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 20 to 30 students with high GPAs (motivation) but lower than normal standardized test scores for admission (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 LSMSAS’s unique living/learning experience, they are invited to enroll in the fall.

The students in EXCEL have a higher retention/graduation rate than the general LSMSA student population, and their ACT scores 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, Jennifer Mangum, at jmangum@lsmsa.edu.

EXCEL runs concurrently with Summer School