SOAR stands for Summer Orientation and Registration. More information for students is available at

The purpose of SOAR is to link students with their first-year advisor, to discuss academic expectations, and to register incoming students for classes. During SOAR, students will have the opportunity to:

  • Meet new classmates, current students, faculty, and staff
  • Learn about extracurricular, social, and leadership opportunities
  • Attend an orientation to the Centenary in Paris program 
  • Complete administrative tasks such as completing financial arrangements (including financial aid), taking language placement exams, making arrangements for housing and health services, and receiving a Centenary ID and email address


Preparing Students for SOAR

Prior to SOAR, students are responsible for completing each task on the New Student Checklist. 

IMPORTANT NOTE: By state law, students cannot register for classes without required immunizations.

Before arriving for SOAR, students should have sent the following to Centenary’s Office of Admission:

  • All official test score reports (AP/IB/CLEP)
  • Final high school transcript
  • Any official college transcripts, as they relate to transferable dual credit coursework

Placement Exams

At SOAR, language placement exams for French and Spanish will be offered on the first day. Each test includes a listening section and a written multiple-choice section. Non-native speaking students have the opportunity to earn 12 hours of foreign language credits and native speaking students have the opportunity to test out of the first two years of the language. Foreign language credits are required of all students pursuing a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) at Centenary. Students who need to sign up for French or Spanish placement exams should fill out the placement exam request form hereMore guidance for foreign language advising is offered in the "Questions to ask first-year advisees" section below.

Students entering Centenary without math placement scores (ACT or SAT) may need to submit scores or take the Centenary placement exam for academic advising available during SOAR.


First-Year Advising Files and Course Registration at SOAR

The Academic Catalogue is an important reference. It is helpful to have it handy during your advising sessions. Incoming students follow the Catalogue for the academic year in which they enroll (i.e. students entering in the fall of 2024 will follow requirements published in the 2024-2025 Academic Catalogue).

First-Year Advising files are distributed to advisors electronically using OneDrive, a cloud service that all faculty and staff have access to using Centenary log-in credentials. You can click on the link to download and install it on your computer.

In each advisee file, you will find:

  • Application materials, including relevant test scores and Admissions Essay
  • Completed Academic Questionnaire (AQ), which contains the advisee’s most recent statement of academic interest
  • A list of "freshman-friendly courses"

Note: in the event that any of this information is missing from a student’s file, contact the Registrar’s Office.

Before your advising session, read through the file, and review any exam scores. Students are required to submit official exam scores before SOAR. If they are not in the student's file, please remind them to ensure they are received by the Admission Office.

Full-time status is a minimum of 12 hours, and credit hours in one term cannot exceed 18. Students can earn up to 22 hours in the fall semester, including August term.

Incoming students will be pre-registered for a 12-hour block to facilitate Financial Aid and Business Office billing. Students will be able to go to Financial Aid and the Business Office before or after they are advised and registered for classes. You will need to drop your advisee from the 12-hour block course before you can register them for specific courses.

Introductory Questions to Ask First-year Advisees

  1. What are you considering as a possible major?
    • If student says, “I don’t know,” assure them that they don’t have to know today. Students can declare their major using this form (Major/Minor/Concentration Declaration Form) located on Registrar's "Forms and General Information" page, which includes a variety of forms students will use regularly.
    • You may also ask them about their extra-curricular interests in order to inform them about appropriate student organizations or local opportunities for engagement.
  2. Do you have course credit that you are intending to transfer in or AP/IB Scores that may earn credit?
    • This could be courses taken at another college, dual enrollment, or Advanced Placement (AP). If they say yes, remind them that they must ensure the Registrar receives official transcripts (dual enrollment) or official exam scores or they will not appear on Centenary transcripts and may result in an account hold.
  3. What about TREK 115?
    • See below for detailed guidance.
  4. Are you an athlete? If so, what sport?
    • Enroll the student in the sport based on the semester that credit is allowed (off-season). These courses are listed under WAC (“Wellness and Athletics”) in BannerWeb.
    • Fall Semester - WAC 101
      • Baseball (BSB) - Men Only

      • Basketball (MBB) - Men Only
      • Basketball (WBB) - Women Only
      • Golf (GOL) - Women and Men
      • Gymnastics (GYM) - Women Only
      • Lacrosse (LAX) - Men Only

      • Softball (SB) - Women Only
      • Stunt (STU) - Women and Men
  5. Are you in the Choir?
    • If so, enroll in Choir, MUS 153 A (1hr) and Choir Camp, MUS 152 (August term).
    • B section is 0hr (Please consult with Hurley dean or Choir director before enrolling a student in a B section)
  6. Would you like to take applied lessons on an instrument (no previous experience required)?
    • Email the Hurley dean with student's name, ID, and instrument.
  7. Are you in CLC (“Center for Christian Leadership”)?
    • If so, enroll in CLC, found in the Religious Studies course list. The course is REL 200.
  8. Are you doing work study? Are you working part-time?
    • This question is useful for determining the maximum number of hours a student should take. Remember that for a student to be considered full-time, they must enroll in 12 hours or more per semester. Fall Semester total includes August term. Spring semester total includes May term.
  9. Do you have any financial aid with specific requirements? (For example, a student may have a music scholarship requiring enrollment in an ensemble.)
    • If yes, enroll them in the appropriate ensemble. If there is question about which ensemble, please contact the Hurley dean for specifics.
  10. Do you need to start coursework in a foreign language? Have you studied French or Spanish?
    • Students who intend to earn a BA require two semesters of a language or the equivalent. Some majors (such as English and Communication Arts) require four semesters of a foreign language or equivalent. Enroll the student in an appropriate language course.
    • Students who have studied languages previously may earn Centenary credit, depending upon results of the placement exam. Ideally, they should take the Placement exam during the times offered at SOAR. Students may take the placement exam, however, at any point while at Centenary, but it must be before they have taken any foreign language courses at Centenary. If they have not taken the exam and would like to see if they could earn credit before they take a Spanish or French language course, ask them to fill out the placement exam request form here
  11. Does your intended major require math courses?
    • Advisors should use multiple measures when placing a student in PreCalculus, Business Calculus, or Calculus I. The following measures are appropriate to use in order from most relevant to least relevant:
      • Advanced Placement or college-level courses and grades in those courses. Look for college-level credit only.
      • Performance on the Centenary math placement exam.
      • Math ACT or Math SAT scores as indicators of college readiness for math.
      • High school courses taken in mathematics and grades in those courses.

Explorations and Trek

At this point in the advising session, it is helpful to review the College's Core Curriculum, Liberal Arts Explorations and Trek Requirements (see Academic Catalogue for greater detail).

The Liberal Arts Explorations Core includes the following distribution of courses:

  • Natural Science (8 hours, with two labs)
  • Social Science required courses (6 - 8 hours)
  • Humanities required courses (12 hours)
  • Symbolic Reasoning (3 - 4 hours). See “What math class should you take?” 

Trek Experiential Learning Requirements include:

  • TREK 115 (First Year), see guidance below
  • Community (TREK 151 or 153; Recommended completion in Second Year, but may also be earned through a Community-designated course)
  • Career (TREK 250, 251, or 253; Recommended completion in Junior Year, but may also be earned through Career Designated course)
  • Culture (TREK 300 or 351; Recommended completion in Junior or Senior Year; may be earned through study abroad, an Intercultural Experience course, an independent culture project, or completion of six hours of modern language study at or above the 300 level.)

As there is room in the student’s schedule, enroll them in a “freshman friendly” course. An updated list of such courses will be provided with your SOAR materials. Advisors are discouraged from enrolling first-year students in courses at the 300-level or higher or non-major courses that may be challenging to first-semester, first-year students.

If you are advising a first-year student who is interested in a major or minor program other than your own, be sure to reach out to a faculty member in that program for recommendations on which classes are most suitable for your advisee.

Trek 115 Guidance

Admission Materials and Self-Perception

  • Especially strong writers might benefit from taking TREK 115 in the Spring. These writers are likely to possess the skills and confidence necessary to navigate their first term at Centenary. For these students, TREK 115 can serve as a springboard to the sophomore year, helping them to grow beyond their expectations and establish the habits that will serve them as writers in their chosen areas of study. (An Honors section of TREK 115 will be offered in Spring 2025.)
  • If a student is concerned about their writing, it may be worth prioritizing TREK 115 in the Fall. Fall sections of TREK 115 will be linked with first-year experience programming, including the Start Strong campaign and embedded peer mentorship. Students who do not successfully complete TREK 115 in Fall 2024 will have the opportunity to repeat TREK 115 immediately rather than waiting for the next academic year.
    • If a student is concerned about their writing but cannot enroll in TREK 115 in Fall 2024, consider enrolling them in CDS 101.
    • Remind all students that there is free support for writers through peer writing mentors in the Learning Commons.

Other Mitigating Factors

  • Balance challenging courses across the academic year, being especially mindful when scheduling multiple writing-intensive courses.
  • Consider athletic schedules and seasons, particularly when a sport requires frequent travel.

Availability of Seats

  • There are 9 sections of TREK 115 scheduled for Fall 2024. Each section has a cap of 15. This means 135 students can take TREK 115 in Fall 2024. The remainder of the first-year class will take TREK 115 in Spring 2025.
  • TREK 115 seats for SOAR 3 and 4 will depend largely on advising in SOAR 1 and 2.
  • If there’s no clear reason to opt for one term or another and seats are available—especially in SOAR 3 and 4—place your advisee in a fall section of TREK 115.

Other Information for Advisors

  • TREK 115 cannot be dropped. Students may change sections, with the permission of their advisor and instructor (if the class is full or over-enrolled), during the add/drop period.
  • Although TREK 115 cannot be dropped, students may opt into the TREK 115 ABC/NC/XF grading system so that a grade of D or F will not adversely affect their GPA. For more information, see the Academic Catalogue.
  • TREK 115 is equivalent to an English course for the purposes of Medical School Applications and similar post-graduate program applications.
  • Transfer students who have earned 27 hours of credit toward a degree at another institution after graduation from high school, including a college-level writing course, are exempt from TREK 115. Dual enrollment courses do not count.

Centenary in Paris

Centenary in Paris (CiP) counts as part of the fall semester. Most students are pre-registered for the 4-hour class. Some athletes and all choir members will be placed in a 2-hour CiP class. Individual sections will be assigned by Student Life based on student preference, and the Registrar’s Office will place them into individual classes.

First-Year Advising for Spring Semester

Throughout the fall semester, advisors should be checking in with first-year advisees regularly, inquiring about academic progress, preparedness, time-management, and social needs. At the very minimum, first-year advisors should meet with their first-year advisees before or at midterm. Pay close attention to any midterm deficiencies, and advise students on whether to drop a course in which they have received a D or an F.

Spring Semester enrollment for first-year students begins in November. Arrange an appointment with each advisee, asking them to

  • Resolve any holds on their account
  • Make sure they know their Banner PIN
  • Review Spring course offerings and arrive to their appointment with a list of preferred classes. You may have to show students how to do this in Banner.

Prior to the meeting, review the student’s transcript, which can be found in the Advisor Menu on Banner.

  1. Begin the session by inquiring about how they are handling their current coursework and if they have given any thought to declaring a major and/or selecting a major advisor. Whether they wish to remain in your program or change their major/advisor, invite them to complete the Change of Advisor/Major Form. This information will allow the college to track students who have decided on a major and major advisor.
  2. If the student is an athlete, enroll them in the appropriate WAC course.
    • Fall Semester - WAC 101
      • Baseball (BSB) - Men Only

      • Basketball (MBB) - Men Only
      • Basketball (WBB) - Women Only
      • Football (FB) - Men Only
      • Golf (GOL) - Women and Men
      • Gymnastics (GYM) - Women Only
      • Lacrosse (LAX) - Men Only

      • Softball (SB) - Women Only
      • Tennis (TEN) - Women and Men
    • Spring Semester - WAC 102
      • Football (FB) - Men Only
      • Soccer (MSO) - Men Only
      • Soccer (WSO) - Women Only
      • Swimming (SWM) - Women and Men
      • Volleyball (VB) - Women Only
  3. If the student is in an ensemble (see Catalogue for full listing) enroll them in the appropriate MUS course(s).
  4. If the student is in CLC, enroll them in REL 200.
  5. If the student has already started a foreign language and is doing well, enroll them in the next course in the sequence (i.e. 102, 202). Note: Spanish/French 101 and 201 are only offered in the Fall. 102 and 202 are only offered in the Spring. If the student is struggling in their foreign language course, it may be advisable to drop the fall course and try again in the fall of their sophomore year.
  6. If the student has expressed interest in a major field of study, consult the catalogue and enroll them in an appropriate course in the major. Make sure that they fill out the form to declare their major and change to a major advisor.
  7. Review the Core Checklist, and enroll the student in a course that will fulfill an “Explorations” requirement.

Make sure that the student is enrolled in at least 12 hours to remain at full-time status and no more than 18 hours. You and your advisee can determine an appropriate course-load based on their schedule, outside commitments, number of credits needed to progress toward their degree, and so on.

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