The EXCELD (EXcellence in Calculus/STEM for Engineering Leadership and Diversity) program is a tutoring initiative aimed at helping first-year engineering students excel in math, chemistry, physics, and biology. Freshmen engineering students will be paired with engineering upperclassmen and required to meet with their tutors twice a week per subject to get much needed help in their STEM courses.  The program was started in 2020 with a generous donation from Chevron, Halliburton, and Marathon.

All applications from first-year engineering students are welcome, but priority will be given to applications from:

  • Underrepresented minorities in engineering.
  • Women.
  • First-generation students.
  • Students with financial need.
  • Students with an ACT score between 24 and 27 (particularly the Math ACT score).

In this program, we aim to:

  • Increase the retention of underrepresented groups in engineering at LSU.
  • Help students who might struggle in STEM courses in their first year.
  • Solidify an academic foundation in college-level STEM courses that will lay a solid foundation upon which students can build their knowledge base in their core engineering courses.
  • Introduce freshmen to other engineering students and establish meaningful connections with the College of Engineering.
  • Provide advice and direction on healthy and effective study habits that students will use through their entire college career.

  • Improved academic performance.
    • The program will help students prepare for tests and exams, equipping them with test-taking strategies and time-management skills. Tutors will provide help to students in understanding specific problem areas.
  • Improved work and study habits.
    • Students will be equipped with work and study habits that can be used throughout their college career to ace their exams and make them successful in college and in their professional careers.
  • Freedom to ask questions.
    • During lectures, students who are not comfortable asking questions in class settings are more likely to communicate these questions to their tutors without being self-conscious.
  • Encourages independence and responsibility.
    • The tutoring program encourages students to be more independent and equips them with problem-solving skills. It will also help them with personal growth and development.
  • Positive workspace.
    • One-on-one tutoring provides students with an environment free of distractions.
  • Access to engineering academic resources.
    • First-year students in engineering typically have little direct interaction with engineering academic advisors. Along the way, students might experience unique issues with choosing courses or even keeping up in STEM courses. EXCELD students will have access to an academic advisor, career coach, and engineering education expert to help them navigate these issues.
  • Extending program to sophomore year
    • For students who take MATH 1021 or 1022 their first semester at LSU, they will still be taking first-year STEM courses in their third semester at LSU. If a student is enrolled in the EXCELD program and actively participates in at least one semester of their freshman year, they are eligible to continue in the program in their third semester.

Liz Melvin headshotElizabeth M. Melvin earned her BS in chemical engineering from The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, in 2002 and her MS and PhD in chemical engineering from North Carolina State University in Raleigh, North Carolina, in 2008 and 2011, respectively. While at NC State, the focus of her research was to design microfluidic devices for the detection and manipulation of various cell types. One application in particular was to design an electrically-driven, cell-focusing microfluidic device to be used in conjunction with an optical waveguide for environmental-based applications. Prior to joining LSU, Melvin held a number of positions in industry with companies such as Dow Corning (now Dow), Johns Manville, and Hospira. Her passion lies in teaching, mentoring undergraduate students, and promoting excellence in education for engineers. At LSU, she previously held positions in the Cain Department of Chemical Engineering as an adjunct assistant professor and professional in residence and was also the undergraduate program advisor for chemical engineering. Melvin is co-author on a textbook, Elements of Environmental Engineering, and is actively involved with ASEE (American Society of Engineering Education). In her free time, she spends time with her husband, three children, and dog, as well as volunteers for Girl Scouts and Boys Scouts and coaches K-1 soccer. She also enjoys watching TV, singing, and sewing.


Haley Leblanc headshotHaley LeBlanc is an alumnus of LSU with a bachelor's degree in communication disorders. She is currently a master's degree candidate in the LSU Department of Communication Sciences and Disorder's Speech-Language Pathology program. As a graduate student in the Chevron Center for Engineering Education, LeBlanc is primarily responsible for assisting the operation of the EXCELD Tutoring Program and the Supplemental Instruction (SI) Program. Her major roles for these programs are assisting the operation of the online TracCloud scheduling program, which is used by students, tutors, and (soon) SI leaders; handling personnel; and content generation for students and staff. She also assists with Chevron Leadership Academy events and operation of the Chevron Center. In her free time, she enjoys exercising, spending time with her friends and family, and watching her favorite TV show(s). 


  • Students accepted into the program will be matched with upperclassmen engineering tutors in the STEM courses of their choosing.
  • For main tutoring courses, students will be required to meet with their tutors approximately twice a week. For add-on courses, students will be required to meet with their tutor once a week. Students can only apply for add-on courses if they are registered for tutoring in at least one main course.
  • Program attendance requirements:
    • One-on-one sessions:
      • In main courses, one tutoring session per week will be a one-on-one session, and the other will be a group study help session. 
    • Group study help sessions:
      • Participants are required to attend five (5) group study help sessions in the first seven (7) weeks (until midterm grades are posted).
      • Midterm grades will determine a participant's requirement for continuing to attend group study sessions for the remaining seven (7) weeks of the semester.
        • Earning a B or higher in a course will completely remove the requirement for a student to attend group study help sessions.
        • Earning a C or below may require a student to attend more group study help sessions.
    • Meeting with your tutor and going to group study help sessions regularly will facilitate bonds with other engineering students and the formation of regular study groups.
  • Students will be matched with tutors based on the students’ and the tutors’ availability using an app-based schedule system.
  • Students will self-report their course grades to their tutors that will be monitored by the program director weekly.  Students who are struggling or who seem to be having trouble may be contacted for academic advising appointments.
  • At any time, a student in the program may request an appointment with Liz Melvin (lizmelvin@lsu.edu) to work on study- and learning-style strategies to help make study sessions more efficient or for academic advising.

Fill out the application form completely.

  • Be prepared to answer questions related to:
    • Your LSU course schedule (section numbers of courses).
    • Your financial aid and scholarships.
    • Your standardized test scores—ACT, SAT, and ALEKS.
    • Your LSU 89-number, LSU email address, and major.
  • Application due dates:
    • To be considered for express tutor assignment, apply by Friday, July 15, 2022.
    • To be considered for wait-list assignments, apply any time.

  • Returning EXCELD and EXCELD Plus Student Timeline:
    • Fall 2022: 
      • Register with your application (emailed to you) by July 15, 2022.
      • Review TracCloud user instructions (both on Moodle and/or emailed to you) by August 5, 2022.
      • TracCloud Tutoring search and appointments starting August 8, 2022.
      • Tutoring sessions begin August 22, 2022.
    • Spring 2023:
      • Timeline TBD.
  • New EXCELD Student Timeline:
    • Fall 2022: 
      • Applications open May 23, 2022
      • Review of applications begins July 18, 2022.
      • Acceptance letters – starting July 25, 2022.
      • TracCloud Training sessions – starting August 1, 2022.
      • Tutor and time selection – starting August 8, 2022.
    • Spring 2023
      • Timeline TBD.
  • New EXCELD Student Registration Activities:
    • Step 1 – Apply.  Once you receive acceptance email, proceed to step 2.
    • Step 2 – Complete program forms and acceptance contracts (JOTFORM emailed to you in acceptance email).
    • Step 3 – Attend a TracCloud training (optional but highly recommended).
    • Step 5 – Select tutors and tutoring times via TracCloud system.
  • Waitlist
    • Fall 2022:
      • All applications received after July 8, 2022, will be put on a waitlist to ensure that all early applicants who qualify for the program can be accommodated.
    • Spring 2023 Waitlist Dates-TBD
    • Waitlist Rules:
      • Waitlist position will be determined by application date and by the criteria for the EXCELD program. Waitlist position can moved based on the applications received.
      • Individuals who do not meet the criteria for the program will automatically be placed on a waitlist.  Should spots open or be available after the initial selection, spots will be offered to waitlist students in the order that they applied.

Chevron Corporation logoChevron Corporation is an American national energy corporation headquartered in San Ramon, California, that is actively engaged in oil, gas, and geothermal energy industries. Chevron endorses the empowerment of human ingenuity to pave the road to a brighter future and a better life; achieved by providing access to energy, which drives human progress and enables the benefits to a modern society. Chevron is an active donor to programs at LSU, including, but not limited to, the Chevron Energy Leaders Scholarship, the Chevron Leadership Academy, Engineering Ambassadors, as well as many learning and research spaces in Patrick F. Taylor Hall. Learn more about Chevron



Marathon Petroleum LogoMarathon Petroleum Corporation is a leading, incorporated, downstream energy company, marketing, and pipeline transport company. MPC is committed to creating a concept of shared value, which means holding a wide range of affiliates to accountability for their actions. Marathon supports College of Engineering efforts and is a contributor to its Big Siblings mentoring program and Engineering Tiger Connections, as well as a number of diversity scholarships. Learn more about Marathon Petroleum.



Halliburton logoHalliburton Company is an American multinational corporation and currently one of the world's largest providers of products and services for the growing needs of the energy industry. With the aim of achieving a culture of continuous improvement, Halliburton places in high esteem values such as integrity, safety, collaboration, competition, creativity, and respect. Halliburton funds one of the largest scholarships in the College of Engineering, the Halliburton Scholars program, and holds an annual “Halliburton Day” to introduce LSU Engineering students to the vast number of opportunities at the company. Learn more about Halliburton.

Main Course Offerings

Attendance for these courses are required twice a week for each course. 

1021 1001 2001 1001
1022 1201 2110 1002
1530 1202   1201


Add-On Course Offerings

Attendance for these courses are required once a week for each course. 

Department Course Number
BE 1251
CM 1021
CSC 1350

Are you interested in joining our team? If so, please see our ads on Handshake!

  • Program Student Admin
    • Position is filled; check Handshake and this website for updates.

  • Diversity Big Siblings Program
    • Link coming soon!

Information coming soon!

Outside view of Patrick F Taylor


Contact Us

If you have questions about the program or application, please contact:

Note that due to high-volume email times, it may take up to 24 hours for your email to receive a reply. If you have not received a reply in that timeframe, please kindly try again. It’s possible your email got lost in the shuffle or was sent to spam.