Become a SOAR Leader
SOAR leaders lead groups of new first-year students and their family members and educate them about campus resources and student life issues to help them succeed at Missouri State University.
SOAR leaders' work is essential to the Missouri State community. They help students feel more comfortable on campus, more confident about their ability to succeed, more connected to others, and more curious about possible opportunities.
Some of the responsibilities of the SOAR leader position include:
- Easing the transition of students into the Missouri State community
- Welcoming and including students and families in the Missouri State community
- Presenting information about campus resources, services, and policies
- Facilitating group discussions
- Answering questions from students and families
- Working with academic advisors to help students build class schedules
- Assisting in the organization and preparation of SOAR activities
All SOAR leader applicants must:
- Be enrolled in 12 or more credit hours at MSU for the Fall 2024 semester.
- Be enrolled in 9 or more credit hours at MSU for the Spring 2024 semester (includes the IDS 280 SOAR Training Class)
- Have and maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.55 or higher throughout employment
- Be in and maintain good disciplinary standing throughout employment
- Complete IDS 280: Student and Life Leadership in the Spring 2024 semester with a grade of C or better
- Work no other on-campus positions during the summer
- Attend ALL events listed in the “Time Commitment” section below
Applicants are selected based on their ability to:
- Work well with a diverse group of people
- Communicate effectively
- Make mature decisions
- Act responsibly and with integrity
- Adapt to new and unanticipated situations
- Remain positive in trying situations
- Represent Missouri State University in a positive manner
Some of the benefits of becoming a SOAR leader include:
- Developing excellent leadership experience and marketable skills
- Forming personal and professional relationships with faculty, staff, and other students
- Networking with faculty and administrators, who may serve as future mentors or references
- Having a summer full of fun and great memories!
SOAR leaders are compensated for their work with:
- $12.00 an hour. SOAR leaders may work up to 40 hours a week from late May through late July.
- Free summer meal plan
- Free Dining Dollars for use in the PSU food vendors and Starbucks
- Free on-campus housing during SOAR sessions
- Free BearWear as your SOAR uniform
SOAR leaders enroll in IDS 280: Student and Life Leadership, a course designed to develop students' leadership skills necessary for SOAR and life beyond SOAR. Topics include facilitation, communication skills, conflict management, equity and diversity, and a variety of other leadership topics.
- IDS 280: Student and Life Leadership - Mondays and Wednesdays, 4 to 5 PM throughout the Spring semester
SOAR leaders attend several days of training on program logistics prior to the beginning of SOAR. This training focuses on becoming familiar with the SOAR session schedule, presenting specific workshops, understanding University policies and procedures, and becoming more knowledgeable about various organizations and resources on campus.
Tentative Dates (subject to change):
- Residence Hall Move-In: May 20th
- Summer Training: May 20th - May 29th (approx. 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. daily) - Off on May 27th for Memorial Day
- One-day SOAR for Summer Students: May 30th
- Two-day SOAR Sessions: Monday through Thursday, beginning June 3rd and ending August 1st.
- One-day SOAR for Fall Students: August 15th
SOAR leaders assist with the recruitment and selection of new SOAR leaders in the second half of the Fall semester. They also participate in one-day SOAR sessions for students beginning in the Spring semester.
- SOAR Carousel: October 2024 (approx. 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. )
- One-day SOAR for Spring Students: Two days in early January near the opening of the Spring 2025 semester
Complete our online application which takes about 20-30 minutes! The deadline to apply is October 21, 2023.
2. Attend SOAR Carousel
SOAR Carousel is a REQUIRED interview process during which candidates participate in various activities and situations SOAR leaders typically encounter during orientation sessions. You and a small group of other applicants will be evaluated in activities in which you:
- Make a group decision
- Create a "college commercial"
- Answer questions from mock incoming students and family members
- Deliver a short, impromptu public speech
All applicants will be assigned a SOAR Carousel session to attend on Saturday, October 28th. You will be notified of your session's time and more information via Missouri State email.
3. Attend an individual interview
A select number of high-ranking candidates from SOAR Carousel will be invited to attend a second round of interviews with Orientation & Transition Programs staff.
Invitations will be sent to your Missouri State email account. This email will contain instructions for scheduling an interview time and additional information.
Do SOAR leaders provide tours for prospective students during the academic year?
SOAR leader requirement questions
This is my first semester at Missouri State. How do I meet the 2.55 GPA requirement?
OTP staff will ask first semester students to submit a copy of their midterm grades during the second round of interviews. These grades will be used while considering candidates.
Remember, selected SOAR leaders must maintain a 2.55 or higher GPA throughout employment. OTP staff will review SOAR leaders' grades each semester to determine employment eligibility.
I am unable to attend take IDS 280 in the Spring semester. Can I still be a SOAR leader?
No. This course provides future SOAR leaders with necessary training and preparation, so it cannot be missed.
I will not be able to be present during some of the training and/or SOAR sessions this summer. Can I still be a SOAR leader?
Generally, no. Because we have a limited ability for other individuals to cover missing SOAR leader's work, we require all SOAR leaders to attend all training and SOAR sessions.
However, we do understand unusual circumstances occur, and a staff member can review situations on a case-by-case basis to approve exceptions. Foreseeable situations, such as education abroad trips, family vacations, conflicting internships, etc. are generally not approved exceptions. Contact email@example.com if you have questions.
I plan to study abroad. Can I still be a SOAR leader?
Education abroad experiences are academically and personally enriching, and we encourage students to participate in them. However, they must be planned carefully to ensure candidates will be available to attend all training and SOAR sessions. Contact Priscilla Childress if you have questions; provide as many details about your desired trip as possible.
May I take summer classes while I am a SOAR leader?
SOAR leaders may not take in-person classes during the summer, as there are typically very few courses of these type that do not conflict with SOAR activities.
Additionally, online courses are highly discouraged due to the summer schedule. The SOAR schedule can be demanding for the leaders, and past leaders have discovered that it is difficult to give online courses the attention needed to be successful. The decision to complete an online course during the summer should be discussed with the OTP staff, and will be limited to one per term if necessary.
Can I serve as a SOAR leader and work at another on-campus job during the summer?
No. SOAR leaders work about 40 hours a week during the summer, so there is not an opportunity to work other on-campus positions during that time.
Is on-campus housing provided during SOAR? Do I have to live on campus during SOAR?
SOAR leaders are provided on-campus housing and they are required to reside on campus during training and SOAR sessions. On-campus living allows SOAR leaders to better care for SOAR participants during their campus stay.
When new students are not staying on campus (typically Thursday night, Friday and Saturday), SOAR leaders are permitted to stay off campus.
Missouri State University is a community of people with respect for diversity. Through its operations, New Student and Family Programs strives to reflect the diversity of our community and promote the inclusion of all Missouri State students and families.
Missouri State University adheres to a strict non-discrimination policy and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin (including ancestry, or any other subcategory of national origin recognized by applicable law), religion, sex (including marital status, family status, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or any other subcategory of sex recognized by applicable law), age, disability, veteran status, genetic information, or any other basis protected by applicable law in employment or in any program or activity offered or sponsored by the University. Sex discrimination encompasses sexual harassment, which includes sexual violence, and is strictly prohibited by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. For more information, view our Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action Policy.
Missouri State University provides reasonable accommodations that allow applicants, employees, or qualified individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions of a position.
Reasonable accommodations will be made unless such accommodations have the end result of placing an undue burden on the operations of the University. If reasonable accommodations would cause undue hardship or burden because of costs, the individual with a disability shall be given the option of providing the accommodation themselves or paying for the portion of the cost that poses the undue hardship or burden.
If you want to request a reasonable accommodation for the interview process or position, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.