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SOAR (Student Opportunities for Academic Research) is a program that enables students to work hand-in-hand with faculty mentors on applied research and creative projects. Each summer, approximately 30 students and their mentors engage in independent projects, while at the same time forming a community of scholars on campus. Students who participate in the program learn valuable problem solving, writing, and presentation skills.
Since it began in 1998, SOAR has supported hundreds of students in projects from every academic discipline. The program is competitive, and the application process requires a student and faculty member to write a proposal for the project. Participants in the program immerse themselves in their project for ten weeks of the summer. The student receives a $3,000 stipend as well as free on campus housing, and the faculty mentor receives a $1,000 stipend. In addition, students can request up to $500 for equipment, supplies or travel to support the project.
By the end of the summer, SOAR projects produce tangible results and enhance the scholarly environment on campus. The vast majority of students submit one or more publications to journals or academic conferences, and all SOAR students present their work at the annual Moravian College Student Scholarship and Creative Endeavors Day.
Participation in the SOAR program not only provides benefits to students during their time at Moravian, but can also help to launch their career. A significant number of students who participate in SOAR attend graduate school and those who proceed directly into the work force do so with a greater degree of confidence and skills than their peers.