Adult Education

Adult Education

Learn English, get ready for the U.S. Citizenship test, improve your reading skills, even get your high school diploma, and a lot more at Harris County Public Library. All of our programs are free. All you need is the desire to learn.

Get Your High School Diploma

Harris County Public Library provides a limited number of FREE scholarships to qualified adult learners. In partnership with Smart Horizons Career Online Education, we are offering adults the opportunity to earn an accredited high school diploma and career certificate online through Career Online High School (COHS).

Applicants who successfully complete an online self-assessment and a 2-week prerequisite course, followed by an in-person interview, will be considered for a free scholarship to earn an accredited high school diploma. Once accepted into the program, students are given up to 18 months to complete it.

To be considered for an HCPL scholarship, applicants must:

  • Be age 19 or over
  • Reside within Harris County
  • Have never earned a high school diploma or GED
  • Have a Harris County Public Library card
  • Be able to dedicate 8-10 hours per week to course study.
  • Have access to a computer & internet at home or be able to visit a participating library branch.
  • Complete the prerequisite course within two weeks with a score of 80% or higher

For more information and to apply, visit Career Online High School

If you have any questions, please email 

ESL: Learn English

If you want to learn to speak and read in English better in safe and friendly surroundings, you are in the right place. All of HCPL English-learning classes are taught by trained volunteer tutors and are completely free of charge.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Find the classes and events that works for you.

    Call your nearest HCPL branch library

    Call the Literacy Services Specialist: 713-274-6600

  • Visit the library to fill out a short registration form 

  • It varies from location to location. For information about ESL class schedules:

  • Most classes meet once a week for two hours. Most courses last 12 or 16 weeks. 

  • Classes are free. We also provide all books and materials at no cost to you.


HCPL citizenship classes are taught by trained volunteer instructors and are designed for adults who are preparing for the United States Naturalization Test. Classes generally meet once or twice a week for 10 - 16 weeks and cover all sections of the Civics (History and Government) Test including

  • Principles of American Democracy
  • System of Government
  • Rights and Responsibilities of Citizens
  • U.S. history from the colonial period to the present
  • Geography
  • Symbols
  • Holidays

Instructors also provide tips for the official citizenship interview. Classes are presented in English unless otherwise noted and are free of charge. All study materials are provided by HCPL.

Please note that this course does not grant citizenship and does not cover the cost of the exam. 

Adult Literacy

You can improve your reading and writing skills at HCPL.

HCPL's adult literacy program is designed for adults who speak English well, but who want to learn to read and write better. Students and trained volunteer tutors meet one-on-one at one of our branch libraries. Classes are free. All books and materials are provided by the library.

For more information, contact the Literacy Specialist, by email

Frequently Asked Questions

  • All of our tutors are volunteers and may not have the skills and knowledge needed to help you meet your reading goals. We can, however, put you in touch with other groups who might fit your needs better. Call (713) 274-6600 for more information.  

  • First, we need to find out what you need help with so we can design a learning plan that fits your needs. Call the library branch closest to you and ask for a reading assessment.

  • Once we know what level you need, we will place you with a tutor as soon as possible.  

Learn Online

Learn skills online

Volunteer Tutors Needed!

Help neighbors improve their reading, learn to speak English, or become a U.S. citizen. No teaching experience is necessary. We supply training, materials, and teaching space. You supply a little time and the desire to help others improve their lives in your community. (NOTE: You must be 18 years or older to become a volunteer tutor.)

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