Honors EXCEL (Experiential and Community-Engaged Learning) Program


The Honors EXCEL program supports WVU undergraduate students in experiential and community-engaged projects. 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 WVU.

Honors EXCEL Admissions Requirements

Students may apply for the program regardless of previous enrollment in the Honors College. Students with a cumulative GPA of 3.4 or higher can apply for the program when they have 3-4 semesters remaining. Students with GPAs between 3.0 and 3.4 may apply with a faculty recommendation.

Admissions will prioritize projects that feature the following experiential values:

  • the project is long-term (3-4 semesters), feasible and innovative.
  • represents an identifiable enhancement of a knowledge base or set of skills already being pursued by the student, either via coursework or extracurricular activity.
  • builds on prior scholarship and proposes appropriate methodologies, processes or practices.
  • is mentored by a WVU faculty or staff member.
  • has an expectation of positive impact to a community (defined broadly) beyond the benefits to the student alone.
  • includes at least some aspects that are unique to the applicant. Although all projects will likely be collaborations with faculty, staff, community members and/or other students, all projects must demonstrate a sense of ownership by the student.

Honors EXCEL Program Benefits

  • Opportunities to deeply pursue projects of academic and personal interest
  • Curricular and financial support for student projects
  • Mentorship from faculty in the discipline and in the Honors College
  • Connections with a community of Honors students
  • Priority registration for classes
  • Recognition at graduation, on the transcript and on the diploma

Honors EXCEL Program Requirements

Students in the program will complete an experiential learning project over the course of at least three semesters. Most projects will fall under one of the following headings: 1) Discipline-specific research; 2) Creative works, innovation and design; 3) Global enrichment; 4) Community engagement or social action; 5) Internships; or 6) Collaborative work in a group of peers. Other projects will be considered through the application process. All projects will culminate in a scholarly or creative work appropriate to the project. Additionally, students will:

  • Complete the two EXCEL Program courses: HONR 450 Honors EXCEL Project Development in the first semester of participation in the program and HONR 451 Honors EXCEL: Summative Experience in the last semester of participation.
  • Complete 6 credits of approved experiential learning. These credits may come from a variety of course numbers in any discipline including, but not limited to, 491, 495, 497 or 498. In some circumstances, students may count courses toward both the degree program and the Honors EXCEL program.
  • Complete a set of Project Development Activities each semester. These will be defined by the student and their faculty mentor and should include experiences that contribute to and enhance work in the EXCEL program.
  • Complete an end-of-semester progress report at the end of each Fall and Spring semester.
  • Meet ongoing requirements for good standing:
    • After year one, students must have completed HONR 450 Honors EXCEL Project Development and filed their project prospectus with the Honors College EXCEL Program.
    • Each Fall and Spring semester, maintain an institutional GPA of at least 3.0 and complete the required project development activities and progress report.
    • In the final semester, complete HONR 451 Honors EXCEL: Summative Experience, submit the final written portion of the project, and participate in the Honors Exit Interview.
    • Students with a verified violation of WVU's Policy on Student Academic Integrity may be removed from the program and will not be readmitted.
  • Students who do not meet these requirements will be suspended from the program. Suspended students can not apply for funding, do not receive priority registration, and will not be approved for experiential learning credits.