SOARS is a term used to describe the quality of online education that UNO-R will offer starting the First Semester of the Academic Year 2020-2021. It means Superb Online Adaptive Augustinian Recollect System of education.
The term “SOARS” is a singular form of the verb “SOAR” or the infinitive “TO SOAR” which means “TO FLY ALOFT” or “TO SAIL OR HOVER IN THE AIR OFTEN AT A GREAT HEIGHT.” Generally, this is the kind of education we not only envision but also strive to offer to our students in view of the many developments, especially the COVID-19 pandemic, that has somewhat rocked the boat of education in our country. When the world stood still, UNO-R also observed moments of silence and observed what was happening and what are bound to happen in the future. Silently, UNO-R collected the efforts of the whole community in designing strategies to address the challenges brought about by the changes in the educational system of the entire country.
Threats were transformed into opportunities. Weaknesses were converted into strengths, and now, like the eagle of St. Augustine, whose charism of “Caritas et Scientia” provides the inspiration and the moving spirit to every member of the UNO-R community, UNO-R is poised and ready to take the flight – carrying the banner of evangelization and excellence – it is ready to offer every learner the education that SOARS.
What is an Education that SOARS?
S stands for Superb, a synonym for excellent. UNO-R has the reason for its claim of excellence. Not only is it the first Catholic university in the Province of Negros Occidental, but also it is the pioneer of University education in the whole province. For several years, it enjoyed the distinction as one of the only three CHED autonomous universities in Region VI. It has been the Center of Development for Information Technology education also in the said region. Its context of excellence is not limited to academics, but it has expanded the scope to make evangelization as the center of its existence.
O is for Online, a system that is used to describe the delivery of education to its clients. Some call it remote, while others prefer to call it distance. However, it may be called, UNO-R is ready for this new system of education. It has explored a variety of online learning platforms: Zoom, Edmodo, Schoology, Google Classroom, etc. to name a few and has been conducting constant training to its faculty, all for one purpose – to deliver quality Catholic Christian education to its clients – right at their doorsteps!
A is a letter for Adaptive, which is another word for flexible. To be flexible to be capable of bending without being broken. While flexibility may best be used to describe objects in view of this meaning, UNO-R has opted to use adaptability, which is a behavior used to describe people and their ability to get along with the new environment with the greatest success and least conflict with others. Thus, adaptive education makes every UNO-Rian capable of getting along with anything, whether they be challenges or opportunities, as long as its vision and mission as achieved.
R and S should go together because they stand for Recollect System of education. What sets this brand of education apart from any other system is that it blends well the Augustinian values of Interiority, Truth, Freedom, Community, Friendship, Solidarity and Justice with the UNO-R core values of Service and Community Life, Interiority, Marian and Moral Integrity, Peace and Justice, Love, and Passion for Excellence so that it may produce graduates equipped with Recollect attributes, ready to face the world, ready to make a difference, and ready to take part in the mission of evangelization.
We thank the person who introduced the word SOAR in the dictionary, for from it, we were able to coin SOARS to describe UNO-R education. SOARS is definitely appropriate to describe UNO-R education because of the Augustinian flavor behind it. When we think of or utter the word SOARS, are reminded of the figure of an eagle, the eagle of St. Augustine, that is poised for a flight and is in deep excitement to reach greater heights and explore unlimited skies. Most important of all, the word SOARS has a better and more significant meaning to offer; in that, the first S may stand for the Self that is being readied to serve the final S which stands for the Society… It is offering of Self to the Society – and the OAR is the means to do that – the Order of Augustinian Recollects.