The SOAR! Conference is a regional conference held each December aimed at promoting PK-16 student success. This conference creates a space for educational stakeholders and thought leaders from across the region to unite, learn, teach, share, and collaborate in an effort to advance the common goal of post-secondary access and career opportunities for all students.
Founded by Drs. Jeffrey M. Warren and Carol L. Higy, this conference emerged from ongoing conversations held between school administration and counseling faculty members in the Department of Educational Leadership and Counseling (School of Education). The themes of these conversations suggested:
1. A need to collaborate across disciplines to promote opportunity and access for all students,
2. The importance of understanding the roles and responsibilities of educational leaders (e.g., administrators, school counselors)
3. Preparation and continuing education through collaborative efforts is critical, &
4. The need to create a “space” for regional thought leaders to convene.
Many of these issues are currently being addressed at the national level by organizations such as the National Consortium for School Counseling and Post-secondary Success (NCSCPS), National College Access Network, Council of National School Counseling & College Access Organizations, as well as the National Association of Elementary School Principals and the National Association of Secondary School Principals. As a result of the evolving national landscape and numerous conversations related to student success held in the School of Education, with support from university leaders this opportunity and access conference became a reality.
SOAR! is an acronym for Student Success through Opportunity and Access to Resources. We hope this conference will enhance the collaborative efforts among educational stakeholders across the region. By pooling resources, inginuity and innovation, we are best positioned to provide PK-16 students with opportunities and access that lead to post-secondary success and strengthen our communities. We aim for everyone to leave this conference energized and positioned to advance PK-12 and post-secondary student success across our region. Please explore our conference website for useful resources and stay in touch!