MLVS students can face any number of barriers; what sets them apart is that they are enthusiastic, energetic, and eager learners who are excited to be working towards a career path which will bring them independence and stability. Commitment to programs and the community ensures success at MLVS. MLVS caters to a wide range of individuals, from recent immigrants who are starting from scratch to experienced workers wishing to upgrade their skills and improve their career prospects. We serve 100% very low-, low-, and moderate- income individuals Approximately 70% of our student population is female. Most of the MLVS’ students fit into at least one of the following categories:
• Welfare recipients and the unemployed.

• Low-income workers wishing to learn the skills necessary to obtain a higher-paying job.
• Skilled heads of households with limited English proficiency who have held professional positions in their own countries, but who are unable to find similar work due to the language barrier.
• Recent high school graduates or dropouts with little or no job experience.
Workers displaced due to plant closures


Prospective students are invited to visit the school, receive a tour of its facilities, and discuss their educational and occupational objectives with MLVS advisors prior to enrolling or signing enrollment agreements.
Students need to apply for admission to be officially accepted for a program and determine a starting date. To register, students will complete the school’s application form, call for an appointment to visit the school and receive a tour of its facilities, take entrance examinations, and schedule a personal interview with an admissions representative.

The tour of the MLVS facility gives applicants the opportunity to see the school’s equipment and facilities, meet the staff and faculty, and ask questions relating to the school curriculum and career objectives. Personal interviews enable school administrators to determine an applicant’s interest and eligibility for enrollment in a program. There are no minimum educational requirements for admission to any of MLVS’ programs, but entrance exams are given to determine placement. Students must be over 16 years of age, and there is no maximum age. Ability-to-benefit (ATB) students who do not have their GED, high school diploma, or California proficiency exam, are welcome to participate in MLVS’ programs. ATB students are required to pass an independently administered examination, the Wonderlic exam, to demonstrate that the student can be successful in the program, and to determine class placement, which varies from program to program. A passing score is 200 verbals, 210 quantitative. An Admissions representative will help students explore options for taking the GED or High School Proficiency Exam as part of their Educational Plan, if applicable. Once an applicant has completed the admission procedures, the school reviews the application and informs the applicant of its decision.

The school has an open enrollment system. Individuals may apply at any time and enroll in a four- or six-week program cycle. The following items must be completed at the time of application:
● An MLVS application
● An entrance examination
● An Enrollment Agreement
● Submission of personal documents if applicable
● Payment of tuition if applicable, or signed payment plan agreement

The school reserves the right to decline admission to applicants who do not successfully complete the above admission procedures. MLVS does not admit students who are visiting from outside the United States and therefore does not offer any visa services. While welcoming students with limited English proficiency, MLVS offers all its educational programs in English, requiring an English language proficiency of overall TOEFL level 65. At enrollment, students are tested for their English language level, and if they don’t have the required proficiency, they are given the opportunity to attend an English as a Second Language course. The fees are included in the overall program fees. Please see course syllabi for additional information.

MLVS has open enrollment. You may apply at any time. Please contact the Office of the Executive Director to inquire of the next start date of the program of your choice.


As a small, community-based nonprofit, MLVS is proud to offer its community-based programs FREE of charge to qualifying low-income residents of San Francisco, thanks to government contracts through the City and County of San Francisco and the State of California, as well as some private foundations.
In addition to serving our most underserved residents, MLVS also offers its quality training programs at extremely affordable rates to all interested applicants, ones which will not leave you with student loan debt at the end of the program. Compare to a for-profit institution! Cash discounts are also available. Please see details below and in the catalog.

Medical Assisting Program 760 Hours (28 weeks) –  $8,620
Professional Cooking-Intensive Course 810 Hours (27 weeks) – $8,210
Professional Baking Program 540 Hours (18 weeks) – $7,744


MLVS has traditionally operated government-sponsored programs funded by a number of public agencies as well as foundations, corporations, Workers Compensation Insurance agencies, the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) program and Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) administered through the City and County of San Francisco, CalWORKs and PAES participants, funded by the California Employment Development Department (EDD) and administered through the Department of Human Services (DHS), and private individuals.

There is no cost for participating in WIA, CDBG, or EDD funded programs. The funding sources are recognized as Third Party Payers, and any claim will be handled through this third party. These programs provide assistance to low-income citizens, immigrants, refugees and CALWORKS recipients over the age of eighteen who are unemployed or underemployed. Priority is given to heads-of-household and individuals with low-level English skills. Applicants must meet eligibility criteria determined by the funding sources.

The third-party funding source pays for tuition. For low-income, economically disadvantaged, and/or those with financial hardship, MLVS reserves the right to sponsor or offer partial or full scholarships to these individuals in order to meet tuition costs in the event a primary funding source (WIA, CDBG, DHS, Vocational Rehab, foundations, etc.) is unable to pay. Programs offered from year to year may vary depending upon current funding levels/requirements.

Students seeking admission to these programs must:

1. Be citizens of the United States, legal residents, or have employment certificates;
2. Be residents of the City of San Francisco, if applicable;
3. Be unemployed or underemployed (earning a minimum salary, working a temporary job, or working less than 20 hours a week);
4. Be economically disadvantaged: e.g. have a low income or receive economic assistance (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), General Assistance, SSE, etc.);
5. Be 18 years of age or older;
6. Meet eligibility criteria under the Workforce Investment Act [Title III applicants only].

Participants under these programs may be eligible for supportive services including transportation allowances, childcare assistance, and certain medical services. Check with an advisor to see what supportive services might be available to you and what procedures are required to receive them.
Students who are financially capable, and therefore do not qualify for government-supported education, will pay tuition for their courses. Payment plans are available.


MLVS is sponsored by many public and private organizations. Prospective students who either meet the eligibility criteria for government-assisted educational programs, and/or those that have their own financial resources, are welcome to apply to any of our programs. Child-care assistance is provided to students who qualify, and free transportation to and from the school is available to students in good standing, as funds allow.
MLVS does not participate in federal or state financial aid because it is not an accredited institution. If a student receives a personal loan to pay for their education program, the student is responsible to pay for the full amount of the loan plus interest minus any refunds if applicable.
MLVS does offer reasonable payment plan options for students. Payment plans are constructed on a case by case basis for those students who qualify.


Ms. Rosamunda Maria Ayala
Education and Programs Director
(415) 622-5345

Ms. Elsy Tadeo
Employment Specialist / Coordinator
(415) 622-5244

Chef Raul Garcia-Antolín
Culinary Director