Polk State Lakeland’s SOAR Sessions to Benefit New Students

Posted on by Polk Newsroom

For the second consecutive year, faculty members at Polk State Lakeland have organized a series of workshops aimed at helping students successfully make the transition to college.

“There are so many things about college that can be overwhelming,” said Humanities Professor Aaron Morgan, one of the organizers of SOAR, or Student Orientation for Academic Readiness.

“SOAR aims to help students feel more comfortable and prepared for college, so they can hit the ground running. We know that there are so many things our students are juggling — from work to children — and SOAR is about giving them the resources they need to succeed and making them understand that the Polk State faculty is here to help them do just that.”

SOAR consists of six casual help sessions targeting students new to the College. Students may attend any or all of the sessions.

The topics of each session vary, from using PAL — the system through which students access online and hybrid courses — to tips for communicating with students, faculty and staff members.

“The session topics are going to change week to week, but the one thing that won’t is that the overall atmosphere is going to be very high-energy. Students are going to get valuable information, but they’re also going to have fun and have the opportunity to ask candid questions,” Morgan said.

Also of note: Each SOAR session will have free food.

SOAR sessions are scheduled as follows:

Effective Use of PAL in Hybrid or Online Courses
Aug. 21, 2 to 2:45 p.m.
LTB 1305
Business Professor Herb Nold and Instructional Technologist Nathan Neuman will preview PAL. Neuman will give a technical overview, while Nold will share instructors’ expectations and tips for using PAL effectively.

Computers in College: The First Steps
Aug. 28, 3:30 to 4:15 p.m.
LTB 1305
Nold, Neuman and Instruction and E-Learning Librarian Kristen Jernigan will share helpful hints on the use of technology in college, including mobile solutions and an introduction to the Atomic Learning video database. Resources available at Polk State will also be covered.

U Talkin’ 2 Me: Communicating on Campus
Sept. 4, 1:30 to 2:15 p.m.
LAC 1133 (Student Center)
Math Professor Megan Cavanah and English Professor Rafaela Ellis will discuss effective communication, developing good relationships on campus, and avoiding communication mistakes.

Steps to Success: Helping Yourself Succeed
Sept. 11, 10:30 to 11:15 a.m.
LAC 1133 (Student Center)
Humanities Professor Sally Fitzgerald and Chemistry Professor Rosa Walsh will discuss course syllabi and how they should be used, where to go for help on campus, services available for those with disabilities, the role parents and friends play in a student’s success, and students’ privacy rights.

Math is Not a Four-Letter Word
Sept. 19, 1:30 to 2:15 p.m.
LAC 1133 (Student Center)
Math Professors Penny Morris, Jim Rhodes, and Cavanah will discuss strategies and tips for succeeding in math, including dealing with math anxiety, note-taking, studying and test-taking.

Differences Between Attending High School and College
Sept. 25, 3:45 to 4:30 p.m.
LAC 1133 (Student Center)
Walsh and Chemistry Professor Amanda Jones will clarify the differences between high school and college, allowing students to identify the misconceptions about college life and prepare for a deeper level of education.