Goodwill Excel Center adjusts to online learning

Posted on 16 September 2020 at 6:25pm

COLUMBIA - Goodwill Excel Center is almost a month into its first term and students and faculty are adjusting to their new normal. 

The adult high school closed in March and had to shift to online classes because of the pandemic. 

Director of Goodwill Excel Center Mike Reynolds said the pandemic impacted the center like it did with many other schools around the country.

"The advantage we had, was that we were able to scramble and create an online option for our students and faculty." 

The center has mainly online classes but is open to students and faculty for tutoring and help with technological issues. 

One student, Colton Howard, said he is adjusting well, and his teachers have been flexible and understanding with assignments. 

"The teachers were very understanding about trying to coax us to being where we are at today," Howard said. "Understanding with how to get on to our classroom, to get to our assignments and to be able to get them done."

Students are not the only ones however who have adjusted to this new form of learning. One teacher, Abby Courtney, said it has been hard to adjust because she was used to teaching in-person for 31 years. 

"It was really hard," Courtney said. "It was really hard because it's kind of like that old dog, new trick, and I had to teach a whole different way than I had taught for 31 years."

Courtney said there are some benefits to online learning for the center because some students had to become teachers for not only themselves, but also for their kids. 

"I don't know what they would have done," Courtney said. "They wouldn't have been able to come to school if they had to sit all day in class, like many of them had done while their kids were home. So for our adults and parents, this has been a really good situation. Not easy, but probably more convenient." 

Reynolds said some students were not able to continue to attend the spring semester because of work schedules, lack of internet access and some students had to become teachers for their kids. 

Reynolds said he is happy most students were able to continue their education and he hopes that the center will move to in-person classes soon.