2017 Strategic Plan Highlights
Increasing the Variety of Workforce Training Programs
In 2017 we have launch two new workforce training programs: Small Business and Entrepreneurship Program and the Paraprofessional Educator Academy. Through each of these programs we are able to better address the interests of our student body and the needs of the local D.C. economy. The Small Business and Entrepreneurship Program to date has served more than 100 students. As part of this program, in partnership with construction leaders in the area, we hosted construction management and safety trainings in Spanish. The Paraprofessional Educator Academy, which was launched as a pilot this semester will be training qualified, bilingual teaching aides to serve in the classrooms and to better reflect the increasing diversity of the Washington region’s student body.
Better Serving Students Transitions to Higher Education
Results from our most recent needs survey showed that college support and advising is one of the top priorities for our students. This past year we have grown the capacity of the transition program by hiring a program manager and embedding transition planning into the curriculum of our higher level ESL classes. To date 80% of students at the Sonia Gutierrez Campus, which houses the majority of our graduating programs, have created transition plans charting paths to college, careers and beyond.
Serving More Adult Immigrant Learners
Our success in serving more adult immigrant learners has been two-pronged. This year, we have increased our outreach efforts including hiring an outreach and recruitment lead, building an internal outreach and recruitment team, and creating an alumni Facebook group that in the first month alone has grown to 98 members. We have also partnered with multiple community organizations such as DC Health Link, CARECEN and the DC Board of Elections to provide information and resources to community members beyond the student population.
Increasing Civic Engagement Initiatives
During the first year of the strategic plan, we hosted two large scale civic engagement events: a community action fair focused on providing students and the larger immigrant community with engagement resources and opportunities to be more involved in their communities. Booths included information from local immigrant legal resource organizations, student-led tables about local politics, and volunteer initiatives. We also hosted a voter registration fair where we signed up voters around the DMV area, provided student-led tables with local political information and hosted the DC Board of Elections who brought in a voting machine for students to practice. Over all the civic engagement initiatives we registered 119 new voters!
Developing Systems for Measuring Impact
The school has earned a Tier 1 rating with the DC Public Charter School Board for as long as adult education schools have been ranked. Building on that success we are committed to going beyond those metrics and evaluating our longer term impact in the communities we serve. To that end we now have data dashboards and a student needs data report for school and program administrators to better evaluate success based on concrete and easy to digest metrics. Additionally, we are developing systems and processes for better data collection and sharing in the areas of student economic and educational gains, well-being and civic engagement.