There, among the thousands of faces at Arkansas Tech University’s Tucker Coliseum on Thursday, Feb. 1, for Time Out for Tech 2018, were high school seniors like Kaylea Green of Plainview who have dreamed of attending ATU as far back as the eighth grade.
“I know Tech is where I want to go to school at, and I wanted this experience,” said Green, who intends to study physical therapy. “I don’t want too big of a school, and this feels homey to me. I’m here today to find out about the activities that Tech has to offer.”
Others, like Blake Poteete of Morrilton, were undecided and intrigued.
“I have a little bit of a scholarship to come here, so I figured I’d come check it out,” said Poteete. “I want to learn about the agriculture program and things they have to offer. I’d like to go into marketing and selling seed, chemicals and other agriculture products. Greek life and campus recreation are two things I want to learn about today. If I fit in, that will be the deal maker.”
Kaitlyn Freeman of Russellville was also seeking that sense of belonging during her visit to Time Out for Tech.
“I am interested in wanting to learn more about what (Tech) is all about,” said Freeman. “I want to study physical education, so I want to know what the options are and what is offered. I like (Tech). It seems very social and open. I want to be somewhere that is comfortable and happy for me…something community-like. I want to find out if (Tech) is the place for me.”
Time Out for Tech provides high school seniors and their families with a chance to learn more about the academic programs, student housing options and campus life opportunities available on the Russellville campus.
The opening session was followed by academic break-out sessions, campus tours and lunch at the various dining options at Tech.
Many high school seniors, like Kevon Turner of White Hall, came from other regions of the state and beyond to learn more about Arkansas Tech. Turner is interested in studying criminal justice, which will be part of a new bachelor’s degree that will debut at ATU in summer 2018.
“I want to know if this is the school for me,” said Turner. “I am looking to see if the atmosphere is good. I am enjoying touring the colleges. I want to get the best degree I can and go on from there.”
Adam Chasteen of Maumelle had multiple reasons to visit ATU on Thursday.
“I’m auditioning today for the Arkansas Tech band, and I received an e-mail saying that I could audition and come to (Time Out for Tech), so that’s why I came,” said Chasteen, who has been accepted into the University Honors program at Tech. “I see that a lot of the organizations are involved, and that the college really cares for the students. Getting a college degree is important to me because it’s something I can do for myself. It’s something I can really say, ‘that’s mine,’ and I have ownership over it.”
Family connections were the reason some came to Time Out for Tech.
“I had a friend whose older sister told me I needed to come here (to Time Out for Tech), and at first I thought that’s a lot of people, but then I decided it would be a good experience for me,” said Nate Schmidt of Heber Springs, who wants to study journalism. “So far it has been. (ATU) is a lot bigger than I thought, and I like that. There are a lot of people here, and I think I can meet some new, friendly faces. I want to do something that will change the world and impact other people. Hopefully, that will somehow impact me.”
Abby Rains of Mountain View would be the third sibling from her family to attend Tech.
“My brother and sister both went to Arkansas Tech, and I’ve always really looked forward to learning more about Tech,” said Rains, who plans on majoring in pre-medicine biology with a career goal of becoming a doctor of osteopathy. “I’m really excited to be here today because I get to learn what it’s all about. I just really want to be able to support a family. That’s really my dream…to be able to support my family and be comfortable. I do want to make money in the future, so I think college is the way to do that.”
Ashley Hart of Fort Smith also has an eye on a career in health care. She plans on continuing one family tradition by becoming a nurse and beginning a new tradition by enrolling at ATU. She will be the first member of her family to attend Arkansas Tech.
“I really like the Arkansas Tech campus,” said Hart. “Honestly, I’ve been on so many college visits here, it seems like a second home to me. I want to look into Greek life and the other activities that go on around here. I really want to help people, and nursing is a way to help them. I feel like if I come here and I get that degree, it’s something I can give back to others.”