SOAR: Success through Orientation Advising and Retention
The SOAR advising program assists incoming freshmen at Thomas University in the development of a meaningful academic plan consistent with their life goals. Advisors assist students in clarifying and evaluating their academic and career goals, ultimately allowing students to accept the responsibility for making their own decisions about life goals and educational plans. (Mission statement and goals recommended by the Council for the Advancement of Standards (CAS) for Academic Advising)
SOAR Advising Goals:
- Assist students in self-understanding and self-acceptance (values clarification; understanding, abilities, interests and limitations)
- Assist students in considering their life goals by relating their interests, skills, abilities and values to careers, work and the culture of higher education.
- Assist students in developing an educational plan consistent with their life goals and objectives.
- Assist students in developing decision-making skills
- Provide accurate information about institutional policies, procedures, resources and programs.
- Assist students in evaluation or reevaluation progress toward established goals and education plans.
- Refer students to other institutional or community support services.
- Provide information about students to the institution, college, academic department or some combination of these units.
Three main roles of a SOAR Advisor / Mentor
- A mentor to assist students in understating the culture of higher education (its nature and purpose) and help students become self-directed and responsible for their academic success.
- An advisor to assist students in examining academic and career goals, to help students develop a realistic educational plan based on individual goals and objectives, and to help students map out a successful academic course plan for their freshmen and sophomore years.
- A resource/information person about policies, procedures and support systems available at TU as well as other community support services.