The mission of the Connections Program is to increase the access to educational, professional development and networking opportunities at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, in the local Worcester community and beyond, for underrepresented students of color in STEM: those of African, Latino, and American Indian descent. Established in 1993, connections is a comprehensive network of support services that target underrepresented students of color and first generation college students, while enrolled at WPI, but is open to all. The Program empowers students by helping them establish a solid academic and personal development foundation to increase their potential for college success. Connections helps students make a smooth transition from high school to college, it promotes academic excellence, leadership, and community service and social interactions. Connections is the road map to college success at WPI.

The goal of Connections is to help you build an academic and personal foundation for success at WPI and beyond. This goal is accomplished by first getting you acclimated to college life and academics here at WPI, then allowing you to dive in, knowing that a network of support services and a caring community are there when you need them.

Does the program work? After over a decade of existence, the experiences of the students who actively participated in Connections speak for themselves. Connections students have distinguished themselves as campus leaders, have connected to multiple community networks, maintained an impressive retention rate, and have dedicated numerous hours towards community service.

For more information on the Connections Program,  program registration and or activities, call or email the Office of Multicultural Affairs directly. 

Connections Bridging Program

Connections Pre-Orientation is a residential bridging program, which is NSF grant sponsored, at WPI in August prior to New Student Orientation (NSO). The purpose of the program is to help entering eligible first year students make a smooth transition from high school to college. Connections students participate in academics, social activities, workshops on teambuilding and leadership, attending networking socials and more. The week long Connections Pre-Orientation Bridging Program is designed to help accumulate students to college life prior to New Student Orientation.  Students learn skills and tools to help them succeed during their WPI career and beyond.  Connections Program activities include:

  • Academic and personal Skills Assessment
  • Personal Development Training
  • Leadership Training and Development
  • WPI Specific Technology Instruction
  • College Success Skills Training
  • Academic Enrichment Courses
    • Physics
    • Mathematics
  • Written, Electronic and Oral Communications
  • Cultural Awareness and Diversity Training
  • Field Trips and Social Activities

The Connections Pre- Orientation Program is offered at no cost to pre-registered, first year, eligible WPI students. The 2017 Connections Program Opening Day and Move In (into students assigned academic year housing) is scheduled for Saturday, August 12, 2017 and will run until NSO, Sunday, August 20, 2017.  

Support Services

 

Connections participants have access to an extensive network of support services and campus resources.

These resources include:

  • 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
  • Academic enrichment seminars
  • Career development seminars
  • Faculty advising
  • Social activities
  • Cultural activities
  • Leadership training and development

All Connections participants are encouraged to utilize these resources throughout their WPI career. Connections students are also encouraged to use the many resources available on campus.

 

    

Academic Development

Students experiencing academic difficult are encouraged to work with the Office of Academic Advising to create an Academic Development Plan (ADP). The ADP is designed to help students learn strategies necessary for academic success. Components of the ADP include:

  • Performance goal contracts
  • Performance monitoring and feedback
  • Time management and study skills development
  • Increased contact with advisors and Instructors
  • Participation in regular study sessions
  • Tutorial assistance
  • Letters of support for financial aid (if appropriate)

The key to the Academic Development Plan is the individualized contract designed by the students and the Office of Academic Advising. The contract is based on the skills and strategies that will help each student achieve academic success.