EXCEL is a near-peer mentorship/educational support program created and pioneered by the Office for Diversity and Student Professional Development for the UT Health San Antonio Latino Medical Student Association chapter established July 2014. The program was built for the purpose of providing UT Health San Antonio underrepresented in medicine (URiM) students a focused community for scholastic support during the first and second years of medical school in efforts to assist with the success and retention of school identified minority groups. In addition, the program was created to foster an inclusive environment which provides URiM students with a “safe space”.
The program was designed to:
- Help new students adjust to rigor of undergraduate medical education by providing support and resources.
- Provide URiM students avenues to build relationships that offer academic support, resources, and encouragement to succeed academically.
- Help URiM students come together for encouragement, support, and advice in both personal and academic needs.
- Foster community involvement around Latinx health disparities.