On September 1, 2017 the Los Angeles Public Library hit a big milestone with the Career Online High School (COHS) diploma and career certificate program when Tania Velasquez completed her coursework to become the 100th graduate! Managing Librarian Kelly Tyler recently sat down with Tania to discuss her plans for the future and how COHS was different than other programs she tried before.
Thank you for sharing your experiences Tania. Can you tell me a bit about your background and experience before starting COHS?
I used to work for Subway. I had a child and wanted to go back to school because of her.
Yes! Kids are so excited to learn, aren’t they?
Yes she was excited to learn the alphabet and her numbers. Seeing her go to school helped me to decide to go back to school.
What are some of the biggest hurdles you encountered when you didn’t have your diploma?
Jobs check for a diploma now. I’m not looking for work right now because I’m going to attend college and will become an RN. But without a diploma I wouldn’t be able to get work.
Great! When you get your RN credentials you will be in a field with high demand for workers. What did you like most about COHS?
What got me was the hours. You can do it any time. I could pace myself and I got to stay home while my child was in school. Before I was sent to a continuation school and I didn’t have enough credits and I felt like it wasn’t work finishing at that time. The assignments in COHS were easier for me because I could read them as many times as I wanted and my coach helped me with questions I had about the assignments.
A lot of students love working with their coach and there was a lot of excitement and tears at the last graduation when they met her for the first time in person. Kim is great! How has getting your diploma impacted your family and friends?
Two family members have decided to go back. They have jobs but are being asked to show a diploma. I gave them information about this program!
Thank you for spreading the word! You know someone likes a program when they tell family and friends about it. I really hope to see your family members enroll and finish soon! I’m sure they will be inspired when they see you in your cap and gown at the next graduation ceremony. What is your number one piece of advice for people like your family members who want to get their diploma?
It’s not difficult. You just have to work on it and give it your all. There is no excuse, there is always time.