Educational Institutions

X-Cel Inc.

  • Jamaica Plain, MA
  • www.x-celeducation.org

Mission Statement

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.

Main Programs

  1. X-Cel ABE/Pre-HSE Classes
  2. X-Cel GED Prep Classes
  3. College Prep Classes
Service Areas

Self-reported

Massachusetts

Over 80% of our students come from the Boston neighborhoods of Dorchester, Roxbury, and Mattapan. The remainder come from other neighborhoods in Greater Boston.

ruling year

2000

Principal Officer since 2000

Self-reported

Mr Don L Sands

Keywords

Self-reported

X-Cel, Excel, X-Cel Adult Education Services, X-Cell

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Also Known As

X-Cel Education

EIN

04-3492163

 Number

3491311598

Contact

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Adult, Continuing Education (B60)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Programs + Results

How does this organization make a difference?

Overview

Self-reported by organization

July 2013- June 2014: During this past school year, X-Cel staff and volunteers worked with 345 youth and adults, enabling them to increase their reading, writing and math skills, study for their High School Equivalency (HSE) exam, prepare for successful entry to post-secondary education, and succeed and persist in order to complete a post-secondary credential. Of those students we worked with in our Pre-HSE and HSE prep classes over the past school year: 100% were able to start classes immediately and none were placed on a waiting list75 passed their HSE examA record 72% of the HSE graduates from April-August 2014 enrolled in post-secondary education in September, more than double the national average of 29.7% Of those students we worked with in our College Prep programs over the past school year: 47 students enrolled in post-secondary education68% of X-Cel students who enrolled in post-secondary education in September 2013 remained enrolled in post-secondary education in September 2014. This is more than double the national average of 28.7%

Programs

Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Program 1

X-Cel ABE/Pre-HSE Classes

X-Cel offers free Adult Basic Education/Pre-High School Equivalency (HSE) classes at three locations in Dorchester, Roxbury and Mission Hill. Our policy is to have no waiting lists and to accept students on a rolling admissions basis, so that students can begin classes immediately. These classes serve youth and adults, age 18 and older, who have reading levels between 4th and 6th grade. Students' grade levels are assessed upon intake and then every four months, using the TABE, a nationally recognized assessment of adult academic skills. Classes are taught in small groups and cover basic reading, writing and math skills. The goals of these are classes are to raise students' grade levels to a minimum of 6.0 so they can advance to HSE Prep level classes as well as help them develop academic skills for everyday life so that they can help their children with homework and handle tasks such as reading instructions at work or writing a letter to their children's teacher, landlord, etc.

Category

Education, General/Other

Population(s) Served

Adults

Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General

Offenders/Ex-offenders

Budget

$75,000.00

Program 2

X-Cel GED Prep Classes

X-Cel offers free High School Equivalency (HSE) Prep classes at three locations in Dorchester, Roxbury and Mission Hill. All classes have no waiting lists and a rolling admissions policy, so that students can begin classes immediately. These classes serve out-of-school youth age 18 and older and adults who have reading levels at 6th grade and above. Students' grade levels are assessed upon intake and every four months using the TABE, a nationally recognized assessment of adult academic skills. Reading, Writing, Social Studies and Science classes are taught in small groups and Math is taught individually, as experience has taught us that students come to us with a wide variety of backgrounds in math skills and they learn math concepts at very different paces. Instruction is individually customized so students can focus on the subject areas they need to pass the HSE exam. The goal for these classes is to raise students' grade levels so that they will be able to pass the HSE exam.

Category

Education, General/Other

Population(s) Served

Adults

Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General

Offenders/Ex-offenders

Budget

$75,000.00

Program 3

College Prep Classes

X-Cel provides free college prep classes to our High School Equivalency (HSE) graduates and out-of-school youth and adults with a high school credential. X-Cel offers college prep classes at three locations in Roxbury, Mission Hill and downtown Boston. All classes have no waiting lists and a rolling admissions policy so that students can begin classes immediately. Our college prep classes cover pre-college reading, writing, math and computer skills. The goals are to assist the students to develop the study skills and life skills necessary to succeed in college, give students experience doing college-level work, and to increase students' academic levels so they will perform better on the college entrance exams, avoid remedial classes an place into credit-bearing classes. Students work with a counselor to complete a financial aid application, select the best college and program of study for them, complete and submit their college application, and register for their college classes.

Category

Education, General/Other

Population(s) Served

Adults

Poor/Economically Disadvantaged, Indigent, General

Offenders/Ex-offenders

Budget

$120,000.00

Charting Impact

Self-reported by organization

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

  1. What is the organization aiming to accomplish?
    X-Cel's ultimate goal is to assist economically disadvantaged youth and adults to complete the education and training necessary to enter careers that will allow them to earn a living wage and gain economic stability.. Out-of-school youth and adults come to X-Cel because they are unemployed or underemployed and they are lacking the education and credentials required to enter a career that will support themselves and their families. X-Cel works with all program participants to prepare them to pass their high school equivalency exam and to prepare for success in post-secondary education: we then support them until they complete their post-secondary credential and enter a career that will provide them with economic self-sufficiency. X-Cel focuses on economically disadvantaged, out-of-school youth and adults in Greater Boston. X-Cel's strategic plan calls for doubling the annual number of X-Cel program participants who obtain their high school equivalency and prepare for and enroll in post-secondary education by 2018. With 72 X-Cel GED graduates and 50 X-Cel program participants enrolled in post-secondary education in the 2012-2013 school year, X-Cel is already a top youth & adult education provider in Boston. Accomplishing the goals of X-Cel's strategic plan will have an even greater impact on the lives of hundreds of Boston-area residents. X-Cel counts as a success each individual who obtains a post-secondary credential that allows her or him to enter a career that provides economic self-sufficiency and breaks the chain of poverty. This individual can now assist his or her children with their homework, and will be a contributing member of our society. This benefits not only the individual, but children, the community, local employers, and our society-at-large.
  2. What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?
    To begin with, X-Cel has an innovative program model that addresses the challenges faced by economically disadvantaged Greater Boston residents who lack a high school credential. This program model has many unique aspects: placing our classes in neighborhoods with the highest educational needs by partnering with community-based organizations that provide physical space at no cost to X-Cel; a rolling admissions policy, with no wait list, for immediate class enrollment; individualized and customized instruction; and integrated use of a weekly average of 45 volunteer instructors and program graduates as instructors and intake assessment coordinators. All of these strategies were designed with learner input to remove common barriers that keep many economically disadvantaged Greater Boston residents from reaching their educational and career goals. When new learners walk through X-Cel's doors each week for the first time, they complete an academic assessment and then sit down with an X-Cel coach who designs customized learning plans for each individual, based on the assessment results coupled with the education and career goals of each learner. X-Cel provides free Adult Basic Education classes, Pre-GED Classes, GED Prep classes, college prep classes, and post-secondary support for those enrolled in post-secondary education, so that each learner can start on their educational path, regardless of their academic level at intake, and progress from one level to the next until he/she completes a post-secondary credential. X-Cel classes are provided in the morning and evening in convenient community locations in Roxbury, Dorchester, and Mission Hill. Program participants receive academic and coaching support in small groups and with individualized instruction while on their educational pathway at X-Cel. 50% of X-Cel staff members are X-Cel program alumni who are college graduates or currently enrolled in college. Each is from the same background and facing the same challenges as our program participants. The X-Cel program alumni on staff each serve as role models and problem solvers. X-Cel staff and volunteers follow and support our program participants until they complete an industry-recognized post-secondary credential and enter a career that pays a living wage and offers career advancement.
  3. What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?
    X-Cel has 14 years of experience as an organization, developing and refining our program model to ensure that it is both effective and efficient in preparing economically disadvantaged youth and adults to obtain their high school credential and complete a post-secondary credential. For six years X-Cel was part of the ABE-to-College Transition Network, funded by the Nellie Mae Education Foundation and was part of the Postsecondary Success Initiative, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for three years. As part of both of these networks, X-Cel staff gained immeasurable expertise in the field and was exposed to numerous promising practices from around the country that we have incorporated into our program delivery. X-Cel's staff has years of experience in the field and several X-Cel staff members have trained and presented at conferences around the country, sharing promising practices of X-Cel with other youth and adult educators. 50% of X-Cel's staff are X-Cel program graduates, who bring their own life experiences to their work and continually assist us in our program design. Many of X-Cel's 45 weekly volunteers have worked with X-Cel for multiple years and they also bring expertise from many different fields to share with our staff and program participants. X-Cel's culture is one of flexibility and innovation and all of us at X-Cel strive to continually improve our service delivery to ensure it is as effective and efficient as possible. X-Cel's program model depends on collaboration with other community-based organizations. Not only do our partner organizations provide physical space for X-Cel's classes, but they bring complementary services to our program participants. These partnerships allow X-Cel to focus on education and to be experts in what we do, but at the same time ensure that our program participants receive the services they need in order to be successful in their quest to complete the education and training necessary to begin their career of choice. X-Cel is an active member of youth and adult education networks in Boston, both to share promising practices and to take part in developing more comprehensive and effective service delivery to all out-of-school youth and adults in the Boston area.
  4. How will they know if they are making progress?
    X-Cel collects the following data as indicators of how many of our program participants are progressing toward their long-term educational and career goals: (1) The number of X-Cel program participants who increase their reading/math skills by one grade level or more each year, (2) the number of X-Cel program participants who obtain their high school equivalency credential each year, ( 3) the number of X-Cel program participants who enroll in post-secondary education each year, (4) the number of X-Cel program participants who complete their first two semesters in post-secondary education, and (5) the number of X-Cel program participants who complete an industry-recognized post-secondary credential. As described earlier X-Cel already is among the top providers in Boston for annual number of high school equivalency graduates and number of program participants entering post-secondary education. X-Cel's strategic plan calls for doubling these performance targets by 2018. X-Cel's performance data is continuously updated and shared among X-Cel staff members, volunteers, board members and donors through X-Cel's Facebook page, website and e-newsletter. X-Cel staff members and volunteers monitor and analyze this data to determine the effectiveness of each level of X-Cel program services. As soon as we notice that we are not hitting a specific performance target that we have set as an organization, X-Cel staff members meet to implement strategies to address our performance in that area. X-Cel is a very flexible organization and continuously innovates and adjusts our program delivery model based on the needs of our program participants and to ensure that as an organization, we are delivering the performance that we have promised.
  5. What have and haven't they accomplished so far?
    As mentioned earlier, X-Cel has developed an innovative program model that addresses the challenges faced by economically disadvantaged Greater Boston residents who lack a high school credential. This program model has produced impressive results. In the past five years X-Cel has doubled both the number of annual X-Cel high school equivalency graduates to 72 this past school year and the annual number of X-Cel students who enroll in post-secondary education to 50 this past school year. Both of these statistics are among the highest of any youth or adult education program in Boston. X-Cel's program model is replicable and it is our goal to serve many more economically disadvantaged youth and adults in Boston, which is why the board has adopted a strategic plan which calls for doubling again the annual number of X-Cel high school equivalency graduates and the annual number of X-Cel students who enroll in post-secondary education. X-Cel has been developing a college-going culture throughout our programming, infusing career-readiness and college-readiness skill-development into all our classes. Currently the percentage of X-Cel high-school equivalency graduates who enroll in post-secondary education is double the national average. X-Cel has years of experience developing and providing post-secondary support to our students who enroll in post-secondary education. More than 75% of X-Cel students who enroll in post-secondary education complete their first two semesters with passing grades, an impressive statistic for this population. Many X-Cel students have completed their post-secondary credential and have entered careers in their field of study. X-Cel's current goal is to expand our post-secondary support capabilities to triple the number of X-Cel students that we can effectively support through to post-secondary completion. This will greatly increase the number of X-Cel graduates who complete the education and training necessary to enter careers that will allow them to achieve economic self-sufficiency. This will have a significant beneficial effect on the families of our program participants, as well as the communities where they live.
Service Areas

Self-reported

Massachusetts

Over 80% of our students come from the Boston neighborhoods of Dorchester, Roxbury, and Mattapan. The remainder come from other neighborhoods in Greater Boston.

Additional Documents

Funding Needs

2016-2017: Funds and volunteers to support our core HSE-to-Postsecondary Program (i.e., Pre-HSE, HSE, and College Prep classes).Funds and volunteers to support expanded literacy offerings across our program.Funds to support our Organizational Tools Initiative, which seeks to give every student the organizational tools they need to succeed.Funds for equipment at the Sportsmen's Tennis & Enrichment Center.

Affiliations + Memberships

Massachusetts Nonprofit Network

photos


External Reviews

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Financials

Financial information is an important part of gauging the short- and long-term health of the organization.

X-CEL INC
Fiscal year: Jul 01-Jun 30

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

X-Cel Inc.

Leadership

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  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2015, 2015 and 2014
  • Board Chair and Board Members
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Principal Officer

Mr Don L Sands

BIO

30 years of experience in adult education20 years of experience in administrationCo-founder of X-Cel Education15 years as executive director of X-Cel Education

STATEMENT FROM THE Principal Officer

" At X-Cel Education we focus on education, because we believe this is what it takes to lift youth and adults out of poverty and into careers that will pay a living wage and offer opportunities for advancement. We identify obstacles within the current education system that hinder out-of-school youth and adults, and create innovative ways to eliminate those barriers. These concepts have led us to our current program model, which is unique among Boston-area education programs. Unique features include: no waiting lists, rolling admissions so interested students can enter our program immediately, individualized and customized instruction so our students get exactly what they need to advance quickly, collaborations with partner non-profit organizations, and a large pool of dedicated volunteer instructors so that every dollar donated to X-Cel goes much further and serves many more students than in traditional education programs. Every week roughly a dozen new students walk through our doors without a high school credential; they are able to begin their path to educational success that same day. With a customized educational plan they begin preparing to pass the High School Equivalency (HSE) exam. However we don't stop working with them once they pass the HSE exam. We work with each student to develop an educational plan to take them beyond the HSE. In addition, we provide college prep classes as well as academic and personal support once they enroll in college so that they will succeed in their post-secondary studies. We work to ensure that each student is on track to receive the education and training to enter a career that pays a living wage and offers opportunities for advancement. Not only does the individual student benefit, but, as research indicates, the student's children will now have more educational and career opportunities. We have a ways to go, but we envision the day in Boston when, instead of remaining on a waiting list for months, every out-of-school youth and adult will be able to study for their HSE exam and prepare for post-secondary education without delay."

Governance

BOARD CHAIR

Mr. Richard Huttner

Northeastern University

Term: Mar 2016 - Mar 2017

BOARD LEADERSHIP PRACTICES

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices. Self-reported by organization


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?


RESPONSE NOT PROVIDED

BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?