The SOAR Program is a one-year, immersive program for people typically in their 40s and up, who are already experienced and accomplished in a particular area, and who seek to create a new, purposeful, energizing, and connecting pursuit for their next phase of life.

The Program

The SOAR curriculum is anchored in a transdisciplinary, liberal arts foundation at the Drucker School of Management at Claremont Graduate University. The program offers both a core curriculum and the ability to enroll in elective university courses across a variety of disciplines. The SOAR core curriculum is built around reflection, life design, and self-development, and is supplemented with SOAR activities that support community, learning, well-being, and societal impact. The program provides the opportunity to Seek, Observe, Act, and Renew for those who are looking to create the next step in their lives.

Setting

Claremont Graduate University and the Claremont Colleges provide a rich academic environment, ideal for exploration, inspiration, and intergenerational learning. Fellows should also expect regularly to venture out for field trips and diverse learning opportunities around Claremont and the LA metro area.

Engagement

The SOAR Program encourages you not only to focus on your own life journey but to engage actively and thoughtfully with the world around you to discover “what needs doing.” We aim to connect you with the critical challenges facing the world today as well as to your own sense of purpose: to inspire you to impact the world in a way that matters to you.

This includes supporting international engagement and cultivating a global, inclusive, and expansive worldview through our curriculum and activities. The SOAR Program does this through partnerships with other institutions, projects, speakers, and the opportunity to take one international learning trip during the program.

Finally, engagement means connecting with, learning from, and supporting your cohort of similarly motivated people from a wide range of backgrounds, who also are defining their next step.

Core Curriculum

As a fellow in the SOAR Program, you will:

  • Reflect – Develop awareness and understanding about your life story, what has happened so far and what it means to you.
  • Transition – Gain the skills and mindsets to move through different phases of transition with presence, resilience, flexibility, and intention.
  • Engage – Engage intellectually, practically, and personally with the world around you to discover what needs doing, what matters to you, and what you want to contribute.
  • Seek Purpose – Cultivate your personal sense of purpose by gaining clarity about your strengths, goals, passions, and opportunities.
  • Design – Learn and practice creative mindsets as you design and explore various life paths for the person you want to become.

As a fellow, you will take an integrated SOAR curriculum across two semesters. Five short modules form this curriculum:

  • A Museum of Me course explores how museums tell stories as an entry point to tell your own story. You will reflect on your own personal narrative and then, like a curator, tell that story through objects in a way that considers how the audience will interpret you. We will ask to you delve into what stories you have told in the past, what you believe, what you have accomplished, what story you want to tell now, and what your story you might want to tell in the future.
  • A Great Conversations course uses books, texts, poems, and other materials to engage with some of the timeless questions that shape the human journey: What is truth? How do you know it? What is forgiveness? What is loss? What is joy? What is the wonder? What does it mean to be a person? What is a life well-lived?
  • A Transitions course uncovers the predictable emotions and challenges of change. You will consider your own relationship with change and learn the tools and mindsets to navigate any transition with awareness, patience, positivity, and intention. This course helps you integrate your life up until this point and prepare to move forward into your next phase.
  • A Purpose and Impact course provides exercises and experiences to help you cultivate your own sense of purpose – finding the intersection between what you care about, what you are good at, and what the world needs – and ultimately defining where you want your next contribution to be.
  • A Design Your Life course brings you into the present moment – to create awareness of what drives you and what gives you energy. With this foundation, you will apply design thinking tools and approaches as you generate and experiment with different ideas for what you want to grow into next.

Elective Courses

As a SOAR fellow, you will select Elective Courses in departments around the university to supplement the core SOAR programming. This coursework provides the opportunity to explore new and old interests, get inspired with new ideas, and craft a future that excites you. An additional benefit of elective coursework is the intergenerational learning you will experience in the classroom with typically younger graduate and undergraduate students.

Speaker Series

A full-year Speaker Series with diverse professionals, leaders, and academics will complement the work you do in the classroom. Speakers are selected to stimulate ideas and connections across disciplines, to offer practical insights about different kinds of life pursuits, and to inspire different approaches to having positive societal impact.

Societal Impact

The SOAR program enables fellows to connect themselves and their journey to the complex challenges facing our world. Fellows will engage in Societal Impact activities that allow them to explore their passions, learn about critical challenges facing the world, have an immediate impact, and begin to craft what they want to do next. Our collective interest in Societal Impact will be supported by the SOAR curriculum as well as speakers and general networking opportunities.

Community

Fellows will be supported to build close connections within their cohort and to network across the Claremont Consortium and all its partners. We know from research and experience that having community with others who are engaged in a similar life pursuit is essential to the process of exploration and growth: it creates support, spurs new ideas, and generates opportunities. Community-building elements of the program are:

  • Weekly cohort dinners on campus
  • Bi-weekly speaker sessions on campus
  • A SOAR lounge for the cohort to socialize, work, and rest while on campus
  • Regular field trips to sites and partner organizations around Los Angeles

Wellness

In addition to fostering community and purpose, which are critical components of wellness, the SOAR program creates access to regular programing for physical, spiritual, and mental well-being. The suite of offerings includes both educational programing and practice to support the fellows’ journey to greater wellness.

Time Commitment

The SOAR Program is a 9-month, in-person program delivered in Claremont, CA. Fellows should expect to be on campus 2-4 days each week depending on the courses they select. The program begins in late August and runs through mid-May. Each week has core programming for SOAR Fellows in addition to dinners, cohort events and activities, and elective courses of each fellow’s choosing. Core classes and events will be held on Tuesday and Wednesday each week.

As a fellow, you should also expect regularly to venture out for field trips, diverse learning opportunities around Claremont and the LA metro area. With its emphasis on international engagement and having an expansive worldview the SOAR Program also includes one international trip during the Spring Semester Break. We encourage fellows to allow 7 days for travel.

Program Fee

The full fee for the 2023-24 program is $50,000. This includes all SOAR on-campus activities, dinners, speakers, classes, and field trips. It also includes on-campus parking, books and class materials for SOAR classes, and tickets for relevant class outings as well as lodging, food, and local transportation for the program’s international trip. The fee does not include the cost for housing in or travel to Claremont, or the travel expense for the international trip.

Costs for the program are reviewed annually and may change the program fee for future cohorts.

Faculty

Katharina Pick profile image

Katharina Pick

Clinical Associate Professor

Patricia Easton profile image

Patricia Easton

Executive Vice President and Provost

Lori Anne Ferrell profile image

Lori Anne Ferrell

Dean, School of Arts & Humanities
Director, Early Modern Studies Program
Director, Kingsley & Kate Tufts Poetry Awards

Joshua Goode profile image

Joshua Goode

Associate Professor of Cultural Studies and History
Chair, Cultural Studies (Fall 2022)

Jeremy Hunter profile image

Jeremy Hunter

Associate Professor of Practice
Founding Director, Executive Mind Leadership Institute

Kristine Kawamura profile image

Kristine Kawamura

Clinical Professor of Management

Jeanne Nakamura profile image

Jeanne Nakamura

Associate Professor
Co-director, Quality of Life Research Center

David Sprott profile image

David Sprott

Henry Y. Hwang Dean, Drucker School of Management
Professor of Marketing

Hideki Yamawaki profile image

Hideki Yamawaki

Ito Chair of International Business and Professor of Management

Contact Us

SOAR@cgu.edu

The inaugural cohort will begin the SOAR program in August of 2023. Admissions for the program will be open from December 15, 2022, through July 31, 2023.

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