The Incredible Journey

Imagine jogging over 7,000 miles without stopping. Essentially, this is what Alaska's toughest little bird, the Bartailed Godwit, does each fall when it migrates from the Avinoff Peninsula in western Alaska to the Piako River in New Zealand.

Its migration includes the longest known non-stop flight of any bird, and the longest journey without pausing to feed by any animal. This incredible journey is a record 7,258 miles.

The only other thing known to make such a flight is an airplane!

The tenacity of this shore bird's journey inspired the educational program of Alaska EXCEL to adopt the Godwit as representative of the incredible potential within rural Alaskan students. The Godwit, or "Cenairpak" (Yupik for large shore bird), embodies the EXCEL student's purposeful journey in our rapidly changing world. Too often, this is a difficult journey and Alaska EXCEL's mission is guiding these young adults toward successful careers and healthy lifestyles.

The Godwit's epic migration is symbolic for having perseverance to overcome imposing challenges in the achievement of distant goals. With Alaska EXCEL, rural students are given the skills to "go the distance."

About Us

Alaska EXCEL is proud to cultivate a dynamic and diverse team, one that plays a critical role in our work to provide educational equality throughout the state.

Alaska EXCEL, Inc. is a federally recognized 501(c)3 non-profit providing supplemental academic and career and technical education intensives for rural youth and young adults across Alaska. This is accomplished through individualized, real-life academic and career-oriented experiences allowing students to receive high school credit toward graduation and dual college credit in a specific program. Our goals are for students to make a successful transition into post-secondary training and/or the workforce.

What's At Our Core?


Education for Life


Student-Centered: What we do is about our students, for our students, and driven by our student needs
Experience: Learning by doing
Relevance: Connect learning to life
Loyalty: We are always there for our students and our partners

Who We Serve

Alaska EXCEL provides activities for Jr. High/High School students in 10 rural school districts from all over Alaska. Alaska EXCEL offers approximately 800 student opportunities per year. The program is open to students grades 7 through 12+, including a mentorship program for high school graduates. The session/intensives range from 4 to 30 days, depending on the training provided, and the age/grade level of the participant.

When and Where We Operate

Alaska EXCEL operates year-round on the Alaska Pacific University campus. The facility has dorm rooms, classrooms and access to the cafeteria, gymnasium and pool. Alaska EXCEL holds foundational sessions, as well as high school math, science, and English credit recovery and post-secondary preparation. Longer camps are held at rotating post-secondary campuses such as AVTEC and Kenai Peninsula College, and the Career and Technical Education Camps (welding, carpentry, aviation, heavy equipment operations, process technology, and emergency trauma training) may be held in Kenai, Seward, or Palmer. Specialty camps may also be held at partner sites such as the Mining and Petroleum Training Service in Delta Junction.

What's Our Mission?

Our Mission

Alaska EXCEL will provide high school students and young adults with the necessary transitional skills and career exploration opportunities to be successful in our ever-changing world. By 2040, Alaska EXCEL will be the standard for success in experience-based learning.