Director, Annette Cook
The mission of the SOAR Institute of Shelton State Community College is to provide dedicated support to enhance the success of underprepared students. The SOAR Institute uses a comprehensive approach to working with academically underprepared students. The key components of SOAR are instruction, advising, and tutoring. The goals of the SOAR Institute include the following:
- To improve the quality of instruction in developmental education courses,
- To guide and monitor underprepared students through comprehensive advising,
- To provide quality tutoring services for all students of Shelton State Community College, and
- To provide training and professional development opportunities related to best practices and current research in developmental education
Nationally, and in the state of Alabama, a growing number of students come to college and place into at least one developmental course. During the last several years, 57% to 70% of incoming freshmen at Shelton State have placed into a developmental course.
Implementation of the tutoring and advising components began in fall 2011. For the instructional component, an intense review of how developmental classes are taught began in spring 2012. Significant course re-designs will occur, starting with mathematics courses. Course captains are meeting with the mathematics division chair and the Director of SOAR to study the options for redesign with a goal of implementing changes in fall 2013.
Instruction: Instructors of developmental courses work closely together, with respective division chairs, and the Director of the SOAR Institute. Future plans include the use of Supplemental Instructors and required lab time outside of class with lab assistants available to assist students.
Advising: Based on specific criteria, students in at least two developmental courses are assigned to a Navigator who works closely with the student for the duration of their time in developmental classes at SSCC. Navigators develop student profiles which include affective factors as well as cognitive.
Tutoring: The SOAR Institute offers free tutoring for all students, including college-level and developmental. SOAR tutors are trained and closely supervised. Steps are being taken to have the tutoring program nationally certified.