An adult high school run by Goodwill of Central and Southern Indiana will open in Muncie this fall. The tuition-free charter Excel Center is focused on helping adults earn a high school diploma.
The first Excel Center opened in 2010 and with three new locations this fall, it will operate 17 such schools in Indiana.
Goodwill of Central and Southern Indiana President and CEO Kent Kramer says a big focus is better paying jobs.
“It’s truly a workforce development-educational solution to this underskilled population that’s pretty massive,” he says.
When the Excel Center was proposed in Muncie last year, some community members saw it as a challenge to Muncie Community Schools, which has lost thousands of students that still live in its district to other school corporations.
At that time, Goodwill Vice President Betsey Delgado says the Excel Center deals with a different population than traditional public high schools.
“We’re an adult high school. We serve 18 and above age group. If a student were to come to us younger than that, for example, if they’re pregnant or something like that, we would work with the public school to understand what the best situation was for that student.”
Students have access to daycare services and life coaching as they earn a Core 40 diploma at The Excel Center.
Kramer says it’s a way to help graduates earn better wages, or set them on a path to continue their education in college.
“Each school, at a clip of about 97 percent, are providing college dual credits as well as industry recognized certifications,” he says.
This fall, Excel Center locations will also open in Gary and Decatur Township. Other states have Excel Center schools of their own, including in Arkansas, Texas, and Washington D.C.
Tony Sandleben contributed to this report.