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SOC

SOC was created in 1972 to provide educational opportunities to service members who, because they frequently moved from place to place, had trouble completing college degrees. SOC functions in cooperation with fifteen higher education associations, the Department of Defense (DoD), and active and Reserve Components of the military Services to expand and improve voluntary postsecondary education opportunities for service members worldwide. SOC is funded by the DoD through a contract with the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU). The contract is managed for DoD by the Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support (DANTES).

Because of the realities of the mobile military lifestyle, SOC criteria stipulates that institutional policies and practices be fair, equitable, and effective in recognizing the special and often limiting conditions faced by military students.

Colleges and universities within the SOC Consortium must meet four SOC Criteria:
  1. Reasonable Transfer of Credit - avoid excessive loss of previously earned credit and avoid course work duplication
  2. Reduced Academic Residency - limited to no more than 25% of degree requirements with no final year or semester in residence (may require 30% for undergraduate degrees offered 100% online), specifically avoiding any "final year" or "final semester" residency requirement
  3. Credit for Military Training and Experience - recognize and use American Council on Education (ACE) Guide to the Evaluation of Educational Experiences in the Armed Services in evaluating and awarding academic credit for military training and experience
  4. Credit for Nationally-Recognized Testing Programs - award credit for at least one nationally-recognized testing program such as College-Level Examination Program (CLEP), DANTES Subject Standardized Tests (DSST), or Excelsior College Examinations (ECE)

SOC Operating Programs

SOC Consortium
More than 1,900 institutional members enroll hundreds of thousands of service members, their family members, and veterans annually in associate, bachelor, and graduate-level degree programs on school campuses, military installations, armories within the United States and overseas. SOC Consortium colleges pledge to be military-friendly and design policies and practices in the student services, admissions, and marketing areas that provide easy access to accurate information about the school, its degree programs, policies, and procedures.

The SOC Degree Network System is a subgroup of SOC Consortium member institutions selected by Army Continuing Education System (ACES) to deliver associate and bachelor’s degree programs for Army personnel and their families.

SOCAD
Associate and bachelor’s degree programs for Army personnel and their families.

ConAP
A partnership between the Army Recruiting Command and participating SOC Consortium colleges and universities to link new soldiers to a college at the time of enlistment.

SOCMAR
A subgroup of SOC Consortium member institutions selected by Marine Corps Headquarters Education Branch to deliver associate and bachelor’s degree programs for Marine Corps personnel and their families.

SOCNAV
A subgroup of SOC Consortium member institutions selected by Naval Education and Training Division to deliver associate and bachelor’s degree programs for Navy personnel and their families.

SOCGuard
A college outreach program that integrates postsecondary education with key Army National Guard (ARNG) activities and functions.

SOCCOAST
A subgroup of SOC Consortium member institutions selected by Coast Guard Education and Training Programs to deliver associate and bachelor’s degree programs for Coast Guard personnel and their families.

SOC Publications and Resources

The following publications and resources can be found at the SOC website:
  • SOC Consortium Guide
  • SOC Consortium Brochure
  • SOC Consortium Member Institutions
  • Military Student Bill of Rights
  • SOC Principles and Criteria
  • Military Student Bill of Rights
  • SOC Degree Network System-2 and -4 Handbooks
  • Military Student Bill of Rights
  • SOC Degree Network System Credit Evaluation Supplement


Contact Information

Phone: (800) 368-5622(202) 667-0079
Fax: (202) 667-0622
Website: http://www.soc.aascu.org
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