College recognizes success of freshmen

Freshman George Tyler, second from left, talks with other students during the East Carolina University College of Engineering and Technology Excels event on Wednesday. (Photos by Ken Buday)

George Tyler may be just a freshman at East Carolina University, but the electrical engineering major from Raleigh says he has already learned a lot about college life.

“You have to learn how to make your schedule,” Tyler said. “You have to plan your whole day around studying. You don’t want to fall behind in classes. You want to get ahead and do as much as you can, and I didn’t have that in high school. There’s a huge jump from high school to my first semester here. My work ethic has improved tremendously. I still have fun, but school is the primary focus.”

Tyler was among 286 first-year students in the College of Engineering and Technology (CET) recognized during CET Excels on Wednesday. The event is for students who achieved at least a 3.0 GPA in their first semester.

Students attending the event enjoyed food, beverages, fellowship and free T-shirts while getting the chance to talk with faculty, administrators and advisors about their degree programs as well as available graduate degrees. Staff representing the Career Development and Leadership Center as well as ECU Career Services also attended.

Brad Collier, assistant director for first year and transition programs for the college, said attaining a 3.0 GPA in the first semester in college is no easy task.

Brad Collier, assistant director for first year and transition programs, talks to students during CET Excels.

“The programs in our college are pretty rigorous,” Collier said. “To be able to achieve a 3.0 in their first semester with all the hurdles of being a first-year student and being away from home, it’s a great thing.”

Along with honoring the students, Collier talked to them about volunteering for the college’s mentoring program in which older students help younger ones with the transition from high school to college.

“We’re hoping that when these students finish their first year, they’ll be willing to be a mentor for freshmen next year,” Collier said. “We want good mentors, and these students would be good ones to have.”

Freshman Emma Cole, a biomedical engineering major from Greenville, said she received plenty of support from her friends during her first semester at ECU.

“I thought I adapted pretty well to the program,” Cole said. “I have a lot of friends in it, so throughout the semester I got to work with them, which really helped me boost my grades up and their grades, too. All in all, it was a pretty successful semester.”

Students look at information during the CET Excels event.

Throughout the week, other colleges and schools at ECU have hosted Excels celebrations. Nearly 2,200 students from across the university qualified to be recognized for the program, which is in its 11th year. This does not include the College of Business, which has opted to recognize its students in another way.

Of the students recognized, 64 are undecided and fall within the Major Advisement Program; 107 are from the College of Allied Health Sciences; 173 are from the College of Education; 140 are from the College of Fine Arts and Communication; 429 are from the College of Health and Human Performance; 378 are from the College of Nursing; and 600 are from the Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences.