COLUMBIA - The Daniel Boone Regional Library began offering a new adult high school completion program on Monday.
DBRL is one of many libraries across the state offering the program, as the Missouri State Library became the first state agency in the nation to offer an online accredited high school completion program to its adult residents this fall.
The Columbia Public Library (CPL), Callaway Public Library in Fulton, the Holts Summit Public Library and the Southern Boone County Public Library will participate in the program.
"I think it's a wonderful thing," CPL Community Outreach Manager Abbey Rimel said. "It's a very forward thinking approach and I think it's going to change a lot of lives in Missouri."
The program is called "Gale Presents: Excel Adult High School." The DBRL began preparing for the launch of the new program this fall with the intention to make it available in the middle of November.
People who are 18 years old or older, live in the DBRL service area, have a library card and are in good standing with the library are eligible to apply for the program.
CPL has received 12 applications for the program since its launch on Monday. Several of those applications have been approved already, which means the applicants get to move on to the prerequisite life skills course.
The life skills course, which lasts two weeks, allows the applicants to determine whether they will have enough time to participate in the program fully and receive their diploma within the 24 months allowed for the program.
The library will also meet with the applicants and ask them a few interview questions before they are given one of the library's eight scholarship seats.
"The program doesn't cost anybody anything, but the Missouri State Library and local friends groups are helping us fund the scholarships," Rimel said. "It's about $850 per person, but we're making sure it won't cost anything to the participants."
Because the library offers eight scholarships but currently has more than eight applicants, they are hoping to receive donations from the public.
"Life isn't always simple for all of us," Rimel said. "It's important to get second chances at things like a high school diploma. It definitely holds some value when you're moving on to the next step in your educational life."
For Rimel, this is the exact reason she started working in libraries.
"That's why you go into libraries, to improve people's lives and to give them the keys to the information that they need to succeed in life. So I'm very excited," Rimel said.
To donate to the program, the library asks that you contact the DBRL Foundation by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 573-443-3161.
For more information on the program, visit the Excel Adult High School page on the library's website.