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SOAR Institute

The SOAR (Support, Opportunity, Achievement and Retention) Institute is an exclusive, invitation-only opportunity for a select group of students at Clemson University. SOAR is a collaboration between Student Transitions and Family Programs and the Academic Success Center.


SOAR was created by a university committee consisting of staff from the Academic Success Center, Center for Career and Professional Development, Student Transitions and Family Programs, Undergraduate Studies and University Housing and Dining. SOAR scholars are highly successful students focused on excelling inside and outside of the classroom. The institute provides participants with a series of workshops and activities aimed towards academic, professional and personal excellence.

Academic, Personal and Professional Development

During the fall and spring semesters of the SOAR scholars' freshman year, they will participate in sessions led by staff from the Academic Success Center, Center for Career and Professional Development, Student Transitions and Family Programs and other university departments.

Fall semester workshops will focus on:

  • Active listening

  • Communication and conflict resolution

  • Financial awareness

  • Motivation

  • Note-taking

  • Study strategies

  • Test-taking strategies

Spring semester workshops will focus on:

  • Leadership philosophy

  • Major/career exploration or reassessment

  • Mock interviews

  • Professionalism

  • Respecting differences in the workplace

  • Résumé preparation

Faculty & Staff Mentorship

Participants of the SOAR Institute have an opportunity to be paired with a Clemson University profession staff or faculty member. The mentor will provide support to students through their first-year transition. Mentors and mentees will participate in small group, team-building activities together and be expected to maintain individual interactions. Some of the areas of focus for the mentoring relationship can include skill development in the areas of leadership, communication and collaboration or support in academic success and career exploration.

UPIC Internship

University Professional Internship and Co-op (UPIC) internships are paid, on-campus internships that provide an opportunity for undergraduate students to expand their knowledge and gain hands-on experience in their fields of study/interest, working alongside Clemson University's faculty and/or staff. All UPIC internships are documented on student transcripts. For SOAR participants, the internship is guaranteed for one semester (fall semester of sophomore year) with the option of the site supervisor to extend for another semester with their department fully funding the SOAR participant's compensation.

For additional information, please contact DeOnte Brown by email at 
deonteb@clemson.edu or Matthew Kirk by email at mjkirk@clemson.edu.