ExcEL Scholar Awards

ExcEL Scholar Awards                                                                                

The Excellence in Experiential Learning (ExcEL) Scholar Award program is a pilot effort designed to provide gap funding support to undergraduates who want to build hands-on educational experiences into their Dominican University careers.

Students who wish to pursue or design an internship, community-based learning, independent research, study away, study abroad, or entrepreneurial project that will accelerate their professional growth, deepen their scholarly knowledge, and / or actively engage as citizens of the world may apply for awards of up to $2000. During the spring of 2017, up to $30,000 in awards will be made available to successful applicants.

What the ExcEL Scholar Awards cover: 

The ExcEL Scholar Awards are intended to help students fund the gap between the resources they have and the resources they will need to make a transformative experiential learning opportunity possible.

Fundable budget items may include (but are not limited to):

  • Study Abroad, Study Away, or Alternative Break Immersion program fees;
  • Travel-related expenses (plane ticket, room and board, immunizations);
  • Stipends for unpaid internships, civic engagement or research projects;
  • Living expenses for an unpaid or away-from-home research or internship project;
  • Research or project materials.


The Academic Enrichment Center welcomes applications for the ExcEL Scholar awards from all current Dominican University undergraduate students pursuing their first bachelor’s degree who have:

  • earned at least 45 credits toward their degrees (at least 15 earned at DU),
  • achieved a grade point average that meets the requirements of the program,
  • have shared their proposals with faculty sponsors who will endorse them, and
  • have identified an experience that must take place a) between May 1, 2017 and June 30, 2018 and b) prior to her or his graduation.

Although an experience may take place between May 1, 2017 and June 30, 2018, it should be noted that awards for this ExcEL cycle will not be paid out until after July 1, 2017.

Criteria and Priorities:

ExcEL Scholar award applications will be evaluated for how well they:

  • Explain meaningful connections between the experience the student proposes to pursue and the future paths she or he envisions for her- or himself,
  • Define achievable learning goals (the skills, competencies, and/or ways of looking at the world) the student seeks to achieve through the experience;
  • Present a realistic budget, including a clear evaluation of what funds students will be able to contribute or draw from other resources, and an explanation of how the ExcEL award will help bridge financial gaps

The financial need of students, verified through the Office of Financial Aid, will also be taken into consideration by the Award Designation Committee.

Preference will be given to those applicants who have not yet received an ExcEL Scholar Award.


Info Sessions:

Thursday February 9 - 2:30pm - Parmer 017

Tuesday February 14 - 2:30pm - Parmer 017

Wednesday February 15 - 3:00pm - Parmer 005

Tuesday February 21 - 2:30pm - Parmer 017

Dates to Remember:

February 6, 2017: Application period for the ExcEL Scholar Awards opens

March 3, 2017: Application period closes

April 5, 2017: Designation of ExcEL Scholar Award Winners at the URSCI Expo and Global Learning Symposium