New Columbia school to offer adults chance to earn a high school diploma

1 year 1 week 5 days ago Monday, September 16 2019 Sep 16, 2019 Monday, September 16, 2019 9:27:00 AM CDT September 16, 2019 in News
By: Alexandria Williams, KOMU 8 Reporter
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COLUMBIA - Adults who never received a high school diploma will soon have a second chance to go back to school for free. 

"We're very exited to offer a second chance to this community," Director Mike Reynolds said.

In a press release, MERS Goodwill announced the opening of an Excel Center - adult school location in Columbia. The school will be located within the old Columbia Tribune building on North 4th Street. 

"Excel Centers are designed to offer high school diplomas and opportunities to get a career, enhance their career, or working into a college or technical school," he said.

Reynolds said the staff will begin the official enrollment period Tuesday and continue for the next 6 weeks. 

"We have a group of teachers that have a wealth of experience in the high school level and the college level," he said. "They all still have a passion to be in the classroom."

Former English teacher Jill Campbell said she's looking forward to work with the upcoming classes. 

"This will be a lot more interesting because we'll have a variety of ages," Campbell said. "Now I'll have students from 21 to my age."

Campbell said she's excited to show these upcoming students a different education experience. 

"I think that they're going to be very surprised that we're not pigeonholing them back into high school, which they were obviously not that comfortable with," she said. "We're going to learn how to do this together."

The Excel Center will offer both daytime class from 8:45 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. and evening classes from 5:45 p.m. to 8:45 p.m. 

Reynolds said adult students who qualify on an income level will be reimbursed for bus passes or sometimes mileage and gas reimbursement. 

Adults with children will be offered free daycare in the same building while classes are going. 

Reynolds said the life coaches who assist the students in choosing their necessary classes have backgrounds in social services as well as high school advisors. 

"We're hoping for 150 students plus to enroll by the end of October," he said. 

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