Project EXCELL (Extending College Education for Lifelong Learning)


Warren J. White

Phone: (785) 532-6349


Linda Teener

Phone: (785) 539-8763


Purpose of the Collaboration:

Project EXCELL provides individuals with developmental disabilities and opportunity to experience college life through a variety of K-State-based classes such as sign language, music and dance, and vocational exploration. These half-day programs offer young adults with mild developmental disabilities age 18 and over a college-like experience that might not otherwise be available to them. Additionally, through the collaboration of K-State community and special education programs, Project EXCELL engages K-State student Ambassadors who serve as peer models to the Project's attendees. Project EXCELL was the recipient of the 2010 University Professional and Continuing Education Association's Central Region Innovative Program Award.

Length of Partnership:

9 years

Community Partners:

USD 383 Manhattan; USD 475 Geary County; USD 379 Clay Center; USD 364 Marysville; USD 320 Wamego; Central Kansas Cooperative Salina; Big Lakes Developmental Center and Twin Valley Developmental Center; Department of Vocational Rehabilitation; UFM Community Learning Center

Community Impact:

Student participants in EXCELL are enthusiastic learners that are excited to attend, even at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday mornings, and look forward to each new session. The fact that in eight years, the program has grown from 17 to 66 regular attendees, is a testimony to the impact of this program on the targeted population.

Institutional Partners:

UFM Community Learning Center/ Kansas State University Global Campus (main); College of Education - Special Education Department; K-State Student Union; K-State School of Music, Theatre and Dance - Drama Therapy Program

Institutional Impact:

Traditional college students that are interested in learning more about the field of special education serve as Student Ambassadors for the program. Approximately 10-15 traditional K- State students volunteer each week. These Student Ambassadors provide assistance in mobility and finding classrooms, assist in the classroom, interact with EXCELL students during break times, and aid in social skills refinement. Several Student Ambassadors teach classes as well.