Adult Core 40 High School Completion Program
Project Type: Education
Project Stage: In Progress
The Goodwill Excel Center is a free public charter school that provides adults the resources and guidance to earn an Indiana Core 40 high school diploma. The Excel Center provides a flexible class schedule, free childcare and transportation, and opportunities to earn industry-recognized certificates and/or college credits towards undergraduate degrees at local colleges and universities. The Excel Center aims to increase attainment of high school diplomas for low-income workers by giving them the necessary guidance and tools to be successful in school and achieve better labor market outcomes. The Excel Center began in Indianapolis in 2010 before opening locations all over Central and Southern Indiana, and has now expanded nationally to locations in Tennessee, Texas, and Washington, D.C. The Indianapolis program sites are best suited for evaluation due to a longer follow-up period and the high volume of enrollees between 2011-2013 that created a waitlist for applicants. Any adult who has not completed high school is eligible. Adults who have earned a GED are also eligible to take classes and receive an Indiana Core 40 diploma.
Due to limited funding and the high volume of interest from 2011-2013 that ultimately led to the expansion of the Excel Center to other locations, a waitlist was formed because the program could not serve all of the eligible applicants in the Indianapolis area. We will conduct a retrospective, quasi-experimental evaluation of these Excel Centers whose waitlists created a comparison group. We will compare applicants with longer versus shorter wait times for orientation. Those assigned to the program should, on average, look just like those assigned to the comparison group at the time of application.
This evaluation will measure how enrollment and completion of the Excel Center program affects receiving a degree, employment, earnings, and receipt of public assistance.
Goodwill of Central and Southern Indiana