X-Cel Education was founded in 2000 as a 501(c)(3) organization by two adult educators with a combined twenty years of experience in adult education. X-Cel’s mission is to make high school completion, post-secondary study, and sustainable career paths more accessible to underserved communities in Greater Boston, by providing flexible, customized instruction and career readiness development at no cost in convenient community locations. X-Cel started with a single volunteer and a small GED preparation class located in Roxbury. We have grown to 14 employees and a weekly average of 45 volunteers providing Pre-HiSET Prep, HiSET Prep, and College Prep classes at seven Boston locations. In addition, we operate the Boston Opportunity Youth Collaborative Connection Center, a one-stop resource launched in 2015 to connect opportunity youth, ages 20-24, who have a high school credential but are not in school or a career-oriented position, with workforce development and/or college bridging programs. Over the course of one year, we work with more than 300 high school equivalency and college transition students, as well as more than 200 youth seeking improved careers.
Our approach to adult education is innovative in several ways:
- Rather than offer our classes at one centralized location, X-Cel partners with neighborhood-based non-profit organizations, so that X-Cel can provide the expertise in adult education services and the neighborhood agency provides the physical space. This allows X-Cel the flexibility to provide educational services in the neighborhoods with the greatest needs and lowers our overhead costs so that a greater percentage of our funds can go directly to providing services to low-income adults.
- The majority of X-Cel’s programs operate on a rolling admissions basis. We accept new students into these classes virtually every week, so that students being released from incarceration, students on probation, or in some other immediate need of classes, do not have to wait months for the next semester to begin. They can begin classes immediately.
- Instruction in all of our classes occurs in small groups and students advance through skill levels at their own individualized paces. This increases student motivation and allows students to make the most progress in a short amount of time.
- Through our partnership with Boston Cares, X-Cel employs widespread use of volunteers to assist our instructors in math, reading and writing instruction. Every week an average of 45 volunteers donate over 100 service hours to our adult students. This consistent donation of time and effort enables X-Cel to provide our individualized and small group instruction in our classes and to maximize the services that we can provide with the funds that are donated to X-Cel.