New online program helps students SOAR before flying the nest for college

| March 4, 2011 | 0 Comments

Hawaii State House of Representatives
News Release



HONOLULU — Hawaii high school students now have access to free online college test prep courses through Student Online Achievement Resources, or SOAR.

Education officials announced the new SAT/ACT test preparation program, Feb. 25, here. SOAR is a Web-based program that offers testing and tutorials in reading and math for grades three through 12. Military and nonmilitary students are eligible.

“This exciting (and) new college test prep program covers all of the same great content as the traditional classroom course, but it is delivered through a combination of interactive multimedia lessons and exercises,” said state Rep. K. Mark Takai. “If a student were to pay for this now free program, it would cost around $300.”

SOAR connects students studying for the SAT and ACT to Princeton Review’s online, interactive, college test preparation courses, which contain subject content, test-taking tips and techniques, and information about the SAT and ACT.

“This resource will benefit the U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii community during a time when so many students have a deployed parent,” said Tamsin Keone, school liaison officer, USAG-HI. “Having an outstanding program available that offers (24-hour-a-day, seven-day-a-week) educational and career support will relieve at least one stress from military family life.”

High school students take the SAT or ACT; colleges and universities then use the test results as an indicator in predicting an individual student’s potential for academic success in post-secondary institutions.

“SOAR is an invaluable resource for all Hawaii students,” said Ronn Nozoe, deputy superintendent of education, Hawaii Department of Education. “This program will play a critical support role in preparing our youth for the rigors of college.”

But SAT and ACT test preparation programs and materials are quite costly. Thus, many students are often inadequately prepared for tests, due to financial constraints.

“During these tough economic times, this free (24-hour-a-day, seven-day-a-week) online college test preparatory course is a plus for families that are financially challenged, and (it is) beneficial for self-starters and students with hectic schedules,” Nozoe said.

“High-quality test preparation courses are (now) available to students of all backgrounds, whether they are enrolled in public or private schools, or are homeschooled,” Takai said. “The Princeton Review courses will be offered at no charge.”

A partnership between the National Military Impacted Schools Association and the DOE will allow students and parents throughout Hawaii to use SOAR.

“SOAR gives Hawaii students, who may not have the means to pay for expensive preparation courses, the opportunity to get ready for tests vital to their academic success,” said John Deegan, executive director of MISA.

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