With numbers booming for first-year students, Southern Utah University turned to their sophomore students with the intention to boost their retention rates. It is through efforts to increase these retention rates and enhance the second year experience, that SUU created the SOAR program.
Along with SUU's completion ACES (Assistant Coaches for Excellence & Success), SOAR also features nine core competencies: Communication Skills, Teamwork/Collaboration, Leadership, Creativity and Problem Solving, Professional Development, Information Technology, Intercultural Perspective, Career Management, and Financial Management.
In concert with these competencies, students can participate in seminars on financial security, networking, and resume building. Each competency is designed for students to get the most out of their education and prepare themselves for life after college.
According to Eric Kirby, assistant vice president for student affairs (Completion and Student Success), “Southern Utah University increased retention of first-year students by 9% over the past three years.”
Because retention for first-year students has increased by so much, SUU turned their focus to sophomores at SUU.
Through the SOAR program, students at SUU have received many opportunities to grow and develop not only as students but as people. The SOAR program engages sophomores by providing opportunities for learning as well as increasing the retention of second-year students.
Dr. Eric Kirby is committed to supporting all students as they learn to become successful and effective leaders on campus and in the community. He is available for an interview, simply visit his profile.
Eric Kirby Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs for Completion & Student Success
Specializing in student success strategies, civil litigation, and student retention and first year experience in higher education