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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, but is open to all students.  

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.  

Students participating in a connections program outdoors
Students at the international dinner hosted by OMA

Connections Pre-Orientation 

 

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.

Connections Pre-Orientation 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.  

  • Academic Sessions
    • 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. 

  • Resource Workshops
    • 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.  

5 students from OMA in their graduation stoles
Students from OMA wearing Connections Stoles

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

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