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Advance to Graduation Checklist:

Seven Steps to a Great Summer Orientation and Registration (SOAR)

Congratulations on becoming a Golden Bear!

Join our Facebook group at Western New England University Class of 2022 (Official Group). Here you will be able to meet your future classmates, receive updates from Orientation Group Leaders (OGLs), and stay up to date on everything related to the Class of 2022!

Register for SOAR!

The traditional SOAR program spans two days, beginning at approximately 10:00 a.m. on Day One of each program and ending at approximately 3:00 p.m. on Day Two. Transfer Student SOAR is a program that begins at 9:30 a.m. and concludes at approximately 3:30 p.m. For the traditional SOAR program, you are strongly encouraged to stay on campus overnight whether or not you plan to live on campus during the first year.

The dates for SOAR 2018 are:

  • Wednesday-Thursday, June 20-21
  • Tuesday-Wednesday, June 26-27
  • Monday-Tuesday, July 2-3
  • Tuesday, July 10 (Transfer SOAR)
  • Thursday-Friday, July 12-13

Note: All SOAR sessions are identical; selection of date is based entirely on convenience. There is no student fee for SOAR. The fee for parents/guardians is $90 per person, and includes all materials, meals, and handouts. For the transfer student program, a fee of $25.00 per guest is assessed. SOAR Registration will begin in May, 2018.

Book a hotel for parents/guardians

The SOAR program is a rich, full experience for students and parents/guardians alike. Parents are encouraged to attend (nearly 80% of students come with at least one parent/guardian). Accommodations for parents are available at the Springfield Sheraton at a Western New England University rate of $109 a night. Reservations can be made by following the link on the SOAR resgistration or by calling the Springfield Sheraton directly at (413) 781-1010. The SOAR program is designed to be informative, and while it is fun for students and parents/guardians, we have found that siblings/significant others are generally bored. Therefore, we do not recommend bringing siblings/significant others.

Complete your Math and English Placement Assessments

Assessment in both English and Mathematics is required for all first year students in order to register for classes. These assessments assist us in determining which courses are best suited for you. Assessments should be completed at least 72 hours prior to coming to SOAR; you cannot register for classes without completing both assessments. 

More information about placement testing will be available soon. 

Complete the Health Record Form

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the University require that all students submit certain health records and maintain medical insurance coverage. To complete your health record requirements, please visit Health Services. On the left side of the screen you will find the menu option, click on Forms. There you will find the specific forms required, depending on your category of enrollment. It is preferred that forms are turned in at SOAR, but they can be submitted until August 2018. Those who submit their forms prior to and during SOAR will be automatically entered to win a $50 University Bookstore gift card!

Create your Housing Management Application (HMA) profile and Complete your Questionnaire

Housing selection is not just about finding a roommate and choosing a room in a residence hall. It creates the opportunity to share time and space with students who have similar interests as members of a floor community, known as Learning Interest Communities (LICs). It is an important step in developing a sense of community on a residence hall floor. The four LICs are: Engineering and World of Sciences; Next Generation of Leaders; Learning Today, Shaping Tomorrow; and Healthy Choices, Creative Living.

More information about housing and the roommate selection process will be available by February 2018.

Attend your SOAR Session!

What should I bring to SOAR?

  • Dress during SOAR is casual.
  • Don’t forget personal toiletries.
  • It may not be a bad idea to throw an extra blanket in the car; bedrooms can get a bit chilly.
  • Students (living on campus or not) may want to bring workout clothes so that the University’s Healthful Living Center can be fully enjoyed.
  • Raingear may be a wise item to include. SOAR is not complete without a thunderstorm.
  • Consider bringing a sweatshirt or light jacket; some meeting rooms can get cool with air conditioning.
  • Sneakers, especially for evening activities.
  • If you are planning to work on campus, please bring your driver’s license, birth certificate or passport, and social security card to complete required authorization.
  • If prior college coursework has recently been completed, bring a sealed, official copy of the resulting transcript.
  • Federal FAFSA PIN for student.

Other Important Information:

How do I apply for on-campus student employment/earn my Federal Work Study Award?

Information will be provided regarding on-campus student employment at each SOAR session. For now, the following can help you prepare:

  1. Plan to attend the on-campus Student Job Fair. 
  2. Be prepared to complete employment paperwork at SOAR. Another opportunity to complete the paperwork will be at the student job fair, including application tax forms, I-9 forms. You will need the following identification:
    • An original Social Security Card AND driver’s license or official ID
    • A passport is also an acceptable form of identification for the purpose of completing an I-9
  3. Additionally, in the fall you will be able to visit the Human Resources webpage for a complete list of on-campus student employment opportunities.

When should I expect to receive my bill for fall semester?

Bills for first year students are typically mailed the second or third week of June. Actual payment or arrangement for payment for fall semester is due August 1. A variety of payment plans are available. Visit Student Administraive Services for details.

How do I register with Student Disability Services (SDS)?

Students may register at any time during the school year; however, in order to insure that accommodations are granted in a timely fashion, it is strongly recommended that registration be complete prior to SOAR.

Furthermore, in order to receive necessary accommodations for the online placement exams, which students are expected to take prior to SOAR, SDS must be provided with appropriate documentation. Students needing special housing accommodations must submit their request and accompanying documentation from a medical doctor or licensed professional by June 2018. 

To register with our office, it is recommended that you present a current testing report by August 2018. This report should include the diagnosed disability, the functional limitation(s) imposed by this disability, the impact of this limitation, and the accommodations and/or assistive devices that would ease or cancel the impact on your ability to perform. For more information, visit SDS.

More questions?

Lara Temkin-Pisani
Office of First Year Students & Students in Transition
413-782-1312 (Phone)
413-782-1512 (Fax)
Summer Office Hours: 8:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m., M-F
First Year Website