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Office of EXCELlence Programs
The Office of EXCELlence is a hub of academic programs, activities and services that reach students in the 7th grade through high school graduation and beyond. These programs include: TOLEDO EXCEL, Upward Bound, Student Support Services and the Annual Conference for Aspiring Minority Youth, and are targeted towards students in the Toledo area who are underrepresented in higher education, including African-American, Hispanic-Americans, Asian-Americans, Arab-Americans, and Appalachian-Americans.
Since its inception in 1988, TOLEDO EXCEL, a scholarship incentive program of The University of Toledo, strives to prepare students who are members of groups underrepresented in higher education–including African, Asian, Hispanic and Native-Americans–for success in college. EXCEL involves students in pre-college academic programs in order to increase their self-esteem, cultural awareness of diversity, and civic involvement and responsibility. Some of the many services EXCEL offers students throughout their high school years are Saturday School, Summer Institutes, tutoring, academic retreat weekends, campus visits, strategic admissions and financial aid advising, and ethnographic field studies in the U.S. and abroad. To date over one thousand students have enrolled in EXCEL, with at least 50 new scholars being inducted yearly.
Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education, Students Support Services (SSS) is a federally funded TRIO program specifically designed to serve first generation, low-income, and/or disabled students and help them succeed in college. Among the services SSS offer students are a detailed orientation session and skill development course; individual, intrusive academic advising, and academic career counseling; tutoring; and special section courses in the basic academic skills. SSS monitors student progress throughout the school year, and performs ongoing and overall evaluations in order to improve the effectiveness of services offered. Skill development activities, coupled with strategic planning and advising, helps participating students navigate the University system and matriculate and graduate successfully.
Upward Bound is a federally funded college access program designed to assist low-income and potential first generation college students who are currently in high school to enter college at the completion of high school. Students are accepted into the Program during their ninth and tenth grade years, then receive tutoring and attend Saturday School two Saturdays per month. During the summer, the forty students with the highest attendance/grade average live on campus for five weeks to prepare them for the following year of study in high school. Graduated high school seniors are entered into the Bridge Program: these students are enrolled for their first quarter of college at UT during the summer session, with the cost covered by the Upward Bound Program. Other services offered to students include college financial planning, career fairs, motivational speakers, and periodic campus visits.