Adult Charter School Gaining Momentum

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An adult education program developed in Indiana is poised to expand to more areas inside and outside the state. Goodwill Industries of Central Indiana Inc.'s Excel Center is a public charter school that focuses on helping adults complete a high school diploma. During our (i) on Education segment, Goodwill Education Initiatives Inc. Chief Operating Officer Scott Bess says the program has grown to nine Indiana sites and 2,900 students in less than four years. The first location outside of the state is set to open in Texas this summer. He says Goodwill is working with state legislators to determine ways to expand beyond central Indiana. Excel Center currently has locations in Anderson, Indianapolis, Kokomo, Lafayette and Richmond.

He says a Ball State University analysis suggests the average graduate of the program stands to earn over $4,500 more per year than non-graduates.

Bess tells Inside INdiana Business many who complete the program have gone on to further their education with certifications in high-growth industries, which "completely changes the trajectory of their lives."

He says graduates range in age from 17 to 70, but most are in their early-to-mid-20s.

The program's first location opened in 2010 in Indianapolis with 300 students.

Source: Inside INdiana Business