Soaring to Success
SOARING TO SUCCESS
When Jeff Lunt, a new Utah State University freshman graduated from Brighton High School last spring, he had all the answers, now all he’s got are questions.
Lunt came to SOAR, student orientation, advising and registration to get some answers and avoid looking like a freshman on the first day of classes. Lunt needed to know how to pick a major, where to find a job, how to find the library and where the cheapest pizza on campus was.
He found that through attending SOAR with his mom, Michelle Lunt, he was able to get advice, personal help registering for his classes and walk away feeling prepared and confidant to start school in the fall.
“I have been excited about coming to college, but I didn’t know what classes I needed to take or even how to register for them,” Lunt said. “I have also been concerned that I wouldn’t know what to do or where to go. It has been helpful to physically be on campus for SOAR and have face-to-face help. I liked being able to talk to actual students who have been through this kind of stuff already.”
SOAR is facilitated by a group of current USU students called the A-team. Members of the A-team help new students learn about USU policies, the registration process and student services. The A-team can answer a variety of questions, including what classes will fulfill university and major requirements, where to buy textbooks, how much butterfat is in Aggie Ice Cream and details about becoming a True Aggie.
“The A-team students are very helpful, friendly and not intimidating at all,” said Lunt’s mother, Michelle Lunt. “I feel I can ask them any question I need.”
A lot of information is covered during a SOAR day. In the morning Lunt checked in and received his materials for the day and got his ID card pictures taken. During this time he also attended optional workshops covering a variety of topics such as picking a major, study abroad and life as an Aggie.
After check in and workshops, there was a brief welcome by USU administration and the student government, which included singing one of USU’s fight songs, the Scotsman.
Following the welcome, parents were excused to go to the parent orientation. Lunt and the other new students were broken into groups of six to 10 for the beginning of the student orientation.
“It’s good to have student time with other students and have your parents go off and do their own thing,” Lunt said. “They have parent orientation at the same time as student orientation so you can learn a lot and your parents can learn a lot so they can support you.”
During the small group presentation Lunt and seven other new students met with an A-team member to talk about some of the essentials a student needs to know before attending USU. Using Access, USU’s online registration system, to register for classes and pay tuition, student services available to use with the Aggie ID card and the tuition and fee payment deadlines were a few of the topics discussed. Lunt asked the A-team member about concerns he had about coming to USU.
“The people I met in my small group were very interesting and came from all different parts of the state or neighboring states,” Lunt said. “It was fun to see the type of people I was going to be going to school with.”
The A-team member also let Lunt know how to get the most out of life at Utah State.
“They gave us information about clubs and said there are more than 200 different clubs you can join including intramural and club sports,” Lunt said.
During lunchtime at SOAR there was information fair with representatives from university clubs, organizations, local religions and other groups for students to get involved with.
After lunch, Michelle Lunt and the other parents met with a panel of A-team members while Jeff Lunt met with his academic advisor to pick classes and setup a schedule.
“I got to talk to an advisor and an A-teamer about my first semester schedule and they were both really helpful in helping me pick classes,” Lunt said. “They helped me pick classes that went towards general education and towards some majors I’m thinking about.”
Following academic advising, an A-teamer helped Lunt register for classes to make sure there were no problems with his class schedule.
“It was great to get my schedule all setup and have an A-teamer help me register for my classes so now I don’t have to worry about it,” Lunt said.
After registration students and parents met back up for Aggie Ice Cream. At this time A-teamers answered some final questions Lunt had about the coming semester.
“I’m really excited and feel prepared to come up here to USU in the fall,” Lunt said.