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Missouri Association of Rural Education

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MARE Welcomes MERS Missouri Goodwill as Newest Associate Member

MARE is pleased to welcome MERS Missouri Goodwill as our newest Associate Member.  For more information on this amazing organization and the great work they are doing, as well as opportunities for employment, please read below:


MERS Missouri Goodwill's mission is " Changing lives through the power of work."  Education is an essential component when seeking job opportunities.  One of the most heartbreaking occurrences in education is a student dropping out of school.  They grow to adults and, without a high school diploma, their ability to further their education and obtain employment with a family sustaining wage is limited.  There are over 500,000 Missourians without a high school diploma who lose an average of $400,000 over their working lives.  


Goodwill, supported by DESE and MO DSS, has opened 4 adult high school in Missouri since 2018.  Our schools serve almost a thousand adults, offer 5 accelerated terms per year, are open 8:30 am to 8:30 pm, and classes are all taught by MO certified teachers.  We provide resources to help students overcome obstacles and remove barriers through flexible scheduling, life coaching, transportation assistance, on-site free daycare, and a growing network of outside resources.  Students are able to pick up where they left off and complete the remaining credits they need to earn a MO High School diploma.  An accelerated, adult community allows instructors to build lessons around student needs and to use both data and creativity in designing, refining, and implementing curriculum.  In addition, students are also able to earn Industry Recognized Credentials such as Phlebotomy, Pharmacy Tech, Microsoft certifications, etc.  Currently 41% of our graduates enroll in college or advanced training and 60% graduate with dual credit or an Industry Recognized Certification.  To date, we have produced nearly 700 graduates and over 90% of those graduates have either joined the workforce, earned an IRC, enrolled into an Apprenticeship or college.


MERSGoodwill Excel Centers will open 4 additional schools in 2022 & 2023.  The north St. Louis county center and the Cape Giradeau center will both open in the fall of 2022.  Both of these new schools will plan to serve approximately 200-250 additional students.  Tentative plans are to open two more Excel Centers in the fall of 2023.  The expansion model will allow Goodwill to bring more opportunities closer to potential new students to offset the rising fuel costs.  The above information is an overview of what our mission is for helping adults get a second chance to earn their high school diploma and ultimately, help our workforce but these schools are also a  great " second chance" for educators in the state of Missouri.  Can you imagine a classroom full of students who WANT to be there and are thankful for a second chance?  No worries about prepping for state assessments, standardized tests?  The majority of our staff are indeed retired teachers who can often be heard saying this isn't just a second chance for our students, but also a second chance for us as teachers!