Expanding Career, Education, and Leadership for Students with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities


The EXCEL Program offered by the Georgia Institute of Technology is a four-year college program for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) leading to two separate Certificates. 

Certificate 1: Academic Enrichment, Social Fluency, and Career Exploration.
Certificate 2: Social Growth, Leadership, and Career Development.


Excel will begin accepting applications for the Fall of 2024 cohort on July 15th, 2023.



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Program Overview


An overview of the EXCEL Program at Georgia Tech




Interested in visiting the program? Details here!


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EXCEL Student Spotlight



Javier Cremer and Henry Brown

February 2023

Congratulations to Excel students Javier Cremer and Henry Brown for becoming part of a new generation of disability advocates through Project SETA (Students Enhancing Their Advocacy).

Funded through a grant from the Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities, Project SETA is a leadership development program for current inclusive Post-Secondary education (IPSE) students to learn about advocacy and professionalism. The project launched in 2022 with its first cohort of 11 ambassadors with representation from each of the nine Georgia IPSE programs.
Link to article: https://magazine.gcdd.org/issues/winter-2023/developing-the-next-generation-of-advocate-leaders-with-project-seta/


Kwame Owusu


Kwame Owusu

November 2022

EXCEL’s Kwame Owusu was invited by the Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities to educate the Georgia House Appropriations Human Resources Subcommittee on the importance of inclusive postsecondary education programs. Kwame shared how his educational and career-related opportunities at EXCEL at Georgia Tech have helped him grow into an independent, confident, gainfully employed young man. We couldn't be prouder of his growth and leadership!



Image of Antonio Contreras and Martha Haythorn


EXCEL students recognized for leadership and advocacy

October 2022

Antonio E. Contreras and Martha Haythorn are goal-oriented, career-minded individuals who have made it their mantra not to let any obstacles get in the way of their personal and professional successes.

Read the full story here

Aaron Washington


Aaron Washington

May 2022

EXCEL’s own Aaron Washington was featured in a story by Fox 5 Atlanta. Aaron will graduate Saturday, May 7, 2022, with her Certificate in Social Growth, Leadership, and Career Development and was an intern at the Division of Blood Disorders at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. After graduation, Aaron will stay in Atlanta to work at the Ark Animal Hospital, along with finishing her autobiography.

Watch the video here

Excel students at the capitol


Advocacy Day at the Georgia State Capitol

January 2023

On Wednesday, January 24, EXCEL students, staff, and faculty joined inclusive programs from across Georgia to attend the 2023 Inclusive Post Secondary Education Day under the Gold Dome. EXCEL students spoke with Rep. Katie Dempsey and Rep. Teri Anulewicz, both of whom are on the House Appropriations Human Resources Subcommittee. Legislators were asked to increase funding for Inclusive Post Secondary Education (IPSE) programs and to provide the HOPE Scholarship for future generations of IPSE students. Later that day Rep. Houston Gaines introduced legislation (H.B. 185) in support of IPSE students gaining access to HOPE scholarships.

EXCEL with other IPSE programs and champions of IPSE had the opportunity to take a group photo (see above) with Gov. Brian Kemp.


Image of Ken Surdin


Students EXCEL through inclusive post-secondary education program

October 2022

In an interview with CEISMC Impact magazine, Ken Surdin, EXCEL’s founding director, discusses the uniqueness of this transformative program.

Read the full story here




Martha Haythorn


Martha Haythorn

September 2022

EXCEL was recognized at the inaugural 2022 Big Game Ball. Excel student and rising junior Martha Haythorn, who has been involved with the National Down Syndrome Congress since she was young, presented the honor to EXCEL staff during the Sept. 1 gala, which was held at the College Football Hall of Fame.

Read the full story here

Image of Elliot Smith


Elliot Smith

January 2022

The Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities and Sign1 News, featured EXCEL alumnus Elliot Smith’s great work at the Phase Family Center as a teaching assistant in their Preschool program. EXCEL’s Career Team supported Elliott as he gained valuable experience working in schools serving youth. He completed more than 7 internships, and helped EXCEL build new partnerships with the Elaine Clark Center and the Frazer Center where he gained hands on experience, built his confidence and developed his skills.

Watch the video here

Check Our Our Podcasts and Vlogs!



October 23rd, 2022

EXCEL Director, Ken Surdin interviewed by Gina Kavali on her show “Life with the Spectrum”


November 16th, 2021

Learn about EXCEL’s Student supports in this panel presentation sponsored by the Minnesota Inclusive Higher Education Consortium.


March 31st, 2021

EXCEL student Martha Haythorn interviewed EXCEL Director Ken Surdin.

Play Button Georgia Tech EXCEL Program with Terry, Ken, and Excel student Aaron Washington.
Play Button Your Legacy of Care - Charlie, Roy, Scott and Rhonda.
Play Button Learn how program design and curriculum development enhances the college experience.
Play Button See how EXCEL uses external support to enhance the post secondary experience at Georgia Tech.