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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp attends the Class of 1972 50-year reunion in Kyle Field on April 20, 2022.
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Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
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The Battalion May 4, 2024

ExCEL week coming to A&M

Excellence uniting Culture, Education and Leadership, a multi-faceted program for first-year students, is hosting its 16th annual ExCEL Week this week to raise awareness about their project.
ExCEL, a program based in the Department of Multicultural Services, attempts to ease the transition from high school and offers a retention program providing support, encouragement and links to A&M while preserving a student’s cultural identity.
“The students that pass through the program have high academic achievement and a strong self-identity,” said Lyndon Pryor, ExCEL student success program director.
Several activities are scheduled throughout the week for students to attend.
Tables providing detailed information about the program will be set up at Rudder Fountain today through Thursday.
An ExCEL informational will also be held Thursday at 7 p.m. in MSC 229. ExCEL team leader applications will be available for students to fill out.
Friday at the MSC Hullaballo, bowling and games will be held by the Department of Multicultural Services.
“Incoming freshmen are assigned to a team for the year and specifically to two team mentors,” Pryor said.
The ExCEL program begins each year with a two-day conference. This year’s conference will be the weekend of August 29-30.
At the conference, ExCEL students meet one another as well as their team mentors. There will be keynote speakers and a football game for ExCEL students and mentors to attend together, Pryor said.
Ade Olaloko, a freshman biomedical sciences major, attended the conference after returning from Fish Camp and said students were counseled about what to expect during their first year at A&M.
“If you didn’t go to Fish Camp, it will probably be beneficial to you,” he said. “They told us about the school and how everyone is kind of different, but they’re going to respect you because we’re all Aggies, we’re all here for the same reasons, and we’ll all learn from our differences.”
Each year, roughly 120 students choose to be part of the ExCEL program, Pryor said.
“We want to branch out to 250 students,” he said. “We want to get a big group of students into the program.”
One reason ExCEL has not been widely known about is because of the stigma that ExCEL is only for minorities, Pryor said.
“This is not true,” he said. “ExCEL has been targeted to minorities but it is open to anyone and everyone. Everyone benefits from it.”
Students who have completed ExCEL say without it they wouldn’t be as involved at A&M as they are, Pryor said.
Fish Camp also has a partnership with ExCEL. If students choose to be a part of both programs, the student can pay for Fish Camp and the fee for ExCEL is waived.

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