We know that leaving home and starting life in college is a challenging transition. We want to help you ease into your new home at Ball State with our three-day summer program for first-year students of color and first-generation college students.

The program is an opportunity to make new friends and get first-hand experience of college life before classes start. We will pair you with a peer mentor who is a returning student with proven academic and social skills, who will guide you through these aspects of Ball State. 

You’ll attend workshops exposing you to common aspects of daily college life. We’ll challenge you to learn techniques that will help you focus on your academic and social development.

In addition to making new friends, EXCEL will give you the opportunity to:

  • Connect with an upper-class mentor and other students.
  • Engage in developmental workshops and interactive activities throughout the fall semester.
  • Experience living in the residence halls.
  • Take a one-credit leadership course through Excellence In Leadership.

How to Sign Up

Once you have been admitted to Ball State and registered for courses, you may register online. This year, the EXCEL program will be virtual, and it is FREE to join.


EXCEL Mentors are responsible for developing and maintaining a positive, supportive, and effective relationship with their mentees. The mentees are incoming first year students who are primarily students of color and or first-generation. Mentors will be assigned a group of students and assist them by attending summer workshop sessions that focus on college transition adjustment while learning more BSU and community resources beneficial to first year student success. Mentors will build relationships with the students in the hope that the relationships will continue throughout their academic tenure at Ball State University