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Program Four Pillars


The Excellence in Catholic Education and Leadership (ExCEL) Program is a three-year program that begins in June. Each ExCEL teacher is assigned a Mentor Teacher and an Instructional Coach while teaching in their own K – 12th grade classroom in the Diocese of San Jose. Upon completion of all certification requirements, ExCEL teachers will be eligible for a California Multiple Subjects or Single Subject Teaching Credential while having earned a Master of Arts in Teaching degree from Santa Clara University’s School of Education and Counseling Psychology.


Participants create community in their classrooms and live in community with their teaching peers. In keeping with the values of Santa Clara University, Excellence in Catholic Education and Leadership (ExCEL) teachers live simply and practice sustainability in their care for God, Creation, Others, Community, and Self. ExCEL seeks individuals who desire a strong community experience and are willing to work towards personal and professional growth in partnership with their peers. Participants live in Santa Clara University Graduate Student Housing and support each other as they undertake their classroom teaching assignments.


Drawing on the Jesuit tradition of balancing lives of contemplation and action,Excellence in Catholic Education and Leadership (ExCEL) teachers are expected to proactively attend to their spiritual lives through both formal and informal practices. Events are available through the Jesuit School of Theology, the Ignatian Center and the Bannan Institute at Santa Clara University. Activities to promote spiritual growth and development include retreats, conferences, workshops and seminars.


Santa Clara University added Technology in Education as a fourth pillar to utilize the rich resources of Silicon Valley in preparing highly qualified Catholic school teachers for the future. All Excellence in Catholic Education and Leadership (ExCEL) teachers are trained to incorporate Blended Learning Technology and other Silicon Valley best practices into their teaching. Teachers receive a certificate from the Academy of Blended Learning and work toward becoming Distinguished Apple Educators. Beginning in the second year of the program, the School of Engineering can provide access to STEM and Robotics training for ExCEL teachers.
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Upcoming Deadlines

Fall, 2017

Rolling admissions

on a space available basis 

Winter, 2018 October 10, 2017
Fall, 2017

Rolling admissions

on a space available basis