TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — Around 10,000 Terre Haute residents are said to be without a high school diploma, according to Wabash Valley Goodwill representatives.

The Indiana General Assembly recently approved additional seats for The Excel Center, Goodwill’s high school for adults; 300 of those seats will come to the Wabash Valley with the addition of The Excel Center in Terre Haute.

“It (The Excel Center) was created to serve adults. So, it’s an adult learning center that will earn their core 40 high school diploma,” Meredith Osburn, President and CEO of the Wabash Valley Goodwill, said.

Across Indiana, thousands of adults lack a high school diploma, leading to generational poverty and unpreparedness to compete in the workforce, which, in many cases, causes an inability to secure jobs that offer a livable wage and continued career growth.

The Excel Center offers adults the opportunity to earn a Core 40 diploma, allowing students to pick up right where they left off in school, providing support and resources for students to meet their goals.

“The Excel Center meets a student where they are and figures out a path to get them to graduation,” Osburn said. “We support the adult the best that we can, by offering free childcare, we make sure that it’s on a transportation route or we figure out how to get them there, just talk about a transportation plan, and it’s totally free.”

With rigorous curriculum and flexible scheduling, students can graduate quickly and prepare for postsecondary pathways. The Excel Center also offers students free on-site childcare, transportation assistance, and opportunities to earn college credits and industry-recognized certifications.

“We know that there are opportunities for people to come to The Excel Center and go right into a path of either a career or furthering their education at one of our higher institutions, Ivy Tech, ISU, Saint Mary of the Woods, whatever it may be,” Osburn said. “We’re more than just a store. And what our true mission is, is meeting people where they are and developing them to thrive through development, personal growth, training, all of that.”

Leaders say they hope to get the excel center up and running by the fall of 2024. While they look for location to build or renovate, they also look forward to the day they will serve students.