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This is a classroom inside downtown Columbia’s Goodwill Excel Center free adult high school (January 2024 photo from 939 the Eagle's Brian Hauswirth)

(LISTEN): Columbia’s Goodwill free adult high school says students learn to raise credit score, get loans

(This is the third story in Brian Hauswirth’s series about Columbia’s Goodwill free adult high school)

This is the daycare center inside
downtown Columbia’s Goodwill Excel Center free adult high school (January 2024 photo from 939 the Eagle’s Brian Hauswirth)

Downtown Columbia’s Goodwill Excel Center free adult high school offers financial literacy, career exploration and a dedicated life coach.

They serve students 21 and older and provide day and evening classes. Peter Reed teaches social studies, math, science and finance at the school, telling 939 the Eagle that the things his students are learning are benefiting them in everyday life.

“Many of our students, especially with like the finance class, will figure out how to raise their credit score, get loans, how to look at what interest rates mean. And they’ll be like oh I wish I had known this earlier,” Mr. Reed says.

The school encourages supportive relationships with staff that encourage progress. Their next term begins in March. Several teachers at Columbia’s Goodwill Excel Center free adult high school say some of their students have never been on a field trip. Field trips, hands-on learning and science are priorities at the school. Champagne Minx, who teaches science and health, tells 939 the Eagle that the school has excellent facilities.

“We can do a lot of scientific projects because we have a ton of equipment. And I mean we’ve got a budget to order whatever we need just like a regular high school, which I was really surprised by that,” Ms. Minx says.

Ms. Minx has taught at the school in downtown Columbia for about a year-and-a-half.

Free child care is a selling point for downtown Columbia’s Goodwill Excel Center free adult high school. Many of their students have children. School daycare director Saundra Perkins, who grew up in mid-Missouri’s New Franklin, sees ten to 15 children on a normal day and evening. Ms. Perkins praises the school’s experienced staff.

“If you look at this table, all these people here have a lot of experience. And I came here straight out of college. And so getting to work with all of these people kind of has helped me like kind figure out like this is how we’re doing it, this is what I do and I have a good group of people to lean on,” Perkins says.

The Goodwill Excel Center high school allows students to learn at their own pace and provides them the ability to balance school and work schedules. It also provides a dedicated life coach. You can reach the Excel Center at (573) 499-1220.

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