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VIDEO: Incoming Freshman EXCEL Through Intense Summer Program

Every summer, more than a dozen incoming freshman descend on campus to participate in the EXCEL program, an intense initiative that challenges students committed to diversity issues and prepares them for their freshman year.

Now in its 31st year, the five-week program includes all-day classes in math, chemistry, engineering analysis, engineering projects for clients, and leadership. But the program isn't all work: students live in dormitories with upperclassmen counselors, go on field trips, and make friendships that will last throughout their college years.

The program began in 1965 and was officially established in 1978 with an initial grant from the U.S. Department of Energy. Since 1978, more than 850 students have participated.