Academic Support

OAE’s support of the Programs of Academic Excellence consists of one-on-one advising meetings, group Podvising, deliberate connections to academic opportunities, and exposure to programming that aims to appeal to students’ personal and professional development.


The backbone of OAE’s support of the Programs of Academic Excellence is the advising relationship. We EXPOSE, ENGAGE, ENCOURAGE, EMPOWER.

OAE serves as our students’ academic “home base.” Students meet monthly with their advisor to discuss their experience at the university. We aim to cultivate relationships that allow us to understand our students’ unique experiences and interests in an effort to help them establish, develop and work toward their goals.  We focus on facilitating a smooth transition to college, encouraging student involvement, promoting community service and making deliberate connections to resources, particularly faculty.  We strive to help students enhance their academic experiences.

In addition to one-on-one advising meetings, first-year students participate in “Podvising,” which is a group advising concept that consists of small groups of 5-7 students.  Facilitated by an OAE advisor, these sessions allow for students to share experiences, consider important themes that relate to their transition to college, and form deeper connections.


OAE provides programming that aspires to be relevant, practical, and thought-provoking.  These programs identify ways to connect students to resources and provide platforms for discussion at a deeper level.  Programs include:

Orientation Supplements

Each fall, we welcome the Programs of Academic Excellence to campus with programs to supplement the broader University Orientation.  We introduce them to the staff and services of OAE, focus on establishing connections and fostering relationships, and present the information that is most relevant to them as scholarship recipients.  In the spring, we traditionally host a “Reorientation” to emphasize specific themes, with a social component incorporated to help kick off the start of a new semester.

Transitional Workshops

Following orientation, we put on a workshop series for first-year students to help them get adjusted to college life. These workshops are designed to tackle common struggles students face in their first year. Topics have included Time Management, Getting Involved, and Stress Management. We partner with relevant campus departments and offices to provide students access to resources to help them tackle these challenges and start their semester strong.

Casual & Candid Conversations

This intimate speaker series connects students with interesting and dynamic speakers in a format that is less of a lecture and more of a discussion. The goal is to offer a unique story and a new perspective, typically focusing on a professional theme.

Holler at a Scholar

Holler at a Scholar is our chance to bring all of our scholarship groups together to foster community. As the PAE's only purely "social" event, students come together to catch up with existing friends, meet new friends, and enjoy some food and activities together. 

The Next Step (IG Live @pae.oae)

The Next Step is an OAE program highlighting the journeys of recent alumni. Our guests will reflect on their time at UM, how they have navigated life after graduation, and what their current path looks like. These conversations are held live on our Instagram and later published on our Youtube page so students always have access to them.

Lunch w/ TED Series

Who is TED? TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design, and with its wide range of topics and speakers, is an excellent resource to spark learning.  Playfully dubbed an “elite” speaker series, Lunch w/TED brings students together to watch and discuss TED Talks over lunch, providing a forum for open, enriching conversations.   

Grad & Professional School Workshop

This program brings together a panel of campus partners from all different backgrounds and disciplines to talk about what life may look like after graduation. The panelists provide insight into the application process for various graduate and professional school programs and answer student questions about their journeys. Following the Q&A, panelists break out into individual groups to allow students to talk more intimately and network.

Cultural Outings

It is a long standing OAE tradition to offer students the opportunity to experience and appreciate the arts together. Annually, we take a guided tour of the Lowe Art Museum on campus where students get to see some amazing orignal pieces of art and discuss afterwards with lunch. We also take students to see a show performed at the Adrienne Arsht Center every spring semester. Recent examples of shows students were able to see include Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre, Hamilton, and Wicked the Musical. Other personally enriching outings are offered periodically.

Community Service

With service being a key component of an “enhanced” college experience, OAE supports the annual service days offered by the Butler Center for Service and Leadership.  OAE has highlighted Hurricanes Help the Hometown as a key initiative that the Programs of Academic Excellence are invested in.  In addition, our students make up the majority of the mentors in the School of Education’s “Inspire U Academy,” a developmental peer mentoring program for local high school students.