We know that it's hard to say goodbye. You expected to have the summer before heading to college, but now we're asking you to consider participating in SOAR, which is a big decision. The information below may help you and your family decide if SOAR is right for you.
If you still have questions, please feel free to contact Marquis McGee at 828.232.5122 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is Summer SOAR?
Summer SOAR is an intensive 4 week program (July 8 - August 2, 2013) designed to help you transition into college life and the academic rigors at UNC Asheville.
Summer SOAR students must also attend an Embark Orientation session. More information on Embark can be found on their website.
How does SOAR compare to other summer academic programs?
Many other similar summer 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.
What classes will I take during SOAR?
You will take two classes during SOAR, a writing-intensive freshman colloquium course and a math class. Both of these classes count towards UNC Asheville's ILS core requirements, which are required for graduation.
What will my daily schedule look like?
During SOAR, classes meet every day. You will have one class in the morning around 8:30am and the other in the afternoon around 1:00pm. Between classes, you can get lunch, study, meet with a Writing Center tutor or Math tutor, or just enjoy the break. After classes, you'll have time to meet with tutors or faculty, work on homework, or get off campus and learn about Asheville. There will be group activities that you and the other SOAR students will participate in throughout each week. The activities schedule will change each week, so there will always be something fun and interesting to do while you're here with us this summer!
How will I travel to and from SOAR events? How can I get around town during SOAR?
For most events, we will use university vehicles, which will be driven by SOAR staff. Many places of interest are within walking distance of campus. A lot of UNC Asheville students have bikes on campus, and can ride the Asheville Transit buses for free. The buses go to just about everywhere in town, and all have bike racks. If you are 18 or older, you may also rent a car from Enterprise.
Can I bring my car to campus for SOAR?
No. Freshmen are not allowed to have cars on campus during their first year at UNC Asheville, and SOAR counts as a part of your first year.
What should I bring with me to SOAR?
You should plan to bring anything that you need to do your class work--notebooks, binders, pens, highlighters, etc. You're encouraged to bring some spending money to use during free time, and anything that you do to relax (bicycle, work-out gear, hobbies, etc).
What is included in each residence hall room?
Residence hall rooms include single beds, study desks and chairs, dressers, window blinds and shower curtains. Anything else you will need (like sheets, alarm clocks, or cleaning supplies) is your responsibility!
All residence halls also include cable television service and high speed internet in every room.
Do I need to bring a computer?
If you have a computer, it is helpful to bring it with you to SOAR. However, if you don't bring a computer to SOAR (and many students don't), there are computer labs available across campus for you to use.
What is included in the meal plan?
The meal plan includes 3 meals a day during the SOAR program. The Dining Hall is all-you-care-to-eat.
Can I leave campus on the weekends?
You are welcome to leave campus for short periods of time, as long as you can finish your class work and still attend all required SOAR programs. You are not allowed to leave campus overnight without the approval of a SOAR staff person. SOAR is a residential program, and you should plan to spend the six weeks fully engaged in the program.
Can I have visitors during SOAR?
Yes, you may have visitors during SOAR. If your guests want to stay in your residence hall room, they must follow posted procedures and regulations.
Can I have a job during SOAR?
No. SOAR is an intensive program, and you will not have time to work during the program.
Can I go home during SOAR?
We generally do not allow students to leave campus overnight during the program since the amount of time spent on campus does have an effect on your overall success within the program. However, if there is a family emergency or previously scheduled obligation, you should talk with the SOAR Program Coordinator about it as soon as possible.
Can I choose my SOAR roommate?
We make SOAR roommate assignments based on each student's responses to the Roommate Questionnaire. The earlier you complete the questionnaire, the better chance you have of getting a roommate with similar living preferences.
Can I change roommates during SOAR?
In extenuating circumstances, and only in cases when space permits, it may be possible to change your roommate assignment. However, if the request is due to personality or living style differences, SOAR Mentors will work with you to resolve the problem before exploring the option of someone moving. The vast majority of roommate conflicts can be solved without incident.
Can I do my laundry on campus?
Yes. Washers and dryers are available on campus, and you can use these by swiping your OneCard.
What will I use my OneCard for?
The OneCard is your official UNC Asheville ID card, and it should be carried with you at all times. You will use your OneCard to access your residence hall 24hrs/day. It is used to eat in the Dining Hall and ride the Asheville Transit buses, and you can also use it to for drama tickets, at campus drink machines, in Health Services, at the laundry machines, at the Copy Center/copiers, in Ramsey Library, in the Recreation Center, and at the snack machines located in Founders, Karpen, Mills, Owen, and Ramsey.
What will I get to do for fun this summer?
During SOAR, you will participate in a wide variety of social, stress-relieving programs. These might include camping, bowling, whitewater rafting, going downtown, putt putt, and visits to cultural centers, and more!
Will I have any free time during SOAR?
Yes! You must attend class and get your homework done, and there will be programs each week that you will be required to attend. Otherwise, your time is free to manage as you see fit.
Can other students not participating in SOAR join SOAR activities?
No. SOAR activities are paid for through your SOAR program fees and are only for SOAR participants.
What if I cannot participate in some activities due to health or other concerns?
We understand that you may not be able to participate in all activities. You should talk to us about any concerns you have as soon as possible.
What is there to do in Asheville during free time?
Asheville is full of things to do! Visit the city of Asheville website for some ideas. You can get more ideas by talking to the SOAR Mentors and fellow SOAR students!
Do parents and family members get to participate in SOAR activities?
Most SOAR programs are only for SOAR students. However, there will be an opening dinner and a closing dinner. You will be able to invite guests (family and/or friends) to attend these dinners.