Former ESA Student Testimonials

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"Exploratory Student Advisement previously known as the CAS program was a game changer for me. Where I am from none of my friends had their minds set on college or what life would be like after high school. I wasn't the "perfect student" and my ACT score was trash even after taking the test 3 times. I was denied admissions to my first and second choice all based on a test score. It wasn't until SIU granted me admission based on my acceptance of what you formally known as the EXP2 program. In this program I was assigned a mentor, academic coach, and a community that allowed me to be myself and excel in my academics. Not only did I come out of the program with a 3.768 GPA that established me for the remainder of my college career, but I was also accepted into the University Honors Program, had an opportunity to serve as a mentor for the CAS program the following year. This definitely shifted the trajectory of my college career." 


Ms. Kayce Gibbs
Doctoral Student
University of Louisville

“When I finally figured out what I wanted to do as far as career I made the decision to attend SIU Carbondale. The only down fall was my test score just was not up to par, but my GPA was 4.0 on a 5.0 scale. Most other schools have already rejected my application. When I took a tour of SIU, I was extremely nervous. After I fell in love with the campus, I met with Dr. Killian who took me under her wing and told me that yes, my ACT score was too low but saw potential in me to be successful. She told me about the Exploratory Program SIU offered and told me it would be a helpful tool for success. And it honestly was the best decision I had ever made. For my first 3 semesters there I met with the amazing staff that helped me succeed in all my classes. Ranging from difficult general ed classes to the core classes required for my major. I majored in Exercise Science and am currently working in my field as a personal trainer at gym in downtown St. Louis. I am working on becoming a strength and conditioning coach. I would not be where I am without the help I received from this program. It taught me that just because you do not score high on a test does not mean you are a failure in life. Take advantage of this program. Use the keys the staff gives you on how to study. Stay focus. Ask questions and you will be successful. Once a Saluki, always a Saluki.” 


Mr. William Goheen
Personal Trainer/US Army

“The Exploratory Program is a steppingstone for students like myself. They’re people/mentors there to help you establish goals, a major, and career. I am proud to say they helped me get this far and they will still be available anytime I need them.”

Ms. Da’Ziya Faust

“The Exploratory Student Advisement Program assisted me in laying the foundation of my college career, resulting in the discovery of my occupational passions. As the opportunities and resources available at SIU are vast, I was fortunate to have an advisor from this program who was, and continues to be, a strong guide for new students looking to discover passions of their own while enrolled here.” 


Mr. Toussaint Mitchell
SIU Alumnus, 2019
Chicago, IL

“Being a part of the program motivated me, throughout the year I remained focused on getting into the Engineering program. While it was easy to view the program as a setback, I formed it into a tool to accomplish my goal.”

Mr. Rashawn Overton
Electrical and Computer Engineering