Penn Hills Library Now Offers Online Continuing Education

Article excerpt

Library cardholders in Penn Hills have free access to the gift that keeps on giving: education.

When Tyrone Ward, executive director of the William E. Anderson Library of Penn Hills, spoke to a vendor, Ward mentioned some things he hoped to offer patrons, including an educational component.

"He suggested that I might be interested in Universal Class," Ward said.

Universal Class provides online continuing education courses for schools, libraries, companies, educators and residents. The web- based program offers more than 500 classes ranging from accounting and art to Web development and writing help.

It offers a general educational development, or GED, preparation course, and covers topics such as financial management, mathematics, religious studies, science and medicine.

"Immediately, we loved it," Ward said. "We thought it would be perfect for some of our residents who may not have the time or the transportation to work on things like GED skills, accounting skills or other things."

All of the courses are teacher-guided, and certificates are offered upon the completion of each. Students can communicate through e-mail with instructors and other students. Students have six months to complete a course.

And access is as universal as the program's name.

"All you need to log in is a library card, and you can log in at the library or from home," Ward said. …