Ninety-seven Arkansas Tech University students returned to the Russellville campus Tuesday, Aug. 11, in preparation to serve as orientation leaders for incoming students making the transition to ATU.
TechConnect, ATU's orientation program for new students, will begin on Saturday, Aug. 15, and continue through Tuesday, Aug. 18. The first day of classes for the fall 2020 semester at ATU is Wednesday, Aug. 19.
"I am stoked about the positivity of this group," said Meighan Burke, ATU director of student transition, when speaking about the 87 orientation leaders and the 10-member student executive board for TechConnect. "They will provide our incoming students with a great representation of what they should do in our current environment, and they will model appropriate behaviors for our freshmen."
Burke went on to say that face coverings, social distancing and observance of occupancy limits for rooms and facilities will be top priorities during TechConnect. Incoming students will learn about marked entry and exit doors for buildings on campus as well as other measures designed to limit the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Attendance will be taken at each TechConnect event to provide data for contact tracing if that becomes necessary.
"We have a collective responsibility to maintain a safe environment," said Burke.
During the four-day orientation, new students will receive an overview of academic and personal development opportunities they will be exposed to during their time at ATU. They will also become immersed in the culture of ATU and learn about its traditions.
“Orientation is often referred to by our students as the single most memorable experience in their first year at ATU," said Kevin Solomon, ATU associate dean for campus life. "The staff and orientation leaders have worked hard to ensure that tradition continues. Orientation leaders will help our new students learn and understand essential concepts, terms and procedures, in addition to academic success strategies and the academic, personal and social resources that exist on campus. They will also focus on how to effectively navigate the pandemic in their new environment.”
The complete on-campus TechConnect schedule for incoming freshmen is available at www.atu.edu/orientation/docs/TECHConnect%202020%20Schedule.pdf.
Incoming freshmen opting for the virtual TechConnect option are asked to send e-mail to email@example.com. The e-mail should include the name and T number of the student who wishes to participate in virtual orientation.
Orientation information for transfer students is available at www.atu.edu/orientation/transfer-fall.php.