We are pleased to announce several exciting developments at The Excel Center, the free charter high school for Shelby County adults 18 years and older.
Our first classes will begin in Fall 2015 at the former Norris Road Elementary School. The address is 1490 Norris Road (38106). The Excel Center will eventually move to the Sears Crosstown building when it is ready (but it won’t be ready next fall).. We are excited about moving into our new school home in the southwest Memphis neighborhood.
ENROLLMENT EVENT JANUARY 31
Mark your calendars for Sat., January 31. There will be a Charter School Information and Enrollment Fair from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Excel Center staff will be at the event to share information, answer your questions and give out enrollment forms for our adult high school degree program. The fair will be held in the Pipkin Building at the Mid-South Fairgrounds (940 Early Maxwell Road). When we open, we will be able to enroll 350 adult students. Come learn more about this exciting new charter school!
If you can’t attend Jan. 31, don’t worry. We will announce several other community meetings in the future. Stay tuned to this website for more times & locations!
WALTON FOUNDATION GRANTS START-UP FUNDING
The Walton Family Foundation has awarded The Excel Center a grant to help with school start-up costs. These monies will be used for learning technology, curriculum and staff / teacher training. We are very grateful for the Walton Family Foundation’s generous gift and for their confidence in what The Excel Center can do in the Memphis community.
THE EXCEL CENTER: A SUCCESSFUL MODEL
The Excel Center will offer hope to thousands of Memphis area students who have dropped out of high school, but want the chance to return to school and earn their high school diplomas. This free charter school for adults focuses on helping students graduate and plan ahead for a better future. Goodwill Industries of Central Indiana opened the first Excel Center in 2010 with 300 students; now, there are nine campuses with 3,000 students and 859 graduates. Due to its outstanding record of success, Memphis Goodwill is making plans to open Excel Centers in Memphis. Our business is changing lives, and the Excel Center will create exciting opportunities for the people in our communities. To learn more about The Excel Centers in Central Indiana visit http://www.excelcenter.org/.
- Adult charter school is free to students
- Students complete requirements to earn high school diploma
- Every student has a life coach
- On-site child care is provided
- Programs focus on earning credits and planning for post-secondary study or job training
- Planning for long-term job opportunities
BUILDING SUCCESS FOR THE STUDENTS
- The Excel Center is designed to fit the life situations of adults, and is open morning, afternoon, and evenings year-round.
- Students must meet all state academic requirements, but learning plans are individualized with aim to prepare student for “what comes next.”
- Most students begin work toward a post-secondary credential in a field with greater than average growth potential and career opportunities. In Indiana, the primary fields are logistics, health-related careers, and entry level IT careers.
- Terms last eight weeks, and many classes integrate material from multiple disciplines to enable students to earn multiple credits from one course. Some courses are available online, and one-on-one tutoring is available any time the school is open.
- Each student has a “coach” who monitors academic progress and helps address barriers that might limit education attainment.
- Free child care is available while students are in class. Other barrier factors addressed (transportation, employment/schooling balance)
- State funding is based on enrollment and is sufficient to cover day-to-day operations.
- 15.2% of adults in the U. S. lack a high school diploma. In 2011, the unemployment rate for high school dropouts was 14.1%, compared with 9.4% for high school graduates. Since the early 1970s, the share of jobs for high school dropouts has plunged from about 33% to 11%. As a result, high school dropouts struggle to maintain employment and are more likely to live in unstable families, to receive public assistance, and to be incarcerated.
- On average, compared with high school graduates, each dropout costs the U.S. economy $260,000 in lost earnings, taxes, and productivity over his/her lifetime.
- Future outcomes (e.g. annual income, unemployment rate) of GED recipients are no better than for high school dropouts. Median earnings of a high school graduate are 41% higher than for a dropout. Adding an industry-recognized certificate to a high school diploma will boost average earnings an additional 27%.
- 28% poverty rate in Memphis
- 40% of those in poverty are “working poor”
- 20% of 16-24-year-olds are not in school or working
- Only 69% of Memphis students have graduated in last five years
- 7,200 high school drop-outs each year