GREATER LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - A new public charter school is opening in Lafayette. Whether you're 18 – or 75 – and you don't have a high school diploma, here's your chance.
Beginning this summer, adults in Tippecanoe County will be able to get a high school education at no charge.
It's called the Excel Center and it's designed for older youth and adults looking to get their high school diploma for free.
"They're really looking to fill that gap for that learner that's really passed the traditional high school age," Lafayette Mayor Tony Roswarski (D) said.
The Excel Center is part of the Goodwill Education Initiatives, a not-for-profit organization, formed by Goodwill Industries of Central Indiana.
In August, the organization will open one of its newest campuses at the Howarth Center in Lafayette. The classrooms will be open to any Tippecanoe County resident 18 years or older.
"A student I'm thinking of (who is) over 70 is progressing pretty well," Excel Center Lead Life Coach Nathan Storm said. "So anybody who says, 'Well I haven't been in school for probably five or 10 years,' we have a pretty good argument that we have a solid foundation and solid curriculum plan to help you achieve your goal."
Storm says students will be required to participate in class three hours a day, Monday through Thursday.
Besides free tuition and flexible schedules, Storm says the list of perks goes on. Students will also receive free bus fare and free child care.
"That's the biggest barrier," Storm said. "Where do those children go when mom is getting her education?
Storm says life coaches will also be available to assist students with everyday tasks.
"For instance, if you're having trouble knowing where to go to help pay a bill, or having trouble getting into an eye doctor, or having trouble just in any aspect, you'll have a life coach assigned to you that will be able to help you get over those barriers," Storm said.
Residents who have GEDs can also participate in the program. Once students finish the high school diploma courses, the school will also pay tuition costs for students to take the first steps toward industry-recognized certificates or undergraduate degrees at Ivy Tech and IUPUI.
Enrollment is now open and there are 330 spots available for the sessions starting in August.
The Excel Center will have a booth at this week's Mosey Down Main Street in Lafayette.
Mosey Down Main takes place from 6 to 10 p.m. Saturday on Main Street in Downtown Lafayette.
There's also an open house from noon until 4 p.m. on Thursday May 16 at the Howart Center (615 N. 18th St.).
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