SOAR Program

Welcome to our new SOAR Pilot Program. SOAR stands for Skills, Opportunity, Achievement, Reward. This pilot program is made possible by a grant from the NMC Foundation. Scroll down the page to see the planned courses for this pilot project.

The goal of the SOAR is to provide lifelong learning opportunities to students with cognitive or other disabilities. This pilot program is the first of what we hope becomes a full catalog of courses. Your participation in this pilot will help us to refine our course offerings to best fit your needs.

For registration information or questions, contact Bill Queen, SOAR Program Coordinator, at (231) 995-1701 or

Open House / Information Night:

Drop In - Thursday, March 9, at 5, 6, 7, p.m.

The meeting will be held on the Main NMC Campus at 1701 E. Front Street in the Health & Science Building, Room 100.

Courses begin in March and April. Space is limited for the pilot program so try to attend the information meeting to secure a spot. We hope to have a larger set of offerings available in the fall of 2017.

Pilot courses include Cross-Country Skiing (weather permitting), Video Editing, Robotics, Computer Technology and Computer Skills, Qigong (Tai Chi type exercise), Technology Assisted Fitness and Wellness, and Animal Care. At this time we are still adjusting course offering based on instructor availability and expertise. The courses are designed to assist the learning with features such as:

  • Extended Length of Time & Attention to Pacing
  • Classroom Assistance
  • Performance Based lessons with Self Evaluations
  • No Tests

Please note:

College course work differs from high school in the following ways:

  • You voluntarily sign up for courses.
  • You pay for courses.
  • You voluntarily attend courses.
  • You have the responsibility for your own learning.
  • You will need to determine if you have the skills necessary to participate.

If you meet the course requirements but need extra assistance, YOU will need to tell us what your needs are and request additional support.

Consideration for participation:

  • Students must be 18 and older and possess a High School Certificate of Completion OR Diploma OR GED.
  • Student will have stated educational goals (this can include personal enrichment, desire to pursue a certificate program, build a job skill, or gain personal skills)
  • Students will have the ability to work both independently and in a group setting.
  • Student will need to understand, and adhere to the NMC student code of conduct.
  • Students will need to agree to put forward their best effort in the classroom and on assignments and tasks as instructed.
  • Students will need to pay for courses prior to the start of the course.

Introduction to Video Editing — EEAC 836

Learn about video editing in this fun hands-on workshop with retired professional, Donald Kuehlhorn. Gain experience using a FREE software suite as you explore the tools to change photos and video segments into a complete video ready for presentation. Tools include colorizing, trimming, adding transitions, adding music and more. You’ll also learn how to transform your edited material into a useful video file appropriate for personal viewing or to post on YouTube. Bring a USB drive with several photos and video snippets of your own, or use instructor-provided files.

TWO Thursdays, March 16 AND March 23, 5:30-7:30 p.m. CODE: 4477 COST: $55
NMC Beckett Bldg. Rm. 202 (1701 E. Front St., TC)
Instructor: Donald Kuehlhorn

Robotics Academy — NEW Dates — EEYC 114

Learn the basics of robot building using VEX IQ Robotics Kits. Divide into teams and build a “bot” (short for robot). You’ll then run it through fun challenges—some tests will even require you to figure out how to build your robot better. Learn about the robot’s brain and how it can be programmed to operate controls to run an obstacle course without a controller. Challenge yourself to build a working bot to carry objects, and obey your commands. Finish with the Ultimate Team Challenge where teams compete face to face.

FOUR Mondays, March 13–April 10 1–4 p.m., CODE: 4473, COST: $199
NMC Aero Park Labs Building, Room K (2525 Aero Park Dr., TC)
Instructor: John Gilligan

Awakening Qigong — EEPM 138

Qigong is a system of self-care and self-healing that combines slow, gentle movement with breath and intention. Easy to learn, it excels at increasing energy and reducing stress. Combine stretches, flowing movements, standing postures, and healing sounds to create a calm, unhurried and focused mind. By the end, you’ll be able to easily access feelings of peace and clarity. Leave each session feeling deeply centered in your body, mind and spirit and ready to face life.

SIX Wednesdays, March 15–April 26, 4–5:30 p.m. (No Class March 29), CODE: 4476, COST: $95
NMC University Center Room 219 (2200 Dendrinos Dr., TC)
Instructor: Joan D’Argo

Communication for the Workplace

Communication is critical workplace and college level skill. Learn how to use email and word processing software to craft effective emails and letters. This hands-on course taught in our computer labs includes topics focused on using templates and software tools to assist you in your communication efforts. You will learn to create an effective letter, improve your writing speed, and use short cuts to help you with spelling, grammar, and sentence building. Computer filing techniques are include to help you store and retrieve your work. Leave the course with the tools to practice your new skills and improve your workplace and lifelong communication skills.

FIVE Mondays, March 13–April 17, 5:30–7:30 p.m. (No Class March 27), CODE: 4475, COST: $125
Great Lakes Campus Room 210 (715 E. Front St., TC)
Instructor: Diane Kimmel

Behind the Scenes: How Computers Work

This challenging course will help you understand how computers work behind the screen. Learn how computers work from the parts and components to the operating system and the codes that make it work. We’ll just scratch the surface of this fascinating world. Activities will include examining computer parts and identifying them, developing understanding of binary code by creating a secret message, and actually using coding software to create a simple computer program. The course will also explore the workings of the world-wide web.

FOUR Thursdays, April 6–27, 5:30–7:30 p.m., CODE: 4479, COST: $99
NMC Beckett Building Rm. 202 (1701 E. Front St., TC)
Instructor: Tina Norris Fields

Animal Care

Learn the basics of animal care from a professional dog trainer and former caretaker of animals at Traverse City’s Clinch Park Zoo. Gain an overview of the animal care industry and examine the variety of tasks involved. Research the care requirements for a domestic animal of your choice and put together a report to present to class on what you have learned.

FOUR Tuesdays, April 4–25, 5:30–7:30 p.m., CODE: 4478, COST: $99
NMC Health and Science Building Room 114 (1701 E. Front St., TC)
Instructor: Jennifer Loup

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