Tips for Advising Students About the SOC Degree Network System
The Coast Guard Education Services Officer (ESO) is a key advisor to potential military students and their family members who are identifying their education goals and degree options. For many of these students, SOCCOAST member institutions may best meet their needs for degrees that reflect the policies of Degree Network System colleges — a home college Home College: The institution from which the student is seeking a degree. That college issues the SOCAD, SOCNAV, SOCMAR, or SOCCOAST Student Agreement and awards the degree to the student when degree requirements are completed. , limited academic residency, Academic Residency: The number of credits a student must complete with the home college to be eligible for a degree. SOC Degree Network System member institutions must limit academic residency to 25% or less of the total degree program, specifically avoiding any ”final year” or “final semester” residency requirement. The only exception is for institutions that offer 100% of an undergraduate degree online; they may require servicemembers to take 30% of that degree program from their institutions. , acceptance of non-traditional credit, formal Student Agreements Student Agreement: The Student Agreement is an official evaluation of the student’s prior learning, including courses taken from other institutions, military training school courses, military occupational experience (MOS or Rating), and nationally-recognized examination programs. The Student Agreement serves as a degree plan so that the student has a complete assessment of remaining degree requirements. All SOC Degree Network System member institutions must issue each degree-seeking student who has chosen them as his or her home college a SOCAD, SOCNAV, SOCMAR, or SOCCOAST Student Agreement early in the student’s enrollment at the college or when the student has completed six semester hours with the home college. The Student Agreement form, although standardized cross the four Services participating in the SOC Degree Network System has been tailored to fit individual Service requirements. Templates and instructions for completing Student Agreements are available in Handbook Chapter 4 on the SOC Degree Network System Handbooks CD-ROM of this Handbooks and on the SOCAD, SOCNAV, SOCMAR, and SOCCOAST Web pages. and, for many degrees, guaranteed transferability for specific courses in SOC DNS Course Categories SOC DNS Course Category: A categorization of courses from SOC Degree Network System Core member institutions that are applicable toward a college degree and have comparable academic content. A SOC DNS Course Category is established whenever a group of SOC Degree Network System Core member institutions agree to accept each other’s comparable courses in transfer. Each institution with a course in the SOC DNS Course Category has guaranteed that it will accept in transfer each of the courses from other institutions in the Category in place of its own listed course(s). In some cases, multiple courses from an institution must be taken to satisfy a Category’s requirements. Separate Course Categories are maintained for associate and bachelor’s degree programs. SOC DNS Course Categories are identified by a six-character Course Category Code, with associate degree Category Codes ending with “A” and bachelor’s degree Category Codes ending with “B”. Consult the SOC Degree Network System Transferability Tables for a complete list .
The SOC Degree Network System Handbooks
SOC Degree Network System Handbooks: The SOC Degree Network System Handbooks serve many purposes. they are guides to SOC Degree Network System features, policies, and membership requirements for colleges. They also serve as degree-planning tools for students and academic counselors, listing colleges, degrees, courses in SOC DNS Course Category Codes with guaranteed two-way transfer, and location offerings for associate and Bachelor’s degree programs offered to servicemembers worldwide.
Chapter 1 gives an overview of the SOC Degree Network System and related concepts. Chapter 2 focuses on college requirements, while Chapter 3 is a guide for students. Chapter 4 highlights Student Agreement procedures and polices. Chapter 5 lists college information such as academic policies and points-of-contact, as well as degree programs and their associated delivery methods and networks. Chapter 6 lists program offerings at Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard locations, including degrees offered via distance learning and learning assessment. Chapter 7 lists service-specific initiatives and specialized programs. Chapter 8 lists courses assigned to SOC DNS Course Category Codes in the Transferability Tables, organized by college and by Category Code. The Appendix includes acronyms, definitions, and forms. are a resource for the voluntary education counselor in helping the military student or family member understand the advantages of pursuing an undergraduate degree from a SOCCOAST institution. The Handbooks will help address issues of concern to the military student:
- Anticipating the mobility required of military service. Choosing a SOCCOAST institution as a home college will help the military student or family member earn a degree with minimal loss of credit when duty stations change.
- Making decisions about what college to choose as a home college. While talking with college counselors is an essential part of the military student’s decision process, the SOC Degree Network System Handbooks are designed to provide the military student with information that can help the student make informed choices. Chapter 5 of the Handbooks provides information about SOC Degree Network System colleges, degree programs, methods of course delivery, and school policies—as well as points-of-contact for college staff who know and understand SOCCOAST. Information about service-specific degree programs can also be found in Chapter 7.
- Receiving a formal evaluation of prior learning and remaining degree requirements. For degrees listed in the SOC Degree Network System Handbooks, military students and family members should receive a SOCCOAST Student Agreement from the home college after completing no more than two courses with the college. Chapter 4 of the Handbooks provides information about the policies governing Student Agreements and directions for colleges in completing them.
- Understanding guaranteed transferability among Core SOC Degree Network System member institutions. The guaranteed transferability Guaranteed Transferability: The guarantee by each SOC Degree Network System Core member institution college to accept, in transfer from other Degree Network System Core member institutions, courses in the same SOC DNS Course Categories as comparable to its required courses. for specific courses offered by Core member institutions Core Member Institutions: One membership type within the SOC Degree Network System. Core member institutions offer at least one degree program in a Guaranteed-Transfer Network. They may also offer degree programs in Auxiliary Networks. is an important advantage to military students and family members in making progress toward degree completion. SOC DNS Course Category Codes identify courses with this kind of pre-arranged transferability. Chapter 8 of the Handbooks includes transferability policies and an index of categorized courses by college and SOC DNS Course Category Code.
- Moving to a new duty station. Chapter 6 of the Handbooks lists all SOC Degree Network System colleges by location and network for the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard. Military students and academic counselors can cross-reference the information contained in this chapter with the Transferability Tables in Chapter 8 to find courses at their new location that are guaranteed to transfer back to their home college.
- Answering the military student’s questions. Chapter 3 of the SOC Degree Network System Handbooks is the student’s guide to the SOC Degree Network System and includes answers to many frequently asked questions. Service-specific information can also be found in Chapter 7 arranged by Service: Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard.