Student Support Services
(Project Excel)


Student Support Services (SSS) is a federally funded TRiO program. Our mission is to help participants to reach success through our Diverse Advising to Navigate Education (DANE) initiative:


Provide a diverse approach in academic counseling with keeping to the student’s academic plan or career goals to achieve maximum academic success and career readiness


Use a holistic and proactive advising method that is tailored to each student based on their learning styles to bring about skilled, self-actualizing professionals and global citizens who lead through best practices and lifelong learning


Provide resources to help students navigate their academic plan through interoffice collaborations (e.g. Career Services, Counseling Center, University Libraries, etc.)


Communicate the importance of being the first in their family to receive a four year education and the effects it will have on their life and career goals

TRiO Student Support Services
(Project Excel)

Student Support Services (SSS) is a funded TRiO program. The University at Albany refers to the TRiO SSS program as “Project Excel.” It provides opportunities for academic development, assists students in meeting basic college requirements, and serves to motivate students towards the successful completion of their postsecondary education. Project Excel assists a select group of students in adjusting to college life and successfully pursuing an undergraduate degree. SSS utilizes a holistic approach in providing support services for students by focusing on academic, social, and cultural aspects of the college experience.

Through academic counseling, advice with course selection, individualized tutoring from peer mentors or faculty, workshops, career exploration, and social and cultural activities, Project Excel helps students build a solid foundation for success. Project Excel also connects students to other university programs and support services that refer students to educational opportunities, as well as cultural involvement, to promote a well-rounded college experience. Project Excel is committed to the success of first-generation, low-income, and/or students with disabilities.

Services Available

Project Excel strives to achieve its goal of a graduation rate of 70% of its participants by offering its students a variety of University-wide support services, including Supplemental Academic Counseling, free-study group tutorials, and study skills workshops. Additionally, Project Excel students receive other comprehensive programming such as supplemental advisement, personal counseling, and free peer tutoring. Whether a Project Excel student is a freshman, sophomore, junior or senior, these services can help the student achieve his/her goals. The following is a list of some of the services available to Project Excel students in their quest for personal growth and academic success here at the University at Albany:

TRiO Student Support Services participants benefit from:

  • Supplemental Academic Counselor
  • Free Peer Mentoring/Tutoring
  • Free Faculty Mentoring Program
  • Freshmen Year Seminar Course (UNI 100)
  • Graduates School Advisement
  • Financial Aid Planning and Information
  • Career Workshops
  • Writing Lab
  • Community Service
  • Study Skills Workshops/Materials

Students are strongly encouraged to take advantage of these offerings! For information on these or other programs feel free to call:

Interim Director- Mayra Santiago: (518) 442-5175
Program Coordinator- Makisha Brown: (518) 442-5196

Assistant to the Director- Yessenia Raposo: (518)-442-5182

More information on certain services:

Supplemental Academic Counseling
Project Excel counselors are ready to meet the academic planning needs of program participants. Our counselors meet with students as often as necessary to help plan classes each quarter, assist with choosing a major and to devise an academic plan for completion of a baccalaureate degree at the University.

Peer Torturing Program
The Peer Tutoring Program matches University students interested in receiving extra help in a specific course with qualified tutors. Tutors undergo an interview procedure, submit departmental references, maintain an overall 3.0 grade point average, and are required to have received a B+ or better in the designated class. Students serviced through the Project Excel program are provided FREE Peer Tutoring services. Tutoring is based on availability and is a first come first served basis. Those interested in this program can contact:

Makisha Brown: (518) 442-5196

Financial Aid Counseling
Project Excel counselors assist students with understanding their financial aid award, the FAFSA renewal process, and emphasize the importance of maintaining documentation and good communication with the Financial Aid Office.

Personal Counseling
Coming to the University is a big transition and juggling the responsibilities of college life can be overwhelming at times. Project Excel counselors are here to help students become acclimated to and meet the challenges of the university environment. We also recommend the valuable workshops and other important services offered by the University Counseling Center.

Career & Graduate/Professional School Counseling
Project Excel counselors will help you select an appropriate major based on your career choices. Many students choose careers that require work beyond the undergraduate degree. Project Excel counselors will provide these students with information about graduate programs and help them prepare for the admissions process.

Career Services
Project Excel partners with many organizations on campus to provide a holistic advisement approach. Program participants will get a chance to speak to a staff member from Career Services on their weekly visit to the office complex.

How to Apply
Students interested in Project Excel are encouraged to inquire through their academic advisor, or visit the Office of Access & Academic Enrichment (OAAE) housed in the Education Opportunities Program (EOP) Complex, at LI-94. The application process is open enrollment, and the required materials include a completed paper application with the first two pages of parent/guardian tax forms. (See Application Link Above)


The World Within Reach

Students participate in more than 200 student clubs and honor societies, and enjoy a busy calendar of campus events.