Goodwills in GA, TX Advance Educational Opportunities for Local Students

At Goodwill®, we work to enhance the dignity and quality of life of individuals and families by strengthening communities, eliminating barriers to opportunity, and helping people in need reach their full potential through learning and the power of work. Helping people prepare for jobs and advance their careers often means first connecting them with education options, which range from single courses to a complete certification or degree.

Read on to learn about how two Goodwills are increasing access to educational opportunities for people in TX and GA communities through new accreditations that will allow students to apply for federal student aid programs including Pell Grants, deferred students loans and work study programs.

Goodwill Industries of Middle Georgia and the CSRA

Helms College culinary students stand and smileThe U.S. Department of Education recently granted Title IV eligibility to Goodwill’s Helms College. Helms College was originally established in Macon, GA, to provide skills training in the culinary arts, medical and health services, automotive technology, construction and other occupational areas that lead to middle skills careers and a path out of poverty. In May 2012, it was elevated to a degree-level institution that is nationally accredited by the Accrediting Council for Continuing Education and Training.

“Financing higher education is a challenge for students and parents,” said Jim Stiff, president of Goodwill Industries of Middle Georgia and the CSRA (GA). “We are pleased to offer federal student aid options, as well as our own tuition assistance. Helms College is committed to helping students fulfill their dreams to attend culinary school.”

On October 29, 2012, a second campus in Augusta, GA, opened and culinary classes began at both the Macon and Augusta campuses. Currently, the Augusta location offers certificate, diploma and associate’s degree programs in culinary arts. Helms College has state-of-the-art equipment and facilities, including two culinary arts lab kitchens, a baking and pastry lab kitchen and six classrooms. The college also boasts highly qualified instructors and hands-on based curricula.

The next set of classes will begin January 14, 2013.

Goodwill Industries of San Antonio

Woman receives computer assistance from instructorThe Good Careers Academy of Goodwill Industries of San Antonio (TX) has earned a six-year institutional accreditation from the Council on Occupational Education, a U.S. Department of Education-recognized national accrediting agency.

“Earning accreditation is our most significant achievement since we launched the Good Careers Academy,” says Marla Jackson, San Antonio Goodwill’s interim president and CEO. “Not only is this an endorsement of the quality of our instruction, but it puts us in a position to really help our students with tuition assistance.”

The Good Careers Academy offers affordable career training in health care, information technology and other high-demand fields through a partnership with The Alamo Colleges. Current program offerings include preparation to be pharmacy technicians, medical assistants, Certified Nurse’s Aides, computer support specialists, medical coding staff and supply chain associates. Since its launch in 2009, more than 800 students have entered the academy, with a post-certification placement rate of more than 80 percent.

The agency keeps tuition rates significantly lower than other schools while providing support for students both in and out of the classroom to help them complete their courses and find job placement upon certification. The Academy also provides basic skills training to build a foundation for other certification programs when necessary, such as GED preparation, Microsoft Office, computer technology and more.

“Our goal is to prepare individuals for well-paying, high-demand careers while providing a skilled, job-ready workforce to local employers,” Jackson says.