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The EXCEL Program is a special four-week summer program for new students that improves their foundational skills and prepares them for success in rigorous courses. It was created in 2003 following concerns that the LSMSA educational experience was not available to students from under-resourced rural and inner city schools. Modeled on the federal Upward Bound program, EXCEL identifies potential students who might otherwise fall below the line in the LSMSA admissions process.

Between 15 to 20 students with high GPAs (demonstrating academic motivation and work ethic) but standardized test scores that are slightly lower than that of our average applicant (likely due to knowledge gaps from an under-resourced home school) are invited to participate in an intensive four-week summer bridge program. During this time, they attend classes in science, math, English, history, visual/performing arts and intensive ACT preparation for eight hours a day. While living in an LSMSA residence hall, they gain a sense of the rich residential experience that comes with being an LSMSA student. At the end of the four weeks, if their assessment is positive, and if they want to continue in LSMSA’s unique living/learning experience, they are invited to enroll in the fall.

The students who complete EXCEL have a high retention/graduation rate and their ACT scores often increase by impressive numbers. 

Students are selected for this program by an admissions committee during the application process. 

For questions about EXCEL, please contact Enrollment Services or the director of the EXCEL Program at klankford@lsmsa.edu.

EXCEL runs concurrently with LSMSA's Summer School program.