SOAR: Student Orientation, Advisement and Orientation

About SOAR

Student Orientation, Advisement and Registration--or SOAR--is Missouri State University's orientation program for first-time freshmen. For more than 30 years, SOAR has welcomed new Bears and their family members to life at Missouri State University.

SOAR's "4C" Mission

During SOAR, our goal is to provide students the knowledge and experiences necessary to make a successful transition to college life.  We accomplish this by ensuring that students feel confident, comfortable, connected, and curious


New students should feel secure in their decision to attend Missouri State University and enthusiastic about returning to campus for their first semester.  At SOAR, students begin to assume more control over their own experience, and family members begin to shift into support roles rather than directing their students’ lives at college.  Students develop this autonomy by:

  • setting goals for their college experience
  • participating as a partner in the academic advising and registration process
  • initiating connections with other new students. 

New students should feel optimistic about their potential to learn and ability to succeed at Missouri State University.


New students should feel welcome as members of the diverse Missouri State community.  Students should contribute to a positive and welcoming campus climate by treating themselves and other Missouri State community members with acceptance, courtesy, and respect.  Students should feel at ease navigating the physical campus and the various cultures and backgrounds of the people who populate the campus.  Students should be familiar with and take advantage of resources, services, and communities that will provide them with the support necessary to succeed at Missouri State.  


New students should gain a sense of belonging at Missouri State by building relationships with other students, faculty and staff, exploring the Springfield community, and participating in the traditions of Missouri State.  This sense of belonging can also be realized through their involvement in academic departments or majors, student organizations, residence hall communities, athletics and recreation, fraternity or sorority life, and events on campus.  As students learn about community engagement, cultural competence, and ethical leadership, they will explore opportunities to connect with local and global communities. 


New students should gain better self-understanding through introspective reflection and community dialogue.  Students will explore potential academic and career paths by considering long and short-term goals.  They will gain an understanding of what it means to be a part of an intellectual community, which includes:

  • demonstrating a commitment to learning
  • exploring new ideas
  • pursuing intellectual depth
  • contributing to the creation of new knowledge

Through interactions with experienced members of the University community, students will be encouraged to freely follow their intellectual curiosities. 

SOAR Expectations

Please be aware of the following expectations before attending SOAR.

Student participants

  • All first-time students with fewer than 24 transferrable credit hours earned after their high school graduation are required to attend a SOAR session before registering for classes. Exceptions exist for non-traditional students.
  • Students must attend all scheduled SOAR activities in order to register for classes. Those who do not will be asked to attend another SOAR session.
  • Students attending two-day programs in June and July are required to stay overnight on campus, regardless of whether they will be residing on campus or commuting to campus their first semester. Students who arrive unprepared for an overnight stay will be asked to attend another SOAR session.
  • Students are expected to take the initiative in completing SOAR Springboard, our online pre-orientation program, and registering for their own SOAR session. 

Family participants

  • Family members attendance at SOAR is optional, but encouraged.  Families should support the efforts of SOAR staff in helping students transition to life at Missouri State and refrain from encouraging students to miss required SOAR activities.
  • Family members are not permitted to attend academic advising and registration activities with their student during SOAR. Relationships between academic advisors and students are essential to their success, and we begin the development of this relationship at SOAR. During two-day programs, family members will learn more about the General Education program, receive information from their student’s advisor, and share their thoughts with their students on Day One before students register for classes on Day Two.