Project Excel

GENERAL PROGRAM INFORMATION

Project Excel is a TRiO Student Support Services (SSS) Program funded by the US Department of Education. Potential participants are those students who are eligible for the program and who are currently enrolled at Fairfield University or have been accepted for enrollment for the subsequent semester. Select incoming first-year students begin working with Project Excel through their participation in Academic Immersion, an intensive credit-bearing summer bridge program, prior to their first semester at the University. Other participants are enrolled into the program during the academic year.

Generally the project is funded to serve 160 students per academic year.

Student Eligibility

Students are eligible to participate in the program if they meet at least one of the following eligibility criteria:

  • They are first generation to college students, (Their parent/s has/have not received a four-year college degree),
  • Their family’s taxable income meets federal income guidelines,
  • They are an individual with a disability.

Participants must also be US Citizens or eligible for federal student financial assistance (e.g. Permanent Resident) and have some level of academic need.

Program Objectives

The programs’ main objectives are:

A) To increase and support the retention of participants,

B) To ensure that participants are in good academic standing,

C) To have participants graduate in a timely way.

Program Services

Project Excel works to accomplish its objectives by providing an array of support services such as: academic advising/mentoring; academic tutoring; assistance with financial aid and finding scholarship resources; assistance in completing financial aid applications; education/counseling services to improve financial and economic literacy; assistance in applying to graduate/professional programs, individualized counseling and/or referrals for personal or career matters, and by providing opportunities for cultural/community enrichment.

Academic Immersion Program: Summer & Academic Year Components

Project Excel collaborates with the Office of Student Diversity Programs & Multicultural Affairs in the implementation of the Academic Immersion Program, which includes a summer and academic year component.

During the intensive 4-week summer program, a select group of incoming first-year students are enrolled in two University Core classes while living in the same dorm and participating in community building activities. Accepted students receive a scholarship that covers tuition and fess, room and board, and the costs associated with any scheduled program activity. Although the program is of little cost to the student and his/her family, students must submit a $50 acceptance fee to secure their spot and are responsible for the costs associated with textbooks and other related materials and any personal expenses.

During the academic year, students continue their involvement with the Academic Immersion Program through 1-on-1 academic mentoring, academic workshops, community building activities, and other transition to college support programming.

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