text reads: "TRIO: A Federally Funded Program"


SOAR (Support Options for Achievement and Retention) is a TRIO Student Support Services Program funded by the U.S. Department of Education. The purpose of the SOAR Program is to provide academic, personal, career, and financial assistance to students who qualify based on one or more of the following criteria: low-income status, first-generation college student (neither parent has completed a bachelor’s degree), or a documented disability. The SOAR Program focuses on students’ assets and how to apply them in navigating college life.  It provides the support needed to overcome obstacles and connect with resources to reach their goals. 


General Information

SOAR Program Location

SOAR is located at MCC’s Spruce Pine campus, on the second floor of Gwaltney Hall, near the LRC and across from the Academic Support Center. (campus maps)

Hours of Operation

8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Mondays–Thursdays
8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Fridays (During summer, MCC is closed on Fridays)

How to Contact SOAR

Telephone: 828.766.1205 or 800.4.MAYLAND
Mail: Post Office Box 547, Spruce Pine, NC 28777


Debbie Stafford, Director
Debra Cagle, Administrative Assistant
Dora Smith, Transfer Counselor
Jeannette Murray, Personal/Academic Counselor
Elizabeth Hardy, Supplemental English Instructor
Larry ShookLarry Shook, Supplemental Math Instructor

SOAR Services

  • Academic Advising
  • Tutoring
  • Transfer Advising and Transfer Trips 
  • Study and Learning Skills Development
  • College Resource Development
  • Academic/Personal Empowerment
  • Mid-Term Progress Checks
  • Social and Cultural Opportunities
  • Financial Resources and Money Management
  • Assistive Programs/Agencies Referrals
  • Computer Lab and Lab Assistance 
  • Disability Services and Referral

SOAR Program Requirements and Application

We’re pleased that you’re interested in joining the S.O.A.R. Program! Please read carefully below before filling out the application.

To qualify for S.O.A.R., you must be:

  • a degree-seeking student (pursuing an Associate’s degree or Diploma) for the first time, with no degree of any kind;
  • planning to attend full-time and completing your program of study within 4 years OR planning to earn a degree and transfer within 4 years; 

AND you must meet ONE of the following qualifications:

  • You are a first-generation college student (meaning that neither parent has a four-year college degree);
  • You have limited income by federal guidelines;
  • You have a disability that may impact your pursuit of a degree.

If you have any questions about the above qualifications or the attached application, please don’t hesitate to come by the S.O.A.R. office! We are located on the second floor of Gwaltney Hall. You can also send us an email at or give us a call at 828-766-1263.  

To apply to the SOAR program, click on the SOAR application.

Tutoring Opportunties

Whether you are a SOAR member or not, you can apply to be a tutor for the SOAR Program. Complete the SOAR Tutor Application and come by the SOAR office with a current schedule.  You will be required to complete further paperwork, if hire as a tutor.  For any questions, please contact Debra Cagle, S.O.A.R. Administrative Assistant at 766-1263 or