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Tech Connect Puts Class of 2015 on Track

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Members of the largest freshman class in Arkansas Tech University history have been oriented. Now it is time for them to be educated. 
Tech Connect, a four-day orientation to life at Arkansas Tech orchestrated by the Office of Student Services, began for Tech freshmen on Saturday, Aug. 20, with move-in day and culminated on Tuesday, Aug. 23, with a back to school pep rally.
In between, Tech freshmen became acclimated to their residence halls, enjoyed various social activities, received an introduction on how to succeed in college academically and learned how to find their classes.
That last item came in handy on Wednesday, Aug. 24, when the 2011-12 academic year began on the Russellville campus.
“The Arkansas Tech Class of 2015 has taken a great first step toward success,” said Susie Nicholson, vice president for student services and university relations. “Our freshmen have absorbed a great deal of information in a short period of time. I am proud of the way they have participated in our orientation activities and adjusted to their new surroundings.”
The exact number of Arkansas Tech freshmen will not be known until the 11th day of classes, but that figure will exceed the previous school record of 1,527 first-time students on the Russellville campus in fall 2009.
The academic pedigree of the Arkansas Tech Class of 2015 suggests that it will be successful. The average ACT score among Arkansas Tech freshmen is 22.3, and their average high school grade point average is 3.23.
Thirty-nine percent of Tech freshmen completed high school with a cumulative grade point average of 3.5 or higher, and 65 percent of them finished with at least a 3.0 GPA.
Bridge to Excellence, a mentoring program that connects faculty and staff with incoming students, is one way that Arkansas Tech helps freshmen continue that kind of academic performance at the college level.
Freshmen met with their Bridge to Excellence mentors for the first time during a meet and greet session at Tucker Coliseum on Monday.
Since fall 2003, the fall-to-fall retention rate for freshmen who participate in Bridge to Excellence has been 17 percent higher than the rate for non-participants.

Click here to view photos and video from Tech Connect 2011.
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