Purpose

Since its inception in 1993, EXCEL has been committed to providing adult learners with quality Christian higher educational opportunities in the liberal arts and professions in a manner that brings glory to God. Programs maximize convenience, relevance, and service to our students while helping them grow as whole individuals through engaging instruction and stretching curricula. We are dedicated to providing adults a means to complete degrees that will draw on past experience and provide tools for life. It is our desire that those proceeding through our programs will grow spiritually, intellectually, vocationally, and relationally and will have the tools to continue that growth throughout their lives.

The Mission of the EXCEL Program

EXCEL is committed to providing students with Christ-centered, nontraditional education for active participation in a culturally rich community by fostering academic excellence and Christian service, and promoting lifelong learning.

An Overview

The EXCEL programs of Trinity College offer unique opportunities for all learners to enhance their professional goals through accelerated education. The baccalaureate degree earned by EXCEL graduates is the same degree offered through Trinity’s traditional programs and is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.  The programs offer a means for busy students to complete their undergraduate degree in a convenient and timely manner. Students may enter EXCEL with or without any number of prior college credits and, by taking accelerated courses one at a time, finish their degree within a manageable time-frame. To facilitate this, EXCEL offers clusters of courses that proceed in sequence in the context of a cohort community of fellow students. Diverse faculty members teach in their expertise, yet the students in the cohort stay together. Cohort schedules can take between eighteen and thirty months to complete. Single course electives may also be chosen. In addition, students may transfer credit, gain credit by examination, seek credit based on prior experience or job-related learning, or take courses from approved traditional campuses and/or online courses to meet graduation requirements.

We believe EXCEL meets the needs of 21st Century students like you, here in Florida. Are YOU this kind of student?

  • You are busy and have many competing responsibilities. To introduce any educational program into already full schedules is a considerable challenge.
  • You are motivated to learn. Students who choose TIU-Florida are typically ready to give the effort needed to benefit from classes for which they are sacrificing.
  • You have learned discipline. As a result of being in the workforce, and managing the complexities of both professional and personal responsibilities, many of our students have developed a sense of discipline that serves them well in the EXCEL programs.
  • You have broad life experiences. Learning theory tells us we learn by relating abstractions to memories of past experiences. Drawing on a broad background of experiential knowledge and ethnic diversity allows students to quickly grasp ideas.
  • You desire relevance.  In your daily life, you encounter situations where the classroom learning may be consistently applied to real life, allowing for a more motivated learning environment.
  • You have developed skill in independent learning. You have, by necessity, learned to seek information on your own from a variety of sources allowing you to be an active participant in your own educational processes.
  • You learn best when you are personally involved. There are many styles of learning, but when you interact in small groups, engage in role play, prepare projects, and apply techniques in the workplace, the learning is deep and retention is long.
  • You have many insights of your own. Experience is a tremendous teacher. You have much to contribute to the learning of others. Discussion is valued as highly as lectures in EXCEL classes.

Goals Across the Curriculum

The key question that constantly confronts the curriculum in our rapidly changing society is   “What educational qualities allow an individual to succeed and thrive in the unfolding future?” Eight competencies rise to the top. Trinity seeks to enhance these abilities across the curriculum for each of the EXCEL programs. They are:

Integration of a Christian worldview: The ability to formulate a distinctively Christian perspective concerning ideas, people, events, relationships, and issues and then to discern responses consistent with that perspective.

Self-knowledge: A willingness to examine one-self, including one’s emotions, temperament, values, goals, experiences, preferences, habitual processes, and identity structure.

Open-minded inquiry: The commitment to explore, understand, and appreciate divergent perspectives, values, and cultures without losing identity through premature closure or complete relativism.

Critical thinking: The evaluation, through sound research and thinking, of the quality of ideas and information, the merits of courses of action, and the integrity of one’s own beliefs and viewpoints.

Aesthetic appreciation: Love for the beautiful, the imaginative, the delightful and empathy for the unlovely, the commonplace, the tragic.

Organizational effectiveness: The ability to effectively participate in organizational settings, including working in teams, giving leadership, and solving problems creatively.

Communication: Competency in reading, writing, speaking, listening, and collaboration.

 Lifelong learning: Awareness of foundational questions and knowledge structures in a variety of disciplines, coupled with curiosity, a desire to learn, and skills in self-direction.

Standard Framework

  • EXCEL is designed to be a nonresidential program.
  • Classes meet once a week for a four-hour block.
  • Students generally take one course at a time.
  • Students generally stay with the same group of people through their major, forming a cohort.
  • Classes typically meet for five to seven weeks.
  • Classes may be subdivided into study groups expected to accomplish group tasks in addition to individual work.
  • Primary emphasis is placed on building transferable skills rather than preparing individuals for specific job functions.
  • Skills that cross the curriculum are deemed just as important as the content specific to courses.
  • Interaction is emphasized in the classroom, focusing on integrative activities and student input. Prior learning is valued and drawn upon to enhance the educational environment.
  • Integrative papers are the primary means of evaluation, though tests may be used when appropriate to the content.
  • Community building occurs outside the classroom using online formats.

Program Objectives

The EXCEL degree programs are designed to meet these objectives:

  • Provide adult students a flexible means of completing their entire undergraduate degree in a reasonable time frame without forcing students to abandon work or family responsibilities.
  • Meet adults’ needs for relevance, convenience, and vocational advancement without forcing students to abandon work or family responsibilities.
  • Foster key skills, such as writing, speaking, critical thinking, problem solving, information literacy, ethical thinking, and the ability to integrate faith, values, and practice.
  • Students can enter the program at various stages in their academic career and enroll in courses that proceed one course at a time. Clusters can be combined to form an entire degree program supplemented by transfer hours, elective courses, credit for learning outside the classroom, and credit by examination.

For students to satisfactorily complete an undergraduate degree through Trinity, they may select general education courses, a major, and optionally, a minor. They may also take individual classes offered as electives and seek assessment of credit for prior learning. Some general education courses are offered online.  Since students enter the EXCEL program at various points in their progress toward a degree, different majors have different admission requirements. The primary goal of the admission requirements is to ensure that students enter equipped for success. Students should work closely with an academic advisor.

Students can enter the program at various stages in their academic career and enroll in cohorts that proceed one course at a time. Cohorts can be combined to form an entire degree program supplemented by transfer hours, elective courses, credit for learning outside the classroom, and credit by examination. To complete an undergraduate degree through Trinity, students must fulfill the general education requirements, complete a major, and earn a total of 124 credits.

General Education and Elective Courses

For All Majors

To guarantee a well-rounded liberal arts education, the college requires all EXCEL students to gain understanding in a variety of fields. These requirements can be met by taking EXCEL general education courses, through transfer credit, credit for prior college-level learning, or credit by examination. Before graduating, students must have 45 credit hours of general studies distributed in the following way. Education majors must follow the specifications established by the Division of Education to meet EXCEL General Education requirements, as found in the Elementary Education section of the catalog.

IDS 105Foundations for Adult Learning3
Biblical Studies 1
3-credit course related to the Old Testament3
3-credit course related to the New Testament3
Psychology
General Psychology or Developmental Psychology3
Social Sciences
Select 6 hours representing at two of the following fields: Anthropology, Economics & Business, Education, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology, Health & Wellness6
Humanities 2
Select 12 hours representing at least three of the following fields: Art, English (excluding composition), Foreign Language, History, Literature, Music Theory, Philosophy12
College Writing
Select 6 hours6
Science
Select 3 hours from any of the following fields: Geology, Astronomy, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Earth Science 33
Math or Computer Science
Select 3 hours 43
Intercultural Study
Select 3 hours 53
Total Hours45
1

Bible challenge exams will not be accepted to fulfill requirement.

2

Applied subjects (i.e., applied music, dance, drama) are not acceptable to meet this requirement.

3

If a course lacks a significant lab or fieldwork component, then a separate lab class will be required.

4

The math requirement is college algebra, its equivalent, or above, and computer must be general introduction, not programming, and completed within the past five years.

5

To fulfill the intercultural study requirement, students must give evidence of exposure and sensitivity to diverse cultures. This may be accomplished through any of the following means:

  • International study, travel, or internship with learning documented through a life learning paper
  • Domestic intercultural study or work, with learning documented through a life learning paper
  • One year of college-level foreign language study (6 credits)
  • A college-level course (minimum 3 hrs) emphasizing intercultural studies. Examples of courses offered through the EXCEL Program are COM 335, SOC 335, and SOC 330.

Satisfying General Education Requirements1

The following EXCEL courses can be used to satisfy general education requirements as follows:

Graduation Requirements
IDS 105Foundations for Adult Learning3
Biblical Studies
BI 101Understanding the Old Testament3
BI 111Understanding the New Testament3
Psychology
PSY 140Introduction to Psychology3
PSY 330Developmental Psychology3
PSY 337Psychology of Adolescence3
PSY 339Adult Development3
Social Science
HPW 180Introduction to Health and Wellness3
POL 250American Government3
PSYAny PSY course satisfies part of this requirement3
SOCAny SOC course satisfies part of this requirement3
BUSAny BUS course satisfies part of this requirement3
Humanities
COM 112Speech3
ENG 222Studies in Fiction3
ENG 305Argumentation and Persuasive Speaking3
ENG 308Nineteenth-Century Women Authors3
ENG 355Literature and Ideas3
HIAny HI course satisfies part of this requirement4
MUH 231Music Appreciation3
PH 350Asian Religious Thought3
English Composition
ENG 111Critical Thinking and Writing3
ENG 115Writing and Research3
Science
BIO 145Human Biology4
BIO 150Laboratory Methods in Biology1-3
BIO 300Environmental Conservation3
PS 101Earth Science4
Math or Computer Science
CIS 230Applied Computer Technology3
MA 119College Algebra3
PSY 280XIntroductory Statistics3
PSY 285XStatistics4
Intercultural
COM 335Intercultural Communication in a Global Context3
PH 350Asian Religious Thought3
SOC 330Race and Ethnic Relations3
SOC 335Urban Sociology3
1
  • Education majors must follow the requirements established by the Division of Education to meet EXCEL General Education requirements, as found in the Division of Education section of the catalog.
  • “Double-dipping” is not permitted for General Education requirements. No one course can satisfy two General Education requirements.
  • No more than 9 credits can simultaneously count for both General Education and any major.
  • For a complete listing of all EXCEL courses, see “Course Descriptions” below.