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Public Library

Adult High School Diploma Program


San Diego Public Library is proud to offer adults the opportunity to earn an accredited high school diploma.

Currently we offer two diploma programs: Career Online High School and Gale Excel Adult High School. Adults who are looking to continue their education, expand their career opportunities or apply to enter the military will benefit. These programs are offered entirely online with 24/7 access to fit busy schedules. 

In addition to providing a high school diploma, both online high school programs offer students the benefit of taking career-focused and/or college courses to help them progress in their life goals.  

Students in teal graduation robes and caps



Eligibility for FREE Tuition

  • Are you at least 19 years old? 
  • Do you have a permanent San Diego Public Library card in good standing? Click here to apply.
  • Are you a City of San Diego resident or employee of the City of San Diego?
  • Are you able to spend 8 or more hours a week working on the coursework until your degree is complete? 
  • Do you have access to a computer or tablet with internet service? If you do not have access to a computer or tablet, are you able to regularly use a computer at your local library? If no, click here.

If you can answer YES to these questions,  learn about our options below:

Enrollment Process Overview

To be considered for either program, applicants first complete an online survey and prerequisite course, followed by an information session with San Diego Public Library staff.  

Each program pairs students with an online academic coach, who offers ongoing guidance, evaluates performance, and connects the student with the resources needed to master the courses.   

Career Online High School Flowchart

Programs At-a-Glance

Career Online High School

  • 10 career certificate choices preparing students to pursue industry credential.
  • Career Portfolio course to produce resume and cover letters.
  • Students have 18 months to complete – can transfer previous credits.
  • Course Curriculum
  • Support from an assigned Academic Coach.
  • Additional tutoring available through the Academic Coach.
  • An audio component can read the coursework for additional comprehension.
  • Biweekly online seminars focused on 21st century job skills.
  • Monthly career webinars to prepare you for workplace realities and job markets.

Gale Excel High School

  • 7 ACE college courses are available for dual credit.
  • 30 elective choices available for 6 high school credits.
  • Students have 24 months to complete – can transfer previous credits.
  • Course Curriculum
  • Support from an assigned Academic Coach.
  • Train the Brain unlimited tutoring.
  • ELL translation and Read Aloud is available for coursework to support non-native English speakers.
  • Washington Technical Institute (Excel High School’s sister school) – Offers Excel High School graduates a partial scholarship when matriculating to WTI.

Congratulations to Past Graduates!

  • Graduates walking down aisle
  • Graduates sitting down and clapping
  • Graduation ceremony welcome sign
  • Graduate shaking hands with library director
  • Graduates standing up with hands on caps

Read about a previous graduate here.

Additional Resources

What if I don’t have Internet access?

SD Access 4 All helps provide free Wi-Fi, hotspots and lending laptops at select San Diego Public Library locations.         

Does the Library offer other resources for education and job preparation?

The San Diego Public Library is committed to helping people meet their education and job preparation needs. Visit our Career Development page for more information. 

Want To Help Support Scholarships?  

You can give a motivated student a second chance at success by sponsoring a scholarship. See more information about sponsoring a scholarship

Contact Us

Questions? Please email or call 619-238-6693 and our enrollment team will contact you.