Goodwill Excel Centers Set to Utilize Online Learning In All Locations

First term starts online on Monday, August 17 for nearly 700 students

ST. LOUIS, MO (August 14, 2020) – MERS Goodwill announces that all four Goodwill Excel Centers located in St. Louis, Poplar Bluff, Springfield, and Columbia will start term 1 of the 2020/2021 school year on Monday, August 17, virtually. For the safety of the students and instructors Goodwill will be adjusting their plans for this fall in reaction to the ongoing cases and concerns regarding COVID-19 in Missouri. Classes, for the time being, will be held online with an option for in person tutoring. This structure will continue to allow flexibility for work schedules for many of the Goodwill Excel Center students.

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 nearly 700 adults enrolled for the new school year.

“Online learning has been taking place within the Goodwill Excel Centers since March, for our students final two terms, and will continue into the beginning of this school year for the safety of our students and staff,” said Mark Arens, Executive Vice President and Chief of Program Services for Goodwill and its Excel Centers. “The goal is 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. While recent times have forced us apart, we want students to know that they are not alone, and we will continue to work together to offer them the education they’re seeking.”

During the 2019-2020 school year, Goodwill Excel Centers had over 220 graduates earn their high school diplomas, and almost 300 graduates in total since opening in 2018. With approximately 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.

The Centers have come forward with a set of guidelines that will be enforced while on campus. They will be operating a “closed campus”. Meaning students may only be on campus with a scheduled appointment or class time, resulting in limited amounts of people moving in and out of the building. The new precautions include: temperature scan required upon arrival, requiring face masks to be worn at all times on campus, maintaining a distance of 6 feet from others at all times, and closing common/cafeteria area.

Those interested in applying can call 314-982-8802 or visit

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 30,000 individuals, the non-profit agency operates in 47 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. For more information about MERS Goodwill or to find  a Goodwill donation center near you, call 314-241-3464 or visit