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SOAR Summer Pilot Program

SOAR (Summer Opportunity for Academic Recovery) is a pilot program for selected students academically dismissed at the conclusion of Spring 2016 to allow them to continue enrollment in Summer 2016. Students who successfully complete at least seven hours of classes at UT in Summer 2016 through SOAR are allowed to continue enrollment in Fall 2016 if they choose to do so.

While participation in SOAR reinstates you to the university for the summer term, it does not guarantee continuation in your college or specific major. According to the UT Catalog, students dismissed while in the Colleges of Engineering, Nursing, or Business can return to UT but not to that college. Successful participation in SOAR does not change these catalog statements; students dismissed while in those colleges must seek alternative programs of study, even if they are successful in SOAR.

SOAR emphasizes presence and engagement leading toward student growth as a learner and a scholar. To participate, students must attend classes on campus in person during their enrollment; SOAR students may not enroll in any online courses.

Click here for a printable PDF version of the SOAR Summer Pilot Program.

Click here for SOAR Summer Pilot Program deadlines.

Not all students dismissed at the conclusion of spring 2016 are eligible for the SOAR program. SOAR is open to students who have not been previously dismissed. In addition, because it is only open to students who have a realistic chance of returning to Good Standing at the end of the summer, students with greater than twelve deficiency points are not eligible for SOAR. If SOAR was mentioned as an option in the dismissal letter you received from the Office of the Registrar, you have met the GPA-based selection criteria and are invited to continue your enrollment at UT this summer through the SOAR program.

To participate in SOAR, you must express your interest in SOAR by phoning Doug Renalds at 865-974-2870 by 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 24. If that call goes to voicemail, leave a message and Doug will return your call. Calling to express your interest does not obligate you to participate in SOAR, but you cannot participate without calling.


Although this program offers students a unique opportunity to avoid dismissal and continue enrollment, students should participate in SOAR only if they are able to give full attention to summer coursework. Students who are not fully ready (mentally, emotionally, and financially) to engage in summer coursework put themselves in danger of digging a deeper academic hole for themselves. Because summer term classes are more concentrated (squeezing fifteen weeks of material into five weeks), the pace is brisk and attendance at every class is crucial. While participation in SOAR may sound far more preferable than dismissal, it is exceedingly important that your next semester of enrollment be a successful one; if you are not in a position (mentally, emotionally, financially) to succeed this summer, participation in SOAR could possibly further harm your academic record and lead to greater financial debt.


In Summer 2016, SOAR participants agree to:

  • Successfully complete Counselor Education 205, a one-hour course on success strategies in their first session of enrollment (if you are enrolled in any classes during first or full session, you must enroll in COUN 205 during first session)
  • Not enroll in any classes which conflict with your required COUN 205 class
  • Successfully complete at least 6 other hours of coursework
  • Meet with an academic advisor prior to summer enrollment and once during summer enrollment
  • Meet with an academic coach once a week
  • Dedicate at least 10 hours per week outside of class to on-location study, tutoring, or engagement with other campus resources


Summer terms at UT begin on either:

  • Thursday, June 2 for First Session and Full Session courses, or
  • Thursday, July 7 for Second Session courses.

SOAR participants may take classes in any combination of these sessions. If you are starting your summer classes on June 2, you are required to attend the SOAR kickoff meeting on Wednesday, June 1 from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon. If you are waiting to enroll in Second Session, which begins July 7, you are required to attend the SOAR kickoff meeting on Wednesday, July 6 from 10:00 a.m. to noon.

First Session classes conclude on Wednesday, July 6. Second Session and Full Session classes conclude on Tuesday, August 9. Details on all aspects of Summer School are found online at summer.utk.edu. Explore links from there for information on classes, finances, dining, and housing.

We welcome you either session (June, for first and/or full session, or July for second session). Many students might find it more practically manageable to start in July. A July start allows more time for academic advising and to attend to financial considerations, including the SAP financial aid appeal discussed below under Tuition and Financial Aid. The SAP appeal takes time for both filing and approval, making it difficult to quickly get summer loans approved.

Course selection might also influence your enrollment choice. You can search summer classes via MyUTK or through the course search link at summer.utk.edu. Please remember that you must enroll in COUN 205 (SOAR Academic Recovery) during your first session of summer enrollment. If you are enrolling in Second Session, you will take the course in Second Session. If you are enrolled in both sessions, you must take the course in First Session. You cannot enroll in a class which conflicts or prevents you from attending a COUN 205 class, and there are no exceptions to this policy.


For details on tuition and fees for summer, contact One Stop or see the associated summer.utk.edu web pages. Payment up front prior to the start of classes is expected for summer classes. Contact One Stop for details on deadlines and payment options.

Financial Aid is limited for summer. In addition, if you received financial aid during the school year, you can expect an email notification from One Stop soon regarding the need to file an SAP appeal (Satisfactory Academic Progress for financial aid) to continue receiving aid for the upcoming year. That email from One Stop is very important, and you should take action on it immediately.


Housing options are available for summer term students who wish to live on campus. Again, please see the links available at summer.utk.edu for more information.


Minimum levels of success for the summer include a minimum summer term GPA of 2.00, and earned credit in all attempted hours. However, the SOAR program was created to help generate a clear change in your performance (not merely meeting the minimums) with dramatically improved grades, leading to long-range success and graduation.


You must meet with an academic advisor to plan your summer courses. Students participating in First Session SOAR (June) must complete advising by Friday, May 27, and register for classes by Tuesday, May 31. Students beginning SOAR in Second Session (July) must complete advising by Friday, June 24, and register for classes by Tuesday, July 5. Even if you have previously met with an advisor during Spring term or if you have already registered for summer classes, you must meet with an academic advisor to reassess your needs in the wake of your Spring 2016 grades. The College of Arts and Sciences will be advising most SOAR students; if you are in the following colleges, check with your previous advisor about your standing within your college: CASNR, Communications, Education, Social Work. Those previously in Nursing, Business or Engineering will need to be advised by the College of Arts and Sciences. If you were previously advised by Arts and Sciences, return there for advising.

Prepare for your advising conversations by:

  • searching possible Summer 2016 courses, realizing the summer timetable of classes is limited (fewer classes offered in summer than in fall or spring)
  • targeting courses to repeat for grade-replacement (100 or 200 level courses in which you earned grades below C), as replacing a poor grade with a strong one is the quickest way to boost your cumulative GPA (note: grades can only be replaced by repeating the course at UT; repeating the course elsewhere doesn’t help your UT GPA and robs you of the benefits of grade-replacement)
  • making a list of questions to ask your advisor.


To participate in SOAR, you must express your interest in SOAR by phoning Doug Renalds at 865-974-2870 by 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 24. If that call goes to voicemail, leave a message and Doug will return your call. Calling to express your interest does not obligate you to participate in SOAR. But you cannot participate without calling.

By participating in SOAR, you agree to fully engage with the program and the Student Success Center, including prompt communication through UTK email. This is not a program where you can be passive or disconnected.

If you have questions about SOAR, email them immediately to Doug Renalds at drenalds@utk.edu. Again, Doug Renalds’ direct phone line is 865-974-2870, and do not hesitate to be in touch with questions or concerns.


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