All incoming McDonough Scholars are required to participate in this five-day event before taking the first course (Leadership 101/Petroleum Engineering 101) in the McDonough Leadership Program. The EXCEL (Experience Civic Engagement and Leadership) Workshop — always held the week before fall classes begin — introduces new leadership students into the core concepts and ideas behind the "McDonough Experience." Upperclass EXCEL Leaders run this workshop and serve as mentors for the new leadership students. Participants are challenged to see themselves as active members of a new learning community.