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LEARN - EXCEL - GRADUATE
4th year, BA (H) Politcal Science/Aquatic Recourses student
"The eXcel Program was a valuable tool and asset in my transition from high school to university; eXcel provides an excellent platform for success at the beginning of the post-secondary education experience.
Through the weekly sessions, appointments with dedicated instructors and dedicated staff at the Writing Centre, I equipped myself with a skill set that spanned across a wide array of important lessons in preparation for the rigors of university-level academics and growth towards personal maturity and independence.
I still rely on many of the topics and elements covered in eXcel, in particular the resources available in the Course Pack. I am very glad that I decided to enroll in eXcel and have definitely reaped the benefits of a guided and positive transition to the holistic university life unique to StFX."
Dr. Sean Riley comments:
"Success in first year makes all the difference to a student’s university experience. We know that this is the period when students at all academic levels want and need the most support. This program can make a tremendous difference and is well worth the time investment."
Dr. Sean Riley, StFX President
Other institutions call it a first-year experience program or University 101. At StFX, we call it eXcel. This program introduces first-year students to the principles and practices of active learning. Designed by experienced Writing Centre staff, eXcel helps students become self-directed, responsible learners who develop their own personal learning systems to meet post-secondary standards. eXcel is an optional program that helps ease the transition from high school to university.
All first-year students can benefit from eXcel.
eXcel can help students:
- Adapt and enhance skills learned in high school.
- Experiment with new ways of learning.
- Improve critical thinking and writing.
- Become independent, active learners.
- Maximize learning potential.
- Deal with the unexpected academic demands you will face at university.
“eXcel is a demonstration of the famous Xaverian spirit –
caring about the students that make up the university,
and pushing them to reach their full potential.” (former eXcel student)
As you consider enrolling in the program, please keep in mind that
eXcel is NOT
- A quick fix: eXcel requires your commitment to self-directed learning.
- A remedial service: Instructors do not tutor students having difficulty in specific subject areas.
- A counselling service: A full range of services are available through the StFX Counselling Centre.
Students are introduced to well-established university learning strategies in interactive classes, which are held once a week throughout the academic year.
Topics discussed in eXcel classes:
Thinking, Reading and Writing Critically
The Writing Process
eXcel ONE-TO-ONE APPOINTMENTS
Students receive additional support in the form of one-to-one meetings with their instructor. These meetings will
- Help students apply the strategies learned in the eXcel classes.
- Provide personal attention regarding general academic concerns.
- Provide a support system during the critical first year.
Note: Although eXcel is a non-credit program, students who successfully complete this course will have this noted on their academic transcript.
"eXcel helps convert your old high school habits into ones that will work at university" (former eXcel student)
How to Register
Complete the application form and mail or fax it to us, or call us at the Writing Centre: 867-5221
Dean Bennett's article in the Halifax Chronicle-Herald's Sunday edition (2008, April13, Arts & Life) tackles some of the differences between high school and university. Commenting on the workload, University of Alberta student Kayla Hynes told Bennett, "You're doing twice the information in half the time, so it's like four times the information all at once. It's hard to keep up." Read the article "Students need ZZZs for As: High school students unprepared for rigours of university exams."