Memphis Goodwill, Inc., has received approval to open a free public charter high school for adults called The Excel Center.
In granting approval, the Shelby County School Board noted The Excel Center’s mission in adult learning and its track record of success.
The Excel Center will offer adult dropouts a second chance to return to high school and earn their high school diplomas. Memphis Goodwill plans to begin classes in Fall 2015.
The Excel Center charter school model was created in 2010 by the Goodwill of Central Indiana and has focused on helping adult students return to school to earn high school credits, as well as post-secondary credits and/or job certifications. In less than three years, Central Indiana’s Excel Center has evolved from one campus with 300 students to nine campuses with 3,000 students. More than 720 students have earned their high school diplomas.
“We are thrilled to have approval for The Excel Center to begin in Memphis, and we know it will be a life-changing opportunity for hundreds of Memphians,” said Memphis Goodwill President & CEO Tony Martini.
“We will be working with a wide range of community partners and Excel Center leaders in Central Indiana to launch this innovative high school in Fall 2015.”
Features of the Excel Center will include life coaches assigned to each student; a free on-site child drop-in center for students with children while they are in class; accelerated school terms and the chance to earn multiple credits; and a focus on each student’s “next steps,” whether that is postsecondary education or vocational training and certifications.
In the west Tennessee and north Mississippi area, Goodwill employs more than 770 people, many of whom face significant barriers to employment.
(For more information, go to http://goodwillmemphis.org/excel-center.)