Daily Record Staff//March 21, 2023
//March 21, 2023
Goodwill Industries of the Chesapeake announced Tuesday it will open the Excel Center in Baltimore, a free high school for adults so they can earn a Maryland Department of Education-issued diploma.
The school, which opens September, will use a proven curriculum and approach developed over the past decade at more than 30 Excel campuses in seven states. The center will be located at Goodwill’s former headquarters at 222 E Redwood in downtown Baltimore. Initially, Goodwill is recruiting 150 students and will expand to 350 students.
Research led by the University of Notre Dame shows that the centers’ nearly 10,000 graduates have seen a 40% increase in employment and a 39% increase in earnings. Nearly 40% go on to college and 70% earned either an industry certification or dual college credits.
Baltimore’s Excel Center is specifically designed to serve adult students with varying levels of previous education through accelerated learning, individualized attention and in-person, direct instruction. Its program is constructed to accommodate working adults and parents, with four-day class weeks and an eight-week academic term. In addition to classes, the school will offer on-site childcare and transportation assistance to help students stick with their schedules.
Once they’ve completed the eight-week program, Goodwill life coaches will help students with college enrollment and entering post-secondary skills training to pursue careers in most any desired industry.
The Baltimore Excel Center will be paid for by a mix of federal, state and donated funds, including $1.4 million in a federal grant secured by U.S. Sen. Chris Van Hollen, $1 million in fiscal years 2023 and 2024 in the Maryland state budget, $1 million from Goodwill Industries of the Chesapeake for building renovation/capital spending, $250,000 annually from the Maryland Department of Education and $250,000 from the Abell Foundation for capital support for building renovation.