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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 additional information link , limited academic residency, additional information link , acceptance of non-traditional credit, formal Student Agreements additional information link and, for many degrees, guaranteed transferability for specific courses in SOC DNS Course Categories additional information link .

The SOC Degree Network System Handbooks additional information link 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 additional information link for specific courses offered by Core member institutions additional information link 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.