Members of CONNECTIONS pose for a group picture at the Men of Color Summit in 2018.

CONNECTIONS received a bronze award of excellence from NASPA for 2018-19.
Image Credit: Clemson University Relations

CLEMSON — CONNECTIONS, an initiative that assists first-year students of color at Clemson University, was selected as a bronze recipient for the 2018-19 Excellence Awards from the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA). Each year, NASPA recognizes the contributions of members who are transforming higher education through outstanding programs, innovative services and effective administration. CONNECTIONS was selected in the category of enrollment management, financial aid, orientation, parents, persistence and first-year.

“I am extremely proud of the work our team engages in every day in support of our underrepresented students,” said DeOnte Brown, interim director of Student Transitions and Family Programs.

CONNECTIONS assists first-year students of color and first-generation students with their transition into Clemson. Through the program, students gain opportunities for transformation related to personal development, academic engagement, culture, diversity, involvement and a support network. The most recent data shows a retention rate of 97.1 percent from the 2017 cohort. In the fall of 2018, CONNECTIONS welcomed a program-record 95 students.