WOU: Summer Orientation question/answer

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SOAR - Frequently Asked Questions

What are the 2015 SOAR dates?

  • Friday, June 26, 2015
  • Saturday, June 27, 2015
  • Friday, July 10, 2015
  • Saturday, July 25, 2015

How and when do I register for SOAR?
Admitted freshmen will receive a packet with information regarding SOAR in late May. The packet will include instructions to access the WOU Portal. Students will access their WOU Portal to register for their desired SOAR date and rank their Block Schedule choices. The link for SOAR registration will appear on a student’s WOU Portal, under the heading “My Programs”, beginning 8:00 a.m. on Friday, May 29, 2015. Registration for each SOAR program will close two days before the program or when 225 students register for a program.  

If you have not created your account for the WOU Portal, please go to www.wou.edu/wouportal/ and click on the link “Account Lookup” at the bottom of the WOU Portal page login page. Students are required to enter their Social Security Number when creating their WOU Portal account. A link for “SOAR” should appear under the heading of “My Programs” once you login to the WOU Portal. If the SOAR link is not available on your WOU Portal, please contact the Office of Admissions at wolfgram@wou.edu or (503) 838-8211.

Note: California and Hawaii freshmen are invited to attend a SOAR program in their home state. Hawaii SOAR programs will be held on May 3rd and 4th and California SOAR programs are scheduled for May 11th and 12th, 2015.

Do students and their families/guests pay a registration fee to attend SOAR?
Admitted freshmen and their three family members or guests do not pay a fee to attend SOAR. It is free! Due to space considerations in certain campus venues, students are allowed a maximum of three family members or guests to SOAR.

What is Block Scheduling?
WOU provides the opportunity for freshmen to register for a Block Schedule their first term. Block Schedules guarantee freshmen a full-time class schedule and provide the first step toward fulfilling general education requirements. WOU’s general education courses are known as the Liberal Arts Core Curriculum (LACC). Most Block Schedules are designed to meet general education requirements; however there are some Blocks that are designed for specific majors.

Students will access a list of Block Schedule choices using the WOU Portal beginning May 29, 2015. Students will have the opportunity to make changes to their assigned Block Schedule during advising and registration at SOAR.

Note: Freshmen football players should select a specific Football Block Schedule.

Is Block Scheduling required?
Freshmen are not required to register for a Block Schedule with the exception of football players. Honors Program students are asked not to register for a Block Schedule and they will complete the course registration process at SOAR. Students who do not register for a Block Schedule will use the Open Section List of Courses at SOAR to register for fall term courses.  

Do family members or guests attend academic advising and registration with their student?
Students and parents are intentionally separated during advising and registration SOAR. The SOAR schedule includes specific activities for family members and guests, including panel discussions and lunch at Valsetz Dining Hall. Faculty, academic advisors, registration facilitators and orientation leaders will provide the necessary support for students as they participate in advising and registration. Family members and guests are encouraged to review the Block Schedule information with their student and contact the Academic Advising Office prior to SOAR if they have questions.

Will WOU offer overnight accommodations for SOAR participants?
University Housing offers overnight accommodations in the residence halls for SOAR participants at a rate of $30.00 per person with advanced reservations. The $30.00 rate per person does not include meals.  For more information or to make a reservation, please contact  University Housing at 503-838-8311 or housing@wou.edu. Please note that registering for a SOAR date does not reserve a space for students or their family/guests.  A list off-campus lodging options can be found at www.wou.edu/lodging.

Placement tests during SOAR?

Placement for Math Courses
Students who wish to register for a math course Fall Term 2015 can use their ACT/SAT math score, AP/IB math score, CLEP credit or prior college credit for initial placement purposes. If a student wishes to register for a math course at a higher level than their scores or credit indicates, they will be required to take the math placement test at SOAR.

The Mathematics Department uses COMPASS®, which is a computerized, multiple choice exam, as a tool to place students into the appropriate math course. For a student’s convenience, the exam includes an online non-graphing calculator. Students may use that calculator (or their own non-graphing calculator) and pencil and paper during the exam, but no other materials. The exam has questions of increasing difficulty; problems are randomly selected and the difficulty of the problems increases as you answer the problems correctly.

You can find detailed information about math placement and the placement test at http://www.wou.edu/las/natsci_math/math/placement.php.  

Placement for German and Spanish Courses
Studying a language as a freshman is strongly encouraged due to the fact that two years of college-level foreign language is required for designated majors as well as the Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree. One key to success in a language is to enroll in the class that matches your skill level. If you are new to the language, for example Spanish, enroll in Spanish 101. If you averaged a grade of “B” or better in two years of high school language, you may be able to enroll in the second-year series beginning with 201. Similarly, if you averaged a “B” or better in four years of a high school language you may already have met the language requirement for the major and the Bachelor of Arts Degree.

To help determine your entry level for German prior to SOAR, we suggest that you take the online placement test at http://www.wou.edu/germanweb. The Spanish Department is creating a new online placement test, which should be available prior to the first SOAR program in June. Information regarding the Spanish Placement Test will be included in a student’s SOAR confirmation packet.

Placement for American Sign Language Courses
Students who are new to American Sign Language should register for ASL 101. If you have prior experience with ASL and wish to enroll in a higher level course for fall term, please register for the June 26, July 10, or July 25 SOAR program. Faculty will be available in the ASL/Special Education advising room on these specific dates to determine placement for ASL courses.

Placement for Writing Courses
A number of Block Schedule options with College Writing I (WR 115) or College Writing II (WR 135) are available for freshmen. To help improve their writing skills, students with an SAT Writing score of below 500 are advised to register for a Block Schedule with WR 115. Students with an SAT Writing score 500 or above are advised to register for a Block Schedule with WR 135.
Students with an ACT combined English/Writing score of below 21 are also advised to register for a Block Schedule with WR 115. Students with an ACT combined English/Writing score 21 or above are advised to register for a Block Schedule with WR 135.

Biology Placement Test
Students who plan to major in Biology or a Pre-Professional Health Science program (Dental Hygiene, Dentistry, Medicine, Clinical Lab Science, Occupational Therapy, Pharmacy, Physician Assistant, Physical Therapy or Veterinary Medicine) are asked to take the Biology Placement Test at SOAR. The online test consists of 30 multiple choice problems and there is a 45 minute time-limit.  The test covers basic high school-level knowledge about biological molecules, cells, metabolism, genetics, and genes.  There are also a few related chemistry and applied math questions.

Students majoring in Biology or a Pre-Professional Health Science program (Dental Hygiene, Dentistry, Medicine, Clinical Lab Science, Occupational Therapy, Pharmacy, Physician Assistant, Physical Therapy or Veterinary Medicine) are also advised to take the Mathematics Placement Test at SOAR unless their ACT/SAT math score, AP/IB math score, CLEP credit or prior college credit places them at the appropriate level of math for their major. Students taking both the Biology Placement Test and the Mathematics Placement Test will check-in for SOAR from 7:20 a.m. - 7:50 a.m.

Note: Pre-Nursing majors and students who have earned an A or B in college-level Biology 102 or Chemistry 104 (or equivalent) are not required to take the Biology Placement Test.    


The Office of Admissions toll-free at 1-877-877-1593 | or e-mail: wolfgram@wou.edu
Location: APSC room 408

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