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Time-Out for Tech Brings Thousands of Potential Students to Russellville

High school students attend preview day, consider enrollment.
Thousands of potential students are in Russellville today taking "Time-out for Tech." Click here to watch a video from the event.

The 3,000 visitors to the Arkansas Tech campus are attending preview day for high school seniors considering enrollment at the university.
 
One of them is Taylor Walker of Texarkana. She had never visited Arkansas Tech University before Thursday, but she’s known for months that she wanted her college experience to take place in Russellville.

“I really like this school,” said Walker, who plans on majoring in management and marketing in the Arkansas Tech College of Business and hopes to become a Tech Cheerleader. “It’s not too big and it’s not too small. It’s just right for me. I love the campus. Everybody is friendly and welcoming. I like all of the different organizations because it will give me a chance to get involved with a lot of different activities during my freshman year.”

Arkansas Tech President Dr. Robert C. Brown shared Walker’s sentiment about the importance of college as a time of personal growth during his address to the high school seniors in attendance.

“College will be the best time of your life,” said Brown, who has served as Arkansas Tech president since 1993. “It’s a blast. You will make the best friends you’ll have in your entire life. But there is a much more serious, underlying reason why you should choose Arkansas Tech. For 75 percent of the students who enroll in college, there are five areas of study they intend to pursue --- business, engineering, teacher education, the biological and physical sciences and the social sciences.

“There are only two campuses in this state where all five of those areas of study are present,” continued Brown. “And you are on the only campus in our state that has all five of those areas of study and a faculty that is primarily focused on classroom instruction so that they can assist you in achieving your academic objectives.”

Mario Talamantes, a senior at Pottsville High School, and Anfernee Foster, a senior at Morrilton High School, both cited proximity to home as one of the main reasons they attended Time-Out for Tech and are considering enrollment at Arkansas Tech.

“I wanted to see what it is like at Tech,” said Talamantes, who wants to study computer science in college. “It’s close, and it seems like a really good school.”

Foster is attracted to the fact that small class sizes would allow him to develop meaningful friendships.

“I can get to know people a little closer,” said Foster, who wants to pursue a career in architecture.
Savannah Tuttle of Dardanelle was among the high school seniors who attended Time-Out for Tech already knowing they want to attend Arkansas Tech in fall 2013.

Some of them decided that a few months or years ago. Tuttle has known her entire life.

“I’ve always wanted to go to Tech,” said Tuttle. “Ever since I was little I’ve gone to all of the games. It’s home. It’s right here across the river, so I wanted to come here today and learn more about what to expect next fall.”
For Tuttle, the opportunity to meet with some of the instructors she will learn from was a major reason for attending Time-Out for Tech. 

“I really want to figure out where I am going to have classes at and meet some of the professors,” said Tuttle. “I want to ask them what would be a good plan for a political science major. I have a passion for that field, so I want to ask them about some good career options.”

Of course, college is about more than the hours spent in the classroom.

Students are making a decision to spend four years of their life in a certain place when they choose a college, and Tyler Blasdel of Flippin came to Time-Out for Tech to find out how the Arkansas River Valley would mesh with his personality and preferences.

“I wanted to see how the campus is,” said Blasdel, who wants to study pre-veterinary medicine in college. “I’ve always heard Tech is a good school, and I came to see if it would fit me. I want to learn more about the campus and this town…maybe find a few new fishing holes.”

Enrollment at Arkansas Tech has grown by 158 percent since 1997. A total of 10,950 students were enrolled at the university during the fall 2012 semester.

“The attendance at Time-Out for Tech is a testament to the fact that it is an excellent day for high school seniors to visit our campus,” Shauna Donnell, assistant vice president for enrollment management at Arkansas Tech, told the assembled crowd during the opening session for Time-Out for Tech on Thursday. “Hundreds of students, faculty and staff at Arkansas Tech modified their day to greet you. Take the time to ask questions and solidify your decision that Arkansas Tech is the right place for you to spend the next four to five years of your life.”
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