About the Program
The Excel! Research Scholars Program is an academic enrichment program that prepares undergraduate students who are first-generation and/or low-income and/or underrepresented in research-based, graduate school programs for graduate school admission and success in their programs. Excel! uses a living and learning community and cohort style approach to teaching students by working with students collectively and individually to provide effective and tailored mentorship designed to help each student successfully prepare for the next steps in their education process.
Students admitted to the program will begin their experience in the Summer Research Institute (SRI), an eight-week program where they will gain invaluable experience:
- learning how to conduct research,
- being mentored by a faculty member in their field of study,
- learning how to professionally present their research, and
- gaining in-depth knowledge on the graduate school admissions process
At the end of the eight-week SRI students will have started a research project and will complete it through to the methodology. They will present at the Excel! Research Scholars Summer Symposium their research up to the methodology. Students will continue to work on their research during the fall semester and will conclude it by December.
To be an Excel! Research Scholar means you are signing on to be among a selected group of students who have a sincere and collective goal which is to learn and continue to develop their scholarship in preparation for graduate school admission, to be competitive for funding and to succeed once you begin your graduate school journey. This means, part of your preparation will include presenting your research at national conferences and scholarly meetings and attending Director’s Seminars throughout the academic year to keep your goals and scholarship engaged. You will receive a financial stipend to serve as a teaching assistant (TA) or research assistant (RA) or academic tutor in your field of study working alongside a faculty member or you might serve as an academic tutor in a K-12 school setting. The goal for this experience is to help continue to build your academic portfolio in preparation for the competitiveness of the graduate school admissions process. Excel! Scholars will apply to a second summer academic enrichment program to further cultivate their scholarship and preparation for graduate school admission. Such programs included summer research programs (on campus and or off campus, locally or nationally), or participate in internships or experience-ships for the next summer year(s) (prior to the start of the senior year).
Your senior year is a critical time in your life. Amidst the many celebrations, your classes, your job(s), and personal responsibilities, applying to graduate school comes with its own set of experiences. You will fill out applications, take the GRE, LSAT or whichever test is most appropriate, you will visit graduate schools and then in January wait to see and celebrate the results. Most importantly, what you do, academically, during your first three years of college, will be critical to preparing you for the graduate school application and educational experience. If you are thinking about graduate school, applying to the Excel! Research Scholars Program, is a great first step; and the sooner you do it the better.
To help you cultivate your scholarship and prepare you for immediate addition into graduate school upon successful completion of your baccalaureate degree the Excel! Research Scholars Program provides the following:
- $4,000 in a merit stipend ($2,500 is paid in the summer, the remaining $1,500 is paid in increments of $500 through the academic school year and the fall semester of the following academic school year. (For example $2,500 SRI, $500 fall semester, $500 spring semester, $500 second fall semester.)
- free housing in the residence hall during the SRI
- a meal plan during the SRI for those participants living on campus
- be reimbursed up to $1,000 in the senior year to visit a graduate school program of their choice
- receive GRE training
- assistance with placement in TA, RA or tutoring opportunities
- dedicated writing assistance for papers and personal statements.
- Research will be published in the Annual Excel! Research Scholars Program Journal
Through the University’s Conference Travel Program, participants will receive up to $750 to travel to scholarly conferences and meetings (with matched funding of no less than $250 from the student’s academic department. Without the match students will receive no more than $500.)