Goodwill Excel Centers Set to Return to In Class Learning In All Locations

First term starts online on Monday, August 16 for nearly 950 students

ST. LOUIS, MO (August 13, 2021) – MERS Goodwill announces that all four Goodwill Excel Centers located in St. Louis, Poplar Bluff, Springfield, and Columbia will start Term 1 of the 2021/2022 school year on Monday, August 16, largely in-person.

For the safety of the students and instructors Goodwill has continually adjusted their plans for this fall in reaction to concerns regarding COVID-19 in Missouri. Starting this month classes will be held in-person with some virtual learning occurring as well for students who are close to graduation. Goodwill hopes its structure will continue to allow flexibility for work schedules for many of the Goodwill Excel Center students, and the Excel Centers have free onsite daycare for children under the age of 12. Following guidance issued by the CDC, Excel Centers will require that students and staff maintain social distancing protocol and wear face masks.

The Goodwill Excel Center is a tuition-free high school that gives adults the opportunity to earn an actual high school diploma. While earning their diploma, students can earn college credits and a variety of industry-recognized certifications in order to increase their earning potential. The schools are currently enrolling students and have over 950 adults enrolled for the new school year.

“Students have been very successful and incredibly well supported by our teachers and life coaches during this time when we have had to operate online. We are excited to be able to bring the school back to physical classrooms this First Term of 2021 and excited to see our students in person,” said Mark Arens, Executive Vice President and Superintendent of Excel Centers. “We will continue to take precautions to provide a safe environment for our staff, students, and families.  Our goal remains the same: for our students to receive the quality education they deserve and for the Excel Centers to provide the support needed in order for these students to graduate from high school.”

During the 2020-2021 school year, Goodwill Excel Centers had 241 graduates earn their high school diplomas, and 523 graduates in total since opening in 2018. With an estimated 500,000 people in Missouri over 21 without a high school diploma, the organization hopes that people continue to take advantage of the Goodwill Excel Centers. The Goodwill Excel Center mission is the same throughout the MERS Goodwill organization: Changing lives through the power of work.

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About MERS/Missouri Goodwill Industries:

MERS Goodwill changes lives through the power of work. Its vision is a community where each individual has the opportunity to learn, work, and achieve their greatest potential. Annually serving more than 11,000 individuals, the non-profit agency operates in 46 locations serving 93 counties in the bi-state area. Revenues from 44 Goodwill stores assist with funding MERS Goodwill job training and employment services. MERS Goodwill is a proud member of the United Way and is accredited by the Better Business Bureau. The agency is also profiled on the nonprofit organization database GuideStar, where MERS Goodwill is ranked with the Platinum Seal of Approval.  For more information about MERS Goodwill or to find a Goodwill donation center near you, call 314-241-3464 or visit