its Career Online High School, a pilot program supported by the State of California and public libraries statewide. It is available to library card holders who are willing to dedicate about 10 hours per week on coursework. Applicants need to have completed eighth grade and have basic English-language and computer and internet skills. The average time needed to complete a high school diploma course is one year.

The Associated Press recently reported that Americans with no more than a high school diploma have fallen so far behind college graduates in their economic lives that the earnings gap between college grads and everyone else has reached its widest point on record.

“Demographics tell us that Marin has one of the country’s highest education levels per capita, but there are many people here who didn’t have the same opportunities growing up and had to join the workforce as teenagers,” said MCFL Library Services Manager Damon Hill. “We decided to offer this program to provide a fully accredited online program to complete high school education to make sure everyone has an equitable chance to succeed.”

All courses are online and there are no textbooks. Each student is assigned an academic coach who offers support and additional instructional help when needed.

The MFCL and the State Library are offering a limited number of free scholarships to qualified Marin adults. Those who complete a prerequisite course with a score of 70 percent or higher within two weeks can qualify for a scholarship award. It would cost $1,000 or more to earn a diploma from similar programs without the MCFL-sponsored scholarship.

The Career Online High School is available to MCFL through a partnership with Gale, a part of Cengage Learning.  For more information, email the library at


Sara Jones
Marin County Free Library

3501 Civic Center Drive
San Rafael, CA 94903
(415) 473-6051
Email: Sara Jones
Library website