What is SOAR?
The SOAR Program, both Spring and Summer, is designed to help a select group of recent high school graduates make the transition from high school to college. During this program, they will be exposed to UNC Asheville's academic expectations, as well as the culture of the campus and the greater Asheville community.
What does SOAR stand for?
SOAR stands for Spring/Summer Opportunity for Academic Readiness. The program began in the summer of 2007 with 15 students. Numbers have increased up to 25 students since then. SOAR is small on purpose, as small group allows us to provide the best possible support, and students really get to know each other and the campus.
Why was I invited to participate in SOAR?
Our Admissions Counselors often review student files and think "this student is perfect for UNC Asheville. If only he/she...(had a higher SAT score, had more writing preparation in high school, etc)". You have been asked to participate in SOAR because an Admissions Counselor noticed that you could benefit from the program. SOAR is designed to give you and a select group of other students the chance to show us you have what it takes to be successful at UNC Asheville.
What should my parents and I consider when making our decision about participating in the SOAR program?
SOAR is designed for students who are dedicated to their academics, willing to work hard, and enthusiastic about UNC Asheville. In making your decision about participating SOAR, you should know that most SOAR alumni who completed the program successfully have done as well as, or in many cases better, than their freshman peers academically and in campus involvement.
Why do I have to attend SOAR to be a UNC Asheville student?
You must attend and complete SOAR in order to attend UNC Asheville because you don't meet all of our admissions criteria.
Did my SAT scores or high school GPA have anything to do with my invitation to SOAR?
Many students who attend SOAR have high SAT scores and low GPAs, or vice versa. SOAR students also often have significant differences in their SAT scores--high math and low verbal or high verbal and low math.
Is SOAR a remedial program?
Absolutely not! The courses that you will take during SOAR are full-credit college courses and required for graduation from UNC Asheville. In fact, because the classes fit 15 weeks of material in only 6 weeks of class, they move at a much faster pace than other college classes. The faculty that teach SOAR classes are dedicated to giving you the one-on-one attention you need to succeed, but the classes are not "watered down".
How does SOAR compare to other schools' special academic programs?
Many schools' similar programs ask students to participate in remedial courses, or allow students to live on campus during the summer without much structure or organized activities.
What will I gain from SOAR?
SOAR will help you develop the writing and math skills necessary to be successful at UNC Asheville. You'll also learn about the campus, Asheville, and Western North Carolina before other freshmen, and meet people (faculty, staff, and students) who will support you throughout your time at UNC Asheville.
Data from previous SOAR cohorts shows that students who participate in SOAR have higher retention rates, and in many cases, higher GPAs than freshmen who don't participate in the program.
Why aren't all incoming students invited to participate in SOAR?
SOAR is just for a select group of students who we believe have real potential to succeed at UNC Asheville, but need a little early boost. There are many students who don't meet our admissions standards and aren't invited to SOAR.
We have invited you to participate in SOAR because your Admissions Counselor was impressed by your dedication to learning, enthusiastic about UNC Asheville, strong work ethic, and your involvement in school, athletic, or community activities.
What does it mean to successfully complete SOAR?
To successfully complete SOAR, you must finish the program with a cumulative 2.0 GPA. This means you must earn a C or higher in both of your classes.
Is there help if I don't understand the class material during SOAR?
Absolutely! SOAR has math and writing tutors dedicated to working with the program, and the faculty teaching the SOAR classes have made extra time in their schedules to work closely with you and other SOAR students. In addition, there are 4 experienced UNC Asheville students (SOAR Mentors) who can help with class work, study habits, time management, and other academic concerns.
If I don't successfully complete SOAR, can I still attend UNC Asheville in the Fall?
No. SOAR is your chance to show us that you have the potential that your Admission Counselor saw in you when you were invited to participate in the program. Therefore, you need to be seriously committed if you decide to participate in SOAR.
What happens if I can't keep up with my classes during SOAR?
Being asked to attend SOAR is a privilege. Many other students who wanted to come to UNC Asheville weren't offered this opportunity. With this in mind, you are expected to attend all classes unless you have approval not to attend due to an extenuating circumstance (illness, family emergency, etc).
We reserve the right to remove you from the SOAR program if you stop attending class.
What happens when campus regulations or the rules in the Residents' Handbook aren't followed?
You and all other SOAR participants will be expected to follow all campus rules, regulations, and policies. The SOAR Mentors can help you understand what these rules are and why they are in place.
We reserve the right to remove you from the SOAR program if you are unable to follow campus rules, regulations, and policies.
What do I do if I know that another SOAR student is not meeting expectations?
If you have concerns about another SOAR student, you should talk to a SOAR mentor, faculty, or staff member. We can help you understand what is going on and how to handle the problem.
Who are the SOAR Mentors and how will they help me during SOAR?
The SOAR Mentors are experienced, successful UNC Asheville students who are dedicated to helping other students succeed. They can help you understand the UNC Asheville culture, get used to our university's academic expectations, help with class work and other academic challenges, and help you learn about Asheville and Western North Carolina.
Are there former SOAR students who I can talk to about their experiences?
Yes! If you would like to talk with a previous SOAR student, please contact the OneStop Office at 828.350.4500 and ask to speak to the SOAR Coordinator to discuss arrangements.