The mission of the Connections Experience is to prepare incoming WPI students to successfully navigate through college while developing a community of leaders and scholars compelled to advocate for equity and inclusion, promote holistic development and provide peer support. The Connections Experience will incorporate social and academic development opportunities that will ease the transition into the WPI community, encourage inclusive excellence, and provide academically focused support and resources.
The Connections Experience is primarily geared towards students who are underrepresented in STEM/WPI and identify as students of color, first generation students, and/or with the LGBTQIAP+ community.
Connections was first established in 1993, and continues to be the road map to college success at WPI. It is partially funded by the National Science Foundation and Teradyne.
The Connections Pre-Orientation is a residential bridge program at WPI held in August prior to New Student Orientation (NSO). This week-long program helps entering eligible first year students make a smooth transition from high school to college.
The Connections Pre-Orientation Program is offered at no cost to pre-registered, eligible first-year WPI students.
Student Learning Outcomes:
Program Learning Outcomes
To positively impact students awareness and confidence in their own academic and social preparedness for college.
To provide opportunities for students to experience and understand the expectations of college life and rigor of WPI academics.
To build a sense of belonging and confidence in each student’s ability find their home the WPI community.
Understand the academic expectations of WPI courses.
Create relationships with 1 or more faculty members prior to the beginning of the academic year.
Feel confident in abilities to manage the challenges of college academics.
Locate the appropriate campus resources when support is needed.
Create relationships with 1 or more staff members prior to the beginning of the academic year.
Feel confident asking for help and utilizing campus resources.
Identity Development Workshops
Understand how social identities manifest into the WPI experience.
Understand and appreciate the lived experiences of peers.
Create a culture of respect and support with mentors and peers.
Community Building Workshops
Create connections with peers, mentors, and alumni.
Bolster a sense of community and belonging.
Strengthen a network of support.
Wide Ranging Support Services Available
Connections participants have access to an extensive network of support services and campus resources. Students are encouraged to use any resources available to WPI students, and OMA provides particular focus on offering the following resources:
- Personal and financial counseling
- Academic advising
- Feedback on academic performance at the mid-point of every term
- Academic skills workshops
- Support groups
- Peer tutoring
- Student affinity groups