New York Times Calls The Excel Center®
“A second chance – at a high school diploma, a better-paying job, maybe college”
Arkansas Among Just 5 States To Operate Excel Centers.
LITTLE ROCK, AR (April 9, 2018) — In Arkansas, 14.8% of adults do not have a high school diploma. That’s 300,000 people who did not complete high school. And on average, these men and women will earn $9,000 less each year than those who did graduate.
Six months ago, in an effort to help them complete their education and find better jobs, Goodwill Industries of Arkansas officially opened The Excel Center® at its Goodwill Resource Center on Scott Hamilton Drive in Little Rock. Students are able to earn diplomas, certified by the Arkansas Department of Education.
I started on the very first day,” said Arkansas student Tracy Clay. “It’s been amazing being here. The teachers are excellent, and it’s just such a great place to be to get your high school diploma.”
One of the first stories to appear in the New York Times new “Learning” section last week focused on Excel Centers.
“Although there are many other programs around the country to help adults get their high school diplomas, the Goodwill Excel model stands out because it accepts students of any age – most other schools cap their enrollment at age 25 or younger – is growing nationally and offers intensive support to overcome the obstacles facing most people trying to go back to school.” – New York Times.
The Excel Center in Arkansas offers transportation assistance, a free drop-in childcare center and a food pantry. Tutoring is also provided, along with life coaching.
The Excel Center operates in 8-week terms, offering classes from history, English and math — to industry recognized certifications. The length of time it takes students to graduate depends on how many credits the student earned before leaving high school. Registration is currently open. The next session begins April 24. Other states operating Excel Centers include Indiana, Tennessee, Texas and Washington.
Clay isn’t ready to stop learning, even after graduation. She plans to attend college, and hopes to be a teacher one day.
To read the full New York Times article, go to https://nyti.ms/2GJRx23 . Interviews with Arkansas students and school faculty are available upon request.
About Goodwill Industries of Arkansas
Goodwill Industries of Arkansas is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to changing lives through education, training and employment. Revenue generated through the sale of reusable donated goods at Goodwill retail stores is used to create jobs and fund critical training programs for Arkansans. Last fiscal year, Goodwill served 14,533 individuals and helped 6,173 Arkansans attain jobs with businesses statewide. To learn more, visit GoodwillAR.org. Follow us on Twitter: @GoodwillAR and find us on Facebook: GoodwillAR or Instagram: GoodwillAR.