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About the EXCEL! Program

The EXCEL! Program within the School of Natural Sciences is another layer of academic support for Natural Science students at the University of California, Merced. EXCEL! Academic Coaches provide guidance and support to assist students with their academic success.

Academic Coach Service Goals

  • Develop a personal and collaborative relationship with SNS students in academic recovery.
  • Provide support to help SNS students relate academic/educational goals to life (personal/professional) goals.
  • Encourage SNS students to achieve self-awareness, such as identifying strengths, values, interests, purpose, and passions.
  • Promote SNS student responsibility and the development of good decision-making skills toward a successful university experience.
  • Assist with developing plans of action and holding SNS students accountable to achieve substantial results.

UC Merced Undergraduate Student Outcomes

The EXCEL! Program will assist and support SNS students in academic difficulty to reach the following learning outcomes:

  • Learn about the psychological and emotional readiness needed as prerequisites for academic success in college: mindfulness, mindset, resilience, maturity, emotional intelligence, intrinsic motivation, accountability, and responsibility.
  • Cultivate effective and adaptable behaviors needed to navigate higher education.
  • Identify and address the emotional, social, and academic barriers that can interfere with progression.
  • Connect with resources to help with the mental, physical, and social transition to the university.
  • Identify the academic skills necessary to be a successful college student: college-level reading, writing, and critical thinking skills, learning styles, preferred learning environment, test-taking strategies, learning strategies, memory techniques, and effective use of technological resources.
  • Learn about balancing college academic demands utilizing time management strategies and how to avoid distractions, time wasters, and procrastination.
  • Manage academic status through grade tracking, calculating GPA, academic standing, degree progression, and the academic impact on financial aid, scholarships, and other resources and programs.
  • Cultivate relationships with faculty, advisors, and other academic partners with effective communication skills.
  • Connect with resources to help with the academic transition to the university, such as tutoring services, the Writing Center, Accessibility Services, the Math Center, and instructional support services.

Program Goals and Expectations


EXCEL! Academic Coaches can provide guidance and support with:

  • Time Management
  • Avoiding Procrastination
  • Transition to University Life
  • Campus Resources
  • Community Resources
  • Explain low GPA and its consequences down the road
  • How to avoid Academic Probation and Academic Dismissal
  • How to recover from Subject to Academic Dismissal or Probation Standing
  • How to transition back to UC Merced when returning from an Educational Leave or being reinstated at the University.
  • Provide Bilingual services (Spanish)

It is unavoidable that combined personal, financial and academic challenges can be a struggle to overcome at times. It is the hope of the EXCEL! Program that in those times you are asking for guidance, additional resources, and direction that can keep you on track and on your way to achieving your academic goals.

Expectations of Students

It is expected that all UCM students adhere to all UC policies and procedures during their academic career on campus.

It is expected that the student has the responsibility to reach out to all necessary individuals to include Professors, Tutors, Teaching Assistants, Peer Mentors, Academic Advisors, etc., in helping to maintain a successful academic career.

It is expected that all communications are performed via our UC Merced email system as the primary means of contact.

UC Merced Email Notification Policy

UC Merced Policy on the Use of Email for Official Communications with Students establishes email as a method for official communications from UC Merced to graduate, professional, and undergraduate students. School of Natural Sciences uses email as an official means to communicate with students on many important matters. Email is often the only way many of the important information is distributed. Please check your UC Merced email regularly. All students are responsible for knowing, and when relevant, acting on all contents we send you via email.