SOAR Peer Coaching

To assist WVU School of Nursing students with the transition into the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program, the SOAR Peer Coaching Program aims to cultivate a sense of belonging and to build resiliency, self-compassion and stress reduction skills.

The SOAR (Success, Outreach, And Resilience) Peer Coaching Program builds upon the popularity of the My Success program, which is offered to students in the BS/BA to BSN (Fast Track) program.

“This is not so much for academic success as it is for personal success,” said Dr. Tina Antill Keener, Director of the BSN Program. “For example, our peer coaches can help new students understand how to reframe their support system or how to find time to study.”

Tonya Thompson, Fast Track Coordinator, created the foundation of the program and Keener worked with her to incorporate resilience and self-compassion components. The program has been especially beneficial for Fast Track students, who are nontraditional and oftentimes face multiple challenges, including balancing school, work and family responsibilities.

In addition to Fast-Track students, SOAR is now also offered to BSN students at the Morgantown, Beckley and Keyser campus locations.

“We’ve had such positive responses from Fast Track students who’ve been in the program and then became coaches,” Keener said. “They all said this needs to be done for all students because it was so helpful to them.”

Traditional undergraduate nursing students entering the program are automatically signed up for the program and will be assigned a peer coach.

Meet and greets are hosted the first day of classes, and coaches will meet their mentees before NSG 211. These teams, comprised of one coach and three mentees, will form a peer group. Coaches will establish lines of communication, such a text or social media group, or they can meet in person. During more stressful times, such as midterms or finals, groups are encouraged to host a face-to-face meetup.

Students interested in peer coaching should contact Dr. Keener at to learn more.