Career Online High School

Complete your high school diploma and get started in the career of your dreams.

Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi serves adults and older youth who have dropped out of high school the opportunity to transform their lives by earning a high school diploma, learning to be community leaders, and prepare for careers and employment based on academic requirements.   

How do we do this?   Through Career Online High School (COHS), a division within the Smart Horizons Career Online Education (SHCOE) District. 

Competency-based Learning - The milestone-based instructional curriculum model advances each student based on performance, not seat time.  Students experience small wins, one lesson at a time.

Highest Level of Support - State-certified academic coaches and instructors provide extensive motivation and support to our students. 

100% Online Delivery - Students have an opportunity to learn at their own pace, as they manage their day-to-day lives.

Students are given the opportunity to earn an 18-credit AdvancED/SACS accredited High School Diploma and credentialed career certificate. Students graduate with the tools to take the next step in their careers or career-education.  

The Career Online High School (COHS) diploma is a valid high school diploma by the United States Department of Education (USDOE). 

Accreditation & Licensing 

AdvancED Accreditation Commission of 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, and the Northwest Accreditation Commission. 

About the COHS Program  Press Release (2017)

  • COHS was developed in 2012 through a partnership with Cengage Learning and Smart Horizons Career Online Education (SHCOE).
  • SHCOE is the world's first online accredited school district.  
  • SHCOE has an authorized CEEB code (CEEB stands for College Entrance Examination Board, i.e. the College Board), which is an identification number that is issued by the College Board. The CEEB Code is inserted on the COHS transcript and on the student’s FAFSA (federal financial aid) forms. 


Must be 16 years of age or older and have completed the 8th grade at an accredited institution. Minors will be required to obtain parental consent for acknowledgment of responsibility and enrollment.

*NOTE: For credits to be transferred in to the program, the credits must be in non-elective high school courses taken through an accredited high school. The transcripts must be sent from the former high school to the program material provider. Instructions and assistance with the process is provided to students.

General Information

There are built-in support mechanisms to guide students through the online diploma process. Classes begin on a rolling basis, are self-paced and taught asynchronously. After enrolling, students can access a Virtual Welcome Kit that provides important orientation information.

The Online Student Campus allows 24/7 access, immediate feedback on assignments and tests, resources such as Gradebook, Pace Guide, eLibrary, Calendar, and Academic Support Services. 

Students have access to an Academic Coach, a Certified Instructor, and 24/7 Technical Support

To complement the coursework, students can attend regular live online seminars on career and academic topics,  and monthly career webinars to build skills for employment. Students learn how to create a portfolio, a resume, and write an effective cover letter.


18 months; however, many complete the program in 3 to 4 months, depending on how many courses they need.   

Successfully complete a total of 18 units (either through COHS or through a combination of transferred credits* from an accredited institution and COHS credits earned) in the following areas:

Earn a Career Certificate in a high-demand field.    

  • Language Arts (4 credits)    
  • Social Studies (3 credits)
  • Math (3 credits)        
  • Science (3 credits)
  • Health/Personal Fitness (1 credit)
  • Career Elective Courses (4 credits) 

COHS - Making a Difference (Video 2:18)

Struggling Student to Inspirational Academic Coach (view in your browser)