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Honors Experiential and Community Engaged Learning (EXCEL) Program

What is the Honors EXCEL Program?

The Honors College Upper-Division Experiential Learning Program (Honors EXCEL Program) supports WVU undergraduate students in experiential and community-engaged learning. Students will develop skills in leadership, project management, communication and collaborative scholarship. Students will create scholarly products appropriate to their project, while advancing the service mission of West Virginia University.

Why Honors EXCEL?

Experiential learning allows students to apply their knowledge and skills to projects they are passionate about. Students will take ownership of a project from design and implementation to presentation. Diving deeply into a project and communicating the work broadly builds and strengthens valuable skills for students, including project management, time management, interpersonal skills and communication. The Honors College will help students succeed through its mentoring, coursework and funding opportunities.

Students that complete the program will demonstrate competence, discipline, grit and independence. In the process, students will develop a unique set of skills and meet a network of peers and professionals that will make you competitive for professional/graduate schools and leadership positions in government and industry. Finally, students can make positive change locally, regionally and globally. 

Students in the program receive priority course registration. Students that complete the program will be highlighted at graduation and on their transcripts.

Eligibility and How to Apply

West Virginia University students are invited to apply by submitting a project proposal to the Honors EXCEL program in the spring of their sophomore year

While there is no GPA requirement to apply, students with GPAs less than 3.4 are asked to submit a recommendation letter from the faculty member that will mentor their project. Note that eligibility is not dependent on previous enrollment in the Honors Foundations program.  

If you have not already met with Dr. Dana Huebert Lima, it is recommended that you attend a workshop on how to develop a successful proposal.
  • Monday, January 14 from 5 to 5:50 p.m.,
    Advanced Engineering Research Building, Room 135
  • Tuesday, January 22 from 4 to 4:30 p.m.,
    Brooks Hall, Room 225
  • Wednesday, January 30 from 4 to 4:30 p.m.
    Health Sciences North, Room 1905
Honors EXCEL applications for Fall 2019 admission will be accepted from February 1 to April 1, 2019. 

For questions about the Honors EXCEL program, email   

Program Requirements

Students in the Honors EXCEL program will complete coursework and other requirements in 3-4 semesters.  

The bulk of the work will be completed through  six credits of experiential learning

Your project will be develope d in the Project Development course, enhanced through out-of-class experiences (OCEs) and will culminate in the Honors capstone.  

Read more about Honors EXCEL requirements and timeline.

Project Inspiration

Honors EXCEL projects are as diverse as the students that undertake them. 

All projects will have two things in common: they will have a clear tie to the service mission of the university and they will result in a work of scholarship appropriate to the project. The outlines on our Project Inspiration page will give ideas to get you started. Or, use the project library (under development this fall) to identify projects that need ambitious and talented students.