While schools all over the nation are being reformed, it’s often easy to forget that libraries have been a great source of public learning for centuries. The Los Angeles Public Library doesn’t want us to forget this either, as they announced last week that they’ll be offering accredited high school diplomas to high school dropouts. John Szabo is the man behind this initiative, and it’s clear that he’s not satisfied with the current level of education for adults. There will also be assistance for immigrants seeking citizenship in the United States, and Szabo hopes to provide more than just these services in the future.
High school dropouts can have major issues finding long-term and gainful employment, and not having any form of training or education seriously harms self-confidence and future productivity. Fortunately there are public facilities such as libraries to assist all citizens with such services. But until now, offering high school courses, diplomas, and immigration classes at a public library has been all but unheard of. Public libraries have always been a safe haven for learning and Szabo has taken this to the next level. The library now offers over 850 courses for individuals seeking higher education, making it the first of its kind.
High school coursework is not required for a GED or diploma, as this is acquired through an extensive test that’s is included in public schooling. Once this testing is passed, the library will provide an accredited GED diploma from a private company that can be used to attend college or provide proof of education. The Los Angeles Public Library hopes to offer about 150 adults a diploma, at a total cost of $150,000. There’s no doubt that this library has the public at mind, and that this decision will change many lives of drop-outs who would like a GED diploma to further themselves.
Library staff will be trained to assist any individual taking these online courses, so no adult needs to feel left out. Public libraries are recognized as safe and friendly havens of learning, and part of the strategy behind is move is that adults will feel safe and successful when attending classes. There will be requirements however, for receiving a scholarship to attend these classes, and an extensive screening process awaits. There’s no doubt that assisting many individuals with their education is a primary goal of all public libraries, the Los Angeles Public Library has taken a necessary step forward in education. Thanks to John Szabo, many adults won’t have to suffer the income inequality that comes with not having a high school diploma.
There’s a growing need for education for those who can’t afford it, and this is a great step towards providing the public with quality training. With many GED courses running in the thousands, this is a fantastic opportunity for many. Szabo doesn’t plan to stop here either, there will be many courses and services in the future becoming available for those who are interested.