Carlos Rosario International Public Charter School has opened a second campus to serve adult learners in Washington D.C. The campus will focus on teaching work skills to as many as 500 students.
Sonia Gutierrez, after whom the new campus is named, is the school's founder. She says in the new campus, they're able to offer 500 students workforce training classes — that's five times more than before.
"And now in the new campus we had 500. We have three academies: the academy of culinary arts, the academy of nursing aides, the academy of IT," Gutierrez says.
The school has been inspired by a Washington State model of education that has proven so successful it's being implemented in 20 states, including Maryland. Employers help develop curriculum and there's an emphasis on "soft skills," including punctuality, discipline and teamwork. Classes are also taught by two teachers together — an academic instructor as well as a language teacher, who can help with grammar and vocabulary.
The traditional "sequential" model of adult education where you first learn English and then join a career training program, typically takes two to three times longer.
Allison Kokkoros, the chief academic officer, says they only offer fields where there's high demand from local employers for bilingual staff.
"We know when our students graduate, this is the beginning for them of entering true family sustaining work that has upward mobility," Kokkoros says.
The school is looking to expand into Maryland and Virginia in the future.