The Office of Student Life has gone in a new direction in advising students with the name change of the previous SOS program to SOARS, Student Opportunities, Advocacy and Resources.
The SOARS program matches students with available resources across campus and aims to focus on the many different programs on campus that are available to help students be successful.
“So many students on our campus are unaware of the many programs that are offered on campus, and don’t ask,” said Bart Herridge, dean of student services & retention. “Our goal is to take students who are recommended to talk to someone in our program and talk about the things that could be helpful for them.”
Herridge said Student Life is trying to shift the focus of the the program to a more positive message about empowering and partnering with students to be more successful.
The office plans to take this new direction to show students they are in the journey with them together and they are walking alongside them every step of the way.
“We are really intently trying to shift this program to help students get plugged in the right places,” Herridge said.
Most of the recommendations for the program came from faculty and staff members who felt like students needed more guidance. But parents, and students, can also refer students to get connected with the program.
“Every semester we have a number of students who hear about the program from a friend or had a conversation with somebody from our program,” Herridge said. “It’s not really a program that you become a part of and then are a part of it permanently. It’s mostly just short conversations because we are trying to get you plugged into places that can better give you the help that you need.”
Despite traffic brought in by word of mouth, many students are still unaware of the program and the services it offers.
“I had no idea that service was available,” said Alcide Bennett, freshman informational technology major from Marshall. “Now that I do know about it, I’ll be sure to pass on the information.”
No application is required to receive help through the program, and if you need assistance, or want to take advantage of what the program offers, contact the Student Life office.