Talk about raising the bar in terms of serving the public—the Los Angeles Public Library is now offering online courses to complete your high school diploma. In what may be a first in the country, the Los Angeles Public Library is teaming with Career Online High School to offer online classes through the library. A library-sponsored scholarship to attend the online classes will be given to those who qualify by passing an evaluation.
“Career Online High School is committed to preparing students for careers and post-secondary career education by delivering high-quality, supportive, and career-based online education and have the objectives:
- To offer students an affordable, flexible opportunity to earn their high school diplomas
- To prepare students for careers and employment based on employer-driven academic requirements
- To create a positive academic environment that facilitates all students reaching their maximum potential
- To be at the forefront of providing online, career-based academics in the United States
- To maintain a dedicated team of certified academic coaches and certified teachers” (Career Online High School 2013)
The library setting may perfectly minister to those who aspire to get their diploma. Many students left high school for a wealth of reasons and may feel that going back to a traditional high school is not the best alternative for them. Attending classes in a space that has more positive connotations for them, like the public library, offers a more appealing option. in a . In addition, the library provides a space where these students can not only take the online classes, but also meet with other students to discuss their schoolwork Plus, they can use the library’s resources for additional assistance with their assignments.
Earning your high school diploma is not the only thing these classes will do for the student. The program is hoping to tailor its studies to inspire students to continue their education after graduation. Upon enrolling in the program, students will be required to choose a career path. Career Online High School then individualizes the participant’s curriculum geared toward an identifiable conduit that each student can continue on after acquiring the diploma.
For the Los Angeles Public Library and any library in the future that will follow their lead, this means one thing—planning. A plan will have to be made to educate the staff, to realign the space of the library to accommodate these new students who may need additional private study rooms, and to purchase and develop software to work with the program. But what may be the most important plan, and the one that John Szabo, the Los Angeles Public Library director, is most excited about is how to plan for the graduation ceremonies for these students. (Watson 2014)