New students enter Blinn College each year with mixed expectations and knowledge about college life. Upcoming Blinn College – Bryan campus Student Orientation Advising and Registration (SOAR) sessions will guide new students through academic advising and registration to kick-start their collegiate success.
SOAR sessions are open to admitted, incoming students and are offered free of charge.
Dr. Kathy Anzivino, dean of student services, describes SOAR as a one-stop shop for new students.
“College registration may not appear as easy as it once did,” Anzivino said, “SOAR helps us walk the students through their first registration process and improve their college experience from the start.”
Students and parents are offered separate sessions for a tailored approach to info. sessions, orientation and advising.
“Students will come in to learn about advising while we talk to parents about transitioning and letting go,” Anzivino said. “We help student learn how to do this on their own, because their parents aren't going to be there all the time once they’re in college.”
Rachel Landolt, academic adviser, said SOAR tackles a great deal more than just navigating through advising and registration.
“Many students experience emotional issues when transitioning from home to college life, and they struggle making friends or connections at first,” Landolt said. “SOAR gathers incoming students together to help them form friendships and begin relating to each other.”
SOAR began in 2011 as a post-registration orientation event. With feedback and analyses collected since the first event, it was decided to continue the event with the addition of advising and registration components.
“This year, we are still including sessions for advising, registration and how to use Blinn technology, but we’re expanding the use of our SOAR leaders, who are all current or former Blinn students,” Landolt said. “Relating to Blinn students who are successful and receiving information from them tends to help the information sink in better than hearing it from a non-student.”
The SOAR leaders will conduct a question and answer panel, as well as lead introductory ice breakers with their small groups.
“Down the road, we would like for SOAR to be the first part of orientation and do more during Welcome Week to help our students transition and get involved with Blinn College,” Anzivino said. “Not being a residential campus, it’s sometimes harder for students to get engaged with the campus, so we’re trying to facilitate those opportunities.”
The first SOAR event for the year will be held Saturday, April 27. New Blinn students can learn more and register to attend a session at: www.blinn.edu/bynso.
Photo: Student Orientation Advising and Registration (SOAR) sessions guide new students through academic advising and registration to kick-start their collegiate success.