The Excel Center®, a tuition-free high school that provides adults the opportunity to earn a Core 40 diploma, celebrated over 300 graduates at its winter graduation ceremonies on February 14 and 15. Since opening its first location in 2010, The Excel Center has seen consistent growth, including the expansion to 14 locations throughout central and southern Indiana.
“Our graduates have sacrificed so much for this moment,” said Betsy Delgado, Vice President of Mission and Education at Goodwill. “The Excel Center demonstrates a two-generation approach to education, as students and their families begin to see dreams realized.”
The Excel Center allows students to pick up where they left off in school, providing support and resources to meet their goals. With an expedited curriculum and flexible scheduling, students can graduate quickly and prepare for postsecondary pathways. The Excel Center also offers students on-site child care, transportation assistance, dual-credit courses and industry-recognized certification opportunities — all at no cost.
“I was embraced by every single staff member at The Excel Center,” said Keanna Murphy, a February graduate from The Excel Center Meadows. “Even if I slacked off, my teachers did not take it easy on me. They made sure I stayed on track to graduate.”
That level of support and personalization is typical of The Excel Center model. Before each ceremony, graduates are allowed to select a staff member or Goodwill employee of their choice to hand them their diploma on stage. At each of the ten ceremonies that take place across the state, families and loved ones are encouraged to cheer loudly for their graduates, and there is much to be proud of.
Through the integration of industry-recognized certification training and dual-credit requirements, The Excel Center positions graduates for careers that offer better-than-average wages. Nearly 100% of Excel Center graduates earn a college or career credential, and 80% of graduates report being employed or enrolled in college one year after earning their diploma.
“Goodwill is well-positioned to offer students support every step of the way while earning a diploma, and we keep track of them after they graduate as well,” said Delgado. “Graduating nearly 4,000 students is a testament to our outstanding and supportive staff as well as to the students themselves for never giving up.”