The AU admitted students event is returning to Student Orientation and Registration, SOAR for short, after a number of years billed as Raven 101.
The change follows Student Life handing it back to the admissions office. SOAR will be offered on March 9, April 27 and May 18 with afternoon celebration events, and a last registration-only day will be on August 2.
The initial change to Raven 101 was made when former First-Year Experience Director Lisa Horst came to AU. Andrew Lehr now holds this position.
“Our admissions counselors were all actively involved with Student Life last year,” says Paula Blount, the admissions visit team manager who has been at AU for four years. “Lisa’s team put out a great survey to get feedback last year.”
“It’s been great to work with Student Life and talk through things that worked last year and what didn’t work, finding things to tweak.”
The new program will blend elements from the registration-focused Raven 101 and the residence life experience of Admitted Students Weekend.
These changes reflect a growing emphasis on campus life and cultural diversity, culminating in a fair highlighting all of campus life.
Some of the breakout sessions will send students and parents into tailored sessions, such as a spiritual life and an all-parent panel.
Morning sessions will show videos to introduce the faces and personalities of faculty involved in campus life and other services. This has previously been executed through individual presentations.
“We want to do that intro video at the beginning of the day,” says Blount. “When it’s time for the Campus Life Fair, they’ll remember ‘Hey, I saw Mike Thigpen in that video, I want to stop by his table.’”
“It takes a lot of departments and a lot of people on campus,” she says. “We’re excited to partner with these different departments.”