Academic excellence, dedicated faculty, and a coordinated advising plan are keys to success through Project EXCEL.

The keys to academic success for Project EXCEL students are the excellence of the academic programs, the faculty at the Mount, and the coordinated advising plan which is an integral element of the EXCEL program. Career exploration and guidance, service learning opportunities coordinated with academic courses, and professional development in preparation for participating in cooperative education are all available through the Mount’s Career and Experiential Education Center.

The following program elements support student growth:

Professional Tutors

Our professional tutors have experience tutoring post-secondary students with special learning needs. They provide academic tutoring related to each student’s course of studies.

Student Progress

Regular monitoring of performance and progress provides important academic support for Project EXCEL students.

Faculty submit progress reports throughout the semester to identify students who are not doing satisfactory work. The Director of Project EXCEL receives a copy of all progress reports submitted. These reports are reviewed with our students. Mount St. Joseph University requires mid-term grades for all undergraduate students. The program coordinator discuss mid-term grades with Project EXCEL students and shares course grades with our Professional Tutor staff.

The Project EXCEL staff may also develop a plan of action steps, if necessary, through a collaboration involving Project EXCEL administration, student, tutor, and instructor.

Organization & Time Management Skills

All freshmen participants attend weekly individual time management and organization sessions with Project EXCEL staff. These sessions focus on goal setting, prioritizing, organization, and study techniques. Schedules, calendars, and a number of time management tools are discussed and used.

Writing Support

Writing support is provided for students participating in the EXCEL program who have a weakness in written language. The Writing support offers remedial instruction to students who need assistance with the writing process. Remediation is combined with specific class assignments. The role of the Writing tutors is that of facilitator, rather than editor.

Students first works with an academic tutor to understand the subject matter and then may proceed to a tutor specializing in writing.

Writing tutors build on students’ writing skill strengths. The tutors diagnose particular writing problems and explain concepts or rules that correct the problems. When working on a particular assignment, a student learns how to edit his own paper. The student looks for content, organization, logic, and major grammatical flaws within the paper.


Students have the opportunity to learn about and incorporate technology into their academic toolboxes. Project EXCEL houses cutting edge innovations including Dragon Naturally Speaking (a dictation software program that allows students to dictate their papers instead of typing them) and Read Write Gold computer software that reads scanned texts out loud to promote better comprehension of reading material. Instruction in using these technologies is available.