A College of Education program designed to give special needs adults an authentic collegiate experience is changing lives and receiving recognition.
Warren White, professor of special education, counseling and student affairs, founded Project EXCELL, an acronym for Extending College Education for Lifelong Learning, in 2009. Classes are held on Saturday mornings in the K-State Student Union, and courses are grouped into two five-week sessions per academic semester.
“In my opinion, this is a great example of how well K-State, as a land-grant institution, serves all residents of Kansas,” White said. “These ‘students’ are people who have never had an opportunity to attend college, and it has positively affected them, their families, the University and College of Education students. It has truly changed many lives.”
Since 2010, Project EXCELL received the Celebration of Excellence Award for “Innovative Programs-Non-Credit,” given at the University Professionals in Continuing Education Association Central Region meeting, as a program that addresses issues of social diversity in education. The program was also nominated for the 2011 national C. Peter Magrath University Engagement Award and the regional W.K. Kellogg Foundation Engagement Award. It has also been recognized nationally and in Kansas by “Think College,” an initiative to provide an inclusive post-secondary education for students with developmental and other disabilities.