The Richland County Library is offering an accredited program to help users earn their high school diplomas, the first library in the Carolinas to do so.
Richland Library Career Center (Source: Richland Library)
“It’s a second chance for individuals who missed the first time around being able to graduate with their high school diploma,” Business and Careers Manager Diane Luccy said.
Luccy said some employers who accept a high school diploma for hiring requirements do not accept a GED.
“There are certain jobs where if a person does not have a high school diploma, they will not be considered for the position,” she said.
The Career Online High School initiative is free for students, but they must apply for their high school transcripts. The program is open to Richland County residents 21 years and older with a library card. Participants must be willing to commit 8-10 hours each week on coursework.
“We work with these customers every day helping them with their resumes, their cover letters, online job applications,” Luccy said. “This is yet another flagship service that we’re able to offer them.”
Classes are taken online and each student is assigned an academic career coach. The library also offers workspace for program students.
“Richland Library has various resources, one of which is tutor.com. It is something that we offer where you can actually get live assistance from 3 p.m. – 11 p.m. just by logging into our website with your library card,” Luccy said. “The human interaction, I think, is so important and to know that there are resources available even if you didn’t go to high school when most of us did, in our teens, there is another opportunity out there.”
Students are required to take a self-assessment and required pre-requisite career preparation course. They have 18 months to earn the 18 credits necessary to complete their high school diploma. Part of the self-assessment includes an essay on why they want to complete their diploma and an interview.
The program costs the Richland Library $1,200 per student, but there is no cost for eligible participants.
The Richland Library is accepting students for the program. An informational session will be Wednesday from 6 – 8 p.m. at the Main Library on Assembly Street in Columbia. Click here for more information.