It used to be called Adult Education and a few other things. But in a sign of the times the schools, which historically were more popularly known to be the places where seniors in high school scrambled to go in order to graduate on time, have been renamed Education and Career Centers.
According to Alan Helfman, a spokesman for the Los Angeles Unified School District Division of Career and Adult Education, under which these facilities fall, there are about 35 of these schools currently operating including four in South Los Angeles–Crenshaw-Dorsey-Manual Arts Community Adult School, Fremont-Washington Community Adult School, Jefferson Community Adult School, and the Maxine Waters Employment Preparation Center.
But contrary to popular belief, these schools are not strictly for high school seniors who need to make up credits.
“People can prepare for the GED, take the GED, and upgrade their computer skills beginning with basic computer literacy through advance applications that come with certifications. They can learn construction trades, aviation technology, automotive, advertising design, child care, cosmetology, business education, and a variety of health careers,” explained Helfman.
Classes are held during the day, evenings, Saturdays, and on Sundays at Evans Community Adult Center in downtown Los Angeles.
The cost for the 70,000 high school age students each year who take classes is free, and the fees for adults vary depending on the program, but are extremely reduced compared to prices at private institutions such as Bryman and ITT, said Helfman.
Some of the electrician programs, for example, cost $240 while the cosmetology sequence is $1,400.
“There’s a gigantic waiting list in our cosmetology programs everywhere,” added Helfman.
Those who need financial assistance will soon be able to obtain federal Pell Grant funds at many of these LAUSD schools. Those who plan to attend Maxine Waters Employment Preparation Center to study health careers can already apply for the grants.
“We are sensitive to financial needs, and each school has its own policy and level of sensitivity, but rarely does someone leave without being accommodated,” explained Helfman.
The adult and high school educational offerings are augmented by a program called Alternative Education and Work Center (AEWC), which is designed for students who are under age 19 but are not attending a school. Helfman said this program concentrates on helping students obtain a high school diploma or GED, and then provides them with career direction and training.
To find out all the different career tracks and when the next classes begin, visit www.adulteducation.org or call (213) 62-Learn.