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Virtual SOAR Experience


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  • Welcome to Your Virtual SOAR Experience 

    Our faculty, staff, and administration are happy to provide these resources to our new students and their families as we make final preparations for the arrival of the SFU Class of 2024!

    Below you will find important information pertaining to your live and interactive Virtual SOAR sessions, a library of helpful resources including downloadable presentations and handouts and on-demand pre-recorded presentations, as well as links to help you schedule follow-up appointments with such offices as the Business Office (billing), the Office of Financial Aid, Student Health Insurance, and the Center for Academic Success (accommodations, course schedules, advising, and more).

    As always, if there are any additional questions or concerns regarding the Virtual SOAR experience or preparing for the 2020-2021 academic year, please don’t hesitate to email orientation@francis.edu.

    Finally, be sure to stay up-to-date and informed about the University's Safe Return Information as we make final preparations for a safe and healthy re-opening this Fall. 

  • Live/Virtual SOAR Sessions

  • Select Your Sessions

    The Office of Admissions will be contacting all families who have registered for a SOAR date and request that you select either a morning session (9 AM to 12 PM) or an afternoon session (1 PM to 4 PM) for that date.  Look for an email asking you to select a morning or afternoon session.  You will select ONLY one morning or one afternoon session...you do not need to attend/participate in both.  The dividing of each SOAR day into morning and afternoon sessions allows us the opportunity to hold more frequent, but smaller sessions to make each session as personable as possible...it’s the Saint Francis way!  Each session will be limited so respond as soon as possible once you receive the email request.

      Connect with Us for Virtual SOAR

      Based on each family’s selection of either morning or afternoon, links to the live, virtual SOAR sessions will be sent to students/families the day before their scheduled SOAR session.  These links will provide access to the main meeting/presentation room using the Zoom platform.  To access the Zoom presentation room, you need only a reliable internet connection and a device with both audio/video capability so that you may see and hear the presentations.  Tablets, PCs, Laptops, or smartphones will suffice.  You are not required to have a web-camera or built-in microphone to attend/participate as you will be able to communicate with the presenters via the Zoom chat feature, but we always like to see and hear our students and families so web-cameras and built-in microphones are preferred.

        Session Content

        The schedule of presentation/discussion topics for each morning and afternoon session will include:

        • An introduction and overview of academic success strategies to ensure that our students have the tools, resources, and general know-how to excel inside the classroom;
        • An introduction and overview of many of our student support services to ensure that our students and families are familiar and comfortable with the level of access and support they will receive throughout their SFU experience;
        • A brief preview of next steps and what to expect after participating in SOAR and prior to Check-In/Move-In in August;
        • An opportunity for students to connect with their classmates and upperclassmen student leaders who will guide and assist them throughout their transition to SFU.

        Meet with Faculty

        Students and their families will be contacted later in June to schedule their virtual appointments with their faculty advisor.  Watch your email for more information! Contact cas@francis.edu with any questions.

          More Opportunities to Connect & Prepare

          Additional virtual events will be coordinated this summer with specific information for:

          • Residential students living on campus;
          • Commuter students planning to commute to campus from home;
          • Our “Letting Go” session for Parents provided by our Counseling Center;
          • Informational sessions for our Recruited Student-Athletes;

          Invitations to these events will be emailed to you.

        • Additional SOAR Resources

        • Downloadable Resources

          Peruse through these downloadable PDF versions of presentations and handouts to help your family become more familiar with some of the various programs and services available to your student:

          On-Demand Presentations

          Browse through these pre-recorded presentations to help further introduce your student and family to many of the support services that are integrated into the SFU experience:

          Schedule Follow-Up Meetings (optional)

          Consider your options to connect with key offices/personnel to discuss your student-specific accounts.  You can request to schedule a meeting over the phone or through video conferencing.

          • Connect with our Business Office for billing questions or concerns at billing@francis.edu.
          • Connect with our Financial Aid Office for questions or concerns about your financial aid award package at finaid@francis.edu.
          • Connect with our Center for Academic Success to discuss any questions or concerns about academic support, accommodations, etc. by emailing April Fry, Assistant Director of Academic Success & Accessibility Services Coordinator at afry@francis.edu.
          • Connect with our Student Health Center - UPMC's MyHealth@School - to discuss your student's healthcare services, prescriptions, or other health-related questions at studenthealth@francis.edu

          Additional Services and Opportunities for Students

          Explore many other services and opportunities available to support your student’s experience through these helpful downloads: 

          • Saint Francis University is founded on Catholic, Franciscan values and those values are very much alive throughout the fabric of the University...check out this brief introduction to Campus Ministry and download their handout to learn more.
          • Interested in bringing your Cheer and/or Dance experience to Loretto to represent the Red Flash spirit on campus?  Check out our Cheer and Dance teams' informational brochures or visit their website for more information -- scholarships are available!
          • Want to boost your leadership acumen and train to serve in the U.S. Army while studying at SFU?  Find out why SFU ROTC students are some of the very best in the U.S...download their program overview -- scholarships are available!
          • Looking for career advice or for tips and techniques on how to prepare for life as a professional?  Watch this short video introduction to our Career Services Office, download a helpful handout from CandidCareer.com and the accompanying activity worksheet to help you get started!
          • Have a heart for service?  Check out our Center for Community Engagement and get connected to many great service-learning opportunities in the surrounding area.
          • The local poor and needy are always remembered at Saint Francis University through our very own Dorothy Day Outreach Center.  The DDOC provides many essential services to our neighbors who need our assistance.  Download their informational brochure or complete and return the student involvement sign-up sheet to get involved now!
          • Don't plan on bringing  your car to campus?  No sweat!  The Center for Student Engagement provides excellent Transportation Services for local transportation depots, non-emergency medical appointments, and local shopping, too!  Download their Transportation Services Guide to learn more!
          • Looking to get involved on campus and making the most of YOUR SFU experience? Check out the live, interactive student-life platform through Engage where you can browse exciting campus events, student clubs and organizations, and much more!
        • Next Steps:

          • Following your SOAR experience, you’ll want to make sure that your Student To-Do list is all checked-off so that you’ll be ready to Check-In/Move-In in August.  See details about your To-Do List below.
          • Students, be sure to begin checking your SFU email regularly for important updates and announcements about Check-In/Move-In, your classes, your housing/roommate information, vehicle registration, and more!
          • Students & Parents, you’ll continue to receive updates about any changes that may be made related to meeting with your Academic Advisor, changes to your Fall schedule, details regarding Check-In/Move-In details, the start of classes and the Fall semester, and more.
          • At any time, feel free to contact us for any questions or concerns at orientation@francis.edu and we’ll be happy to connect you to the appropriate office/personnel.
          • DOWNLOAD this helpful Next Steps Checklist to help you stay organized and get prepared for your transition into the Red Flash Family (looks great hanging on a fridge!)

          Important Dates:

          • Check-In/Move-In for Fall Sport Pre-Season Camps will be coordinated and communicated by each team's coaching staff.
          • Check-In/Move-In for New International Students: August 9-12
          • Check-In/Move-In for New Domestic Students: August 13
            • Additional information regarding Check-In/Move-In times and procedure will be sent home.
          • New Student Orientation: Thursday, August 13 through Sunday, August 16 (required for ALL new students: residential and commuter)
          • Classes Begin: Monday, August 17
          NOTE: All details related to the opening of the Fall 2020 semester can be viewed at francis.edu/coronavirus.
        • Your Student Preparation Checklist

          log into:
          my.francis.edu

          In  the "My 'TO DO' Folder" complete:

          • SOAR Registration
          • Personal Goals & Pre-Course Registration Questionnaire
          • Meal Plan Selection & Roommate Assignment Questionnaire (Commuter students may select a meal plan here)
          • Student Health Form
        • Virtual Campus Tour

          (explore on your own)

          Can’t wait to check out our beautiful campus in person? Check out our virtual campus map. 

          Select the Virtual Campus Visit if you prefer a guided campus tour.  

          View the Virtual Tour