About Us

SOAR stands for Student Orientation, Advising, and Registration and is coordinated by the Center for the First-Year Experience (CFYE). At SOAR, you will begin your transition to UW–Madison by learning about academic advising, degree requirements, and campus resources. You will also enroll in your first-semester courses. SOAR provides the opportunity to:

  • Gain exposure to the array of academic and social opportunities at UW–Madison.
  • Begin to integrate into university life and UW–Madison culture.
  • Think about what you would like your Wisconsin Experience to be.
  • Gain an understanding of university policies, procedures, and processes.
SOAR program logo

Parent & Family Orientation

UW student and mother pose with Badger gear
A family looks over materials during a break in Student Orientation, Advising and Registration (SOAR) session

We recognize that parents and family members play a central role in your student’s life and that you will continue to be a source of guidance and support during your student’s college years. For this reason, we offer a SOAR Parent & Family Orientation for each incoming class. The Center for the First-Year Experience (CFYE) is committed to providing you with the necessary support to help facilitate a successful transition for your student.

PROGRAM GOALS

By participating in SOAR, parents and family members will:

  • Understand the transition process of new students to UW–Madison
  • Understand and have confidence in the academic advising process at UW–Madison
  • Understand campus resources and opportunities available to you and your student
  • Have the opportunity to connect with UW–Madison staff/faculty, current students, and other participants in the SOAR program
  • Feel comfortable and confident in your student’s decision to attend UW–Madison

For the purposes of our program, “parent and family members” includes, but is not limited to: parents, stepparents, extended family members, chosen family members, foster parents, and legal guardians.

Mission Statement

SOAR facilitates the successful transition to the UW-Madison community through a shared experience for all new undergraduate students and their families.

Vision Statement

Our vision is for all new undergraduate students to successfully join the UW-Madison community and that this transition is commonly understood as a journey beginning with SOAR and continuing throughout students’ first year.

To advance toward this vision, SOAR staff members will:

  • Expose new students to the array of academic and social opportunities at UW-Madison, commonly referred to as the Wisconsin Experience;
  • Begin integrating new students into the life of the University;
  • Work with students and their families to promote a positive mutual understanding of University life;
  • Develop effective assessment practices to evaluate and improve the SOAR program;
  • Fulfill the mission and vision in developmentally appropriate ways, drawing on the expertise of faculty and staff
  • Continuously explore and implement effective ways to provide a common experience for all new students while simultaneously supporting individual and group needs, which are currently understood to include but not be limited to:  international students, returning adult students, students of color, students with disabilities, and transfer students;
  • Be mindful of the challenges inherent in providing both equitable and unique services and support to all students.