Want to earn a trade while learning English or getting a high school equivalency certificate?
A pilot program at Dunbar High School is taking a new approach to adult learning by letting students work toward their Texas High School equivalency certification (often known as GED) while also training in specialties that can help adult learners find a new career path.
Students taking English As A Second Language classes, or ESL, can also take certain trade courses at the same time.
It's called the Dunbar Adult Evening School and it aims to reinvent adult education with a career and technology component.
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“This is really about bridge building. It is about building capacity for individuals so they can build their families' futures,” said Edward Spears, director of the Fort Worth school district's Office of Adult Education.
The program is similar to that seen in traditional high schools that allow students to gain trade certificates or associate's degrees while working on their high school diplomas.
News of the adult evening school was spreading this week on social media as the district announced an open house set for Thursday at 6:30 p.m.
Superintendent Kent P. Scribner announced the program via Twitter.
There is a five-year plan to build career pathways for adult learners, he said. The first certificates to be offered include those for Microsoft Office User Specialist, Certified Nursing Assistant and several machine-related trades.
The Dunbar campus used to have a community school that offered adult classes, said trustee Christene Moss, who represents the district that includes Dunbar. That program was dissolved several years ago, she said, adding that this program reflects the career-technology trends that are taking place in education.
"We started on a new venture," Moss said.
The district's adult education department also offers ESL and basic adult education at more than 40 locations.
Spears said the new approach focuses on career-building and moves away from stigmas that adults face when they return to a learning setting to complete high school education.
“We are here to help them accomplish it now,” Spears said.
Adult classes will be offered weeknights from 6 to 9 p.m. on the Dunbar High School campus at 5700 Ramey Ave. For more information, call 817-492-7960.