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Thiel College special first-year program aids students with preparation for college life


Thiel College special first-year program aids students with preparation for college life

GREENVILLE, Pa.—Students in Thiel College’s Excel Opportunities Program will arrive on campus on Aug. 10. The Excel Program is an immersive learning experience that offers an introduction to the resources available at Thiel College and to the college-level work and challenges first-year students can encounter.

Thiel designed the program for the large number of first-generation college students they receive each year. About half of the students that attend Thiel are first-generation—meaning that this is their family’s first encounter with a college. The Excel Program was put in place to prepare these students to get the most out of their four-year experience. First-year students arrive two weeks before the fall semester. During this time the students have a seminar-style class that aids them in developing:

  • Time management skills
  • Goal setting techniques
  • Effective note-taking
  • Active reading/listening skills
  • Test preparation strategies
  • Healthy habits & relationships

Students develop a clear understanding of their learning strengths and needs as well as the many resources available as they transition to college. Part of this is getting assigned to an academic coach in the Thiel Learning Commons who will guide them and monitor their progress throughout the academic year.

Though the program is designed for first-generation students, it is encouraged for all high school graduates preparing to come to Thiel College. Students who completed the seminar course as part of the Excel Program earned more credits in the fall semester and were nearly twice as likely to remain in college than students who were invited to the program but opted out.

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About Thiel College

Thiel College is an independent college founded in the Lutheran tradition. Located in Greenville, Pa., the College offers 60 majors and minors, 24 varsity sports, and an 11:1 student-faculty ratio. The College is also home to a Master of Science in speech-language pathology, a Leadership Master of Business Administration and a Management Master of Business Administration. Both master’s degree programs offer innovative and accelerated five-year paths which allow students to earn a bachelor’s and master’s degree in five years. The speech-language pathology program also has an accelerated 15-month graduate-level program. The M.B.A. program also has a 12-month post-graduate program. A dedicated faculty paired with dynamic research and internship opportunities produce numerous graduate school and job placements. Coeducational from its beginnings, the College remains committed to combining tradition with innovation.

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