By Fernando Torres |Staff Writer|
The Student Orientation, Advising and Registration (SOAR) program helps freshman adjust to college life.
SOAR was founded in 2008 as way to guide incoming freshmen to help them pick their courses and expose them to the resources that CSUSB has to offer.
Originally, SOAR was not mandatory for all freshmen but since then, it has become so and all freshmen now attend a SOAR orientation in order to register for classes.
“The Soar program was started as an initiative to increase a higher graduation rate among freshmen,” said Doreen Hatcher, the SOAR program coordinator. “SOAR wants to give a good foundation to freshmen.”
For SOAR to achieve these objectives all incoming freshman must sign up to take a SOAR orientation in order to register for classes. The SOAR program also has included transfer students.
For incoming freshman of Fall 2011 there are choices of six orientation dates during the summer for them to pick from to attend. The transfer students must attend one day orientation session, while the freshmen orientations are two day events. According to the Press Enterprise website covering San Bernardino county the dates for these events are July 11-12, July 13-14, July 18-19, July 20-21, July 25-26 and July 27-28.
The SOAR two-day orientation program benefits the incoming freshmen in various ways with the freshmen being exposed to various resources. One such way SOAR helps freshmen, is getting comfortable with the campus life. At these orientations the incoming freshmen have the opportunity to attend an overnight stay at the campus dorms to get a little taste of how campus living is like.
Another way that SOAR helps freshmen get off on the right foot is to advise freshmen on what courses to take that corresponds to their major. Freshmen get the opportunity to meet with faculty advisers to get some guidance in choosing their courses. Additionally, SOAR introduces freshmen to the various programs and organizations that CSUSB offers. Freshmen are introduced to the campus guidelines, policies and safety guidelines so they can adjust to them.
SOAR has also benefited students who are involved with SOAR directly in positive ways. Brian Ramirez, senior, is a student assistant that has been involved with SOAR for the past three years. Ramirez describes how been involved in SOAR has benefit him personally.
“SOAR has helped me work on my people skills and professional skills. Really like what I’m doing here and its fun. It has opened up my mind to different opportunities,” said Ramirez.
Jorge Paomino, freshman, in his first quarter as a student assistant at SOAR is looking forward to what SOAR can do for him, and incoming freshman.
Paomino said’ “I want to help others, learn conflict management skills, I want to become a more people person and more active.”
As Hatcher put it the SOAR is not just in place to teach students what the policies and rules are at CSUSB, and meetings with faculty, but to help students build up their Coyote Pride.
“SOAR is helping students with the transition form high school to college. SOAR is helping putting a sense of spirit and pride in CSUSB students. Even though CSUSB may not the first choice for some, we want them to take pride in their university,” said Hatcher.