Buda library to begin hosting GED classes

By Christopher Green

Starting this September, the Buda Library will host General Education Development (GED) classes in coordination with Community Action Inc., a local nonprofit. 

Buda Librarian Melinda Hodges said Community Action officials contacted library staff about possibly administering the courses. 

Community Action Inc. is an integrated health, education and human services agency that provides a multitude of services across ten counties in the rural capital area of Texas. Community Action will provide instructors, administrative oversight, curriculum and supplies.

“Community Action contacted us a few months ago to see if we would be interested in hosting a high school equivalency course for people in the community,” Hodges said. “They already have courses out in Hays County but nothing this far north.”

Heather Austin, Buda area coordinator for Community Action, said the Buda Library was chosen as a GED class location because it gives people an easier location to access. It also fulfilled a need for GED classes in the Buda area, which had been identified. 

A GED is a certification that shows a person has passed tests that are equivalent to knowledge gathered in high school.

Currently, Community Action offers GED courses at the Kyle Learning Center. The Kyle Learning Center, a project of Community Action, offers GED preparation and English as Second Language (ESL) classes free to adults who have completed a new student orientation.

“If the students are coming to Kyle Learning Center to work towards their GED, then that’s an identifier of a need, so we just try and make it easier by being closer to them,” Austin said. 

According to Austin, there are currently no GED classes being offered in Buda. Austin said the reason for holding the GED classes is to further people’s careers and sustainable living.

“Our ultimate goal is for people to improve their education so they can get a good job and continue their education beyond a GED,” Austin said. “We also have a goal of sustainable living for people and this helps them achieve that.”

Austin said the program offers distance learning to keep retention rates high and that the amount of time it takes to get a GED differs with each individual.

“You might have a person come in who only has a third-grade education or someone who is a high school dropout, so it varies with each student,” said Austin. “What we do to keep our students attending is offer distance learning, so they can work on subjects at home or in class.”

Austin said she will be conducting the day-to-day program matters between Community Action Inc. and the Buda Library. 

She also will work with students and promote the program.

“We will advertise to recruit students, register students, take assessments, begin classes,” Austin said. “Focus will be on individual needs of each student.”

According to a memorandum between Buda and Community Action, all adult education teachers must hold a minimum of a bachelor’s degree.

All educators working with Community Action must meet annual professional development requirements of the Adult Education and Literacy Division of the Texas Workforce Commission. The CAI Professional Development Coordinator will provide teachers in the program with their annual Professional Development requirements.

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