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.
Learn more at our information sessions!
Join us at our upcoming SOAR leader information sessions. Orientation & Transition Programs staff and SOAR leaders will discuss:
- Qualifications, eligibility, and responsibilities of SOAR leaders
- Requirements of the position
- The SOAR leader interview and selection process, known as SOAR Carousel
- Answers to your questions about being a SOAR leader
Attend one of our two information sessions below. Attendance is helpful, but not required to become a SOAR leader.
- 5:30 pm on Tuesday, October 15 in Hill Hall 002
- 5:30 pm on Wednesday, October 16 in Hill Hall 002
You can also learn more about the position below.
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 2020 semester
- Have and maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.75 or higher throughout employment
- Be in and maintain good disciplinary standing throughout employment
- Complete IDS 280: Student and Life Leadership in the Spring 2020 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:
- $8.60 an hour. SOAR leaders typically work 40 hours a week from late May through late July.
- Free summer meal plan
- Free BoomerMeals for use in the PSU food vendors and Starbucks
- Free 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.
- Residence Hall Move-In: May 26
- Summer Training: May 27 - June 4 (approx. 8 a.m. - 10 p.m. daily)
- One-day SOAR for Summer Students: June 5
- Two-day SOAR Sessions: Monday through Thursday, beginning June 8 and ending July 28
- One-day SOAR for Fall Students: August 12 and 13
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: Saturday in early November (approx. 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. )
- One-day SOAR for Spring Students: January 9 and 10, 2020
1. Submit an online application and recommendation
Complete our online application, which takes about 30 minutes.
You will also need to ask a faculty or staff member to complete an online recommendation form on your behalf. We accept recommendations from:
- Faculty members
- Staff members
- Graduate students who have a professional relationship with the applicant (i.e. they teach the applicant's course or directly supervise the applicant's work)
We do not accept recommendations from:
- Those unaffiliated with Missouri State (such as former off-campus employers, high school teachers, family members, etc.)
- Graduate students with no professional relationship to you
- Undergraduate students (such as resident assistants, peer leaders, friends, etc.)
Applications and recommendations must be submitted by Wednesday, November 6 at 5 PM. Late submissions will not be accepted for any reason.
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 sessions to attend on Saturday, November 9. You will be notified of your session's time and location via Missouri State email by Thursday, November 7.
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 by Monday, November 11. This email will contain instructions for scheduling an interview time and additional information.
When and where will the SOAR leader information sessions be held?
View the "Learn more at our information sessions" section above for times and locations.
Do I have to attend an information session?
No, but attendance at an information sessions is encouraged to help us answer any questions you have about the position or the application process.
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 2.75 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 2.75 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 study away trips, family vacations, conflicting internships, etc. are generally not approved exceptions. Contact email@example.com if you have questions.
I plan to study away. Can I still be a SOAR leader?
Study away 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 from May 26 to July 28, 2020; 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 email@example.com.