Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges (SOC) is a cooperative civilian and military effort designed to link Service members to institutions that provide high quality degree, certificate, and technical education programs. SOC works closely with institutions to facilitate the transferability of credit within degree programs. The institutions aligning with SOC agree to maximize academic credit for military training and experience as well as alternative testing such as CLEP, DSST or Excelsior Credit Examinations (ECE). By building and maintaining partnerships with the higher education community, voluntary military education community, and industry, SOC assists Service members in making informed educational choices and identifying quality degree and certificate programs in marketable careers.
SOC works directly with partner schools within the GoArmyEd portal and Headquarters Army Continuing Education System (HQ ACES) to safeguard the quality of degree programs and courses available to Service members, and to determine the transferability of credits amongst participating schools. SOC GoArmyEd staff is available to assist institutions with onboarding, questions and concerns encountered while working within the GoArmyEd portal, and assisting Service members with their educational and tuition assistance needs.
SOC DEGREE NETWORK SYSTEM
The SOC Degree Network System (DNS) is managed and maintained by SOC and serves as the academic facilitator for information exchange and problem solving between schools and the military and consists of an elite set of vetted degree-granting colleges and universities. These institutions are bound by articulation agreements and have adopted policies outlined in the Department of Defense Memorandum of Understanding (DoD MOU) to help Service members obtain college degrees at the 2 and 4-year levels. Degree programs aligned in the DNS networks are reflective of high-demand occupations and nationwide workforce trends.
CAREER AND TECHNICAL EDUCATION PROGRAMS
The DoD and the Services, with the support of SOC, developed a new Voluntary Education (VolEd) program guide to provide Career and Technical Education (CTE) certificate opportunities to Service members to assist in preparing for transition into high-demand career and technical fields in the civilian labor market after their military service. This program is designed to aid in aligning certificate opportunities from degree granting institutions with Service members’ expertise in an occupational specialty or technical area obtained in the military. The CTE program vets certificates in high demand career and technical fields available in the civilian workforce. The CTE program guide is accessible by Veterans, as the certificate opportunities listed must be approved by the appropriate State Approving Agency for Veteran Affairs education benefits. Certificates should complement Service members’ military occupation and training and allow completed coursework to apply to an associate or bachelor’s degree in the technical career field.