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Mayor Joe Hogsett, IPS, Goodwill Announce Plans for Adult High School on Southeast Side

The Excel Center Southeast has a goal to serve hundreds of students from the city’s south side, with a specific focus on outreach to justice-involved individuals.

Mayor Joe Hogsett, with Goodwill of Central and Southern Indiana and Indianapolis Public Schools, announced a new partnership to expand educational options and opportunities for adults, with specific outreach to justice-involved individuals. The Excel Center Southeast adult high school, set to open later this year at Paul I. Miller School 114, will expand access for students to earn a high school diploma, college credits, and industry certifications.

“Today, far too many adults in our city encounter barriers when seeking to complete a high school diploma, and that’s especially true for those seeking to re-enter life after incarceration or involvement with the justice system,” said Mayor Joe Hogsett. “Thankfully, The Excel Centers have been clearing away those barriers for over a decade. I can’t think of a better reason to set aside $2 million of federal American Rescue Plan funding to accomplish this goal.” 

The Excel Center Southeast received a charter from the Indianapolis Charter School Board in April and is set to operate for the 2023–24 school year. The school, while open to any adult student, will specifically work to connect with justice-involved individuals. 

“We are pleased to partner with Mayor Joe Hogsett and IPS to provide increased education and employment opportunities to families in the Southeast Indianapolis region, with a focus on justice-involved individuals,” said Kent Kramer, President and CEO of Goodwill of Central and Southern Indiana. “The Excel Center is an evidence-based model focused on helping adults earn their high school diploma, increase their independence, and reach their potential while preparing them to strengthen Indiana’s workforce.”

The joint venture between IPS and The Excel Center Southeast creates educational pathways and potential employment opportunities for program graduates. The Excel Center Southeast, which is leasing space inside Paul I. Miller School 114, will share the building with the IPS Facilities Management Department (FMD).

“Indianapolis Public Schools is excited to join hands with The Excel Center to offer a fresh start and opportunities for continued education for adult students to thrive — not just academically, but also in their journey through life,” said IPS Superintendent Dr. Aleesia Johnson. “Being able to reuse the Paul I. Miller building in this way represents the district’s ongoing efforts to find innovative, progressive pathways to ensuring students, no matter their age, have a safe and welcoming educational environment. It also holds true to our promise to utilize buildings in ways that continue to add value to the community.” 

The Excel Centers in Central and Southern Indiana have graduated more than 7,000 students since the first campus opened in 2010. A recent study by the Lab for Economic Opportunity at the University of Notre Dame showed that Excel Center graduates earn 39 percent more than their peers five years after graduation.

The $2 million investment comes from the City’s American Rescue Plan allocation, which was unanimously approved by the City-County Council. The Excel Center Southeast will be authorized by the Office of Education Innovation, whose portfolio also includes The Excel Center West, University Heights, Avondale Meadows, Shadeland, Michigan St., and Decatur.