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Tech Program Helps Students EXCEL

Students with mild disabilities prepare for careers through special courses and internships

The Expanding Career, Education and Leadership (EXCEL) program at Georgia Tech is helping students with mild disabilities achieve their dreams through higher education. Launched in 2014, EXCEL offers two- to four-year certifications through Georgia Tech Professional Education which are specially designed to serve students with intellectual or developmental disabilities.

With the purpose of equipping its students for the professional workplace, EXCEL coursework focuses on academic enrichment, social fluency and growth, leadership, and career exploration. Through EXCEL, participants have the opportunity to learn alongside degree-seeking students and to gain relevant work experience through internships according to their interests.

“It’s a work-based program,” explained Director Ken Surdin, “so students take a career class the first semester and then do internships. By the time they graduate, they’ll have had a minimum of seven internships.”

Having served over 50 students since its founding, EXCEL has helped students reach their professional goals in a wide variety of fields, ranging from supply chain logistics to education and psychology.

Read more about the impact of EXCEL on AJC.com.