College dreams took flight Friday for dozens of incoming Palm Beach Atlantic University students Friday as they engaged in final preparations to begin classes this fall during a traditional Student Orientation, Advising and Registration (SOAR) campus event.
The one-day SOAR events are an opportunity for new and transferring students starting in the fall semester to get fully prepared for their first year at PBA. These pre-registration sessions occur on campus in late spring through mid-summer, and are also offered online.
“Our purpose is to help you the students, and the parents as well, to transition into our community and successfully [into] your freshman and sophomore year,” said Dannemart Pierre, director of First Year & Transfer Experience.
On SOAR days, incoming students and their parents are able to meet with representatives from various PBA departments including financial aid and student accounts, campus recreation, Workship (community service), student activities, safety and security, and others.
Pierre told the more than 300 students and family members participating that her office coordinates academic, social and spiritual programs to support new students as well as other key resources.
Among the SOAR attendees were West Palm Beach residents Stefan and Linda Nolte and their son Nicholas, who's preparing for undergraduate studies this fall as a computer science major. He’s also keen on playing on the PBA Sailfish basketball team.
“It’s an exciting time,” dad Stefan Nolte said. “We wanted to be here to support him. We want him to succeed.”
PBA alumnus Rod Gardiner ‘04 and his wife Beth of Stuart also attended SOAR with their son Michael, who will be pursuing a marketing degree with a focus on franchising and entrepreneurship.
“There seems to be a lot more involved in terms of orientation when you’re an undergraduate student and if you’re going to live on campus,” said Rod Gardiner, noting the value of attending SOAR.
Michael Gardiner, 18, said he selected PBA for its central proximity to a marketing agency he runs, and for its attractive study abroad programs.