SOCCOAST: Degree Programs for the Coast Guard

SOC Degree Network System Terminology

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.

Affiliate Member Institutions – One membership type within the SOC Degree Network System. Affiliate member institutions offer distinctive and highly-specialized degree programs that meet an identified educational need of a particular Military Service, often associated with a specific MOS or Rating, or serving a targeted military population.

Auxiliary Network – One network type within the SOC Degree Network System. An Auxiliary Network consists of degrees in a single academic area that fall outside of the Guaranteed-Transfer Networks. Degree programs in Auxiliary Networks are not required to meet transfer standards that apply to degrees within the Guaranteed-Transfer Networks, but may include some guaranteed Transferability derived from courses also present in the college ’s Guaranteed-Transfer Network degrees.

Comparable Courses – Courses that are considered to be equivalent in academic content. Credit hours and/or upper- and lower-level course numbering, however, may vary among comparable courses if the content is deemed to be equivalent. Comparable courses are listed together by SOC DNS Course Category in the Transferability Tables.

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.

Course Category – See “SOC DNS Course Category”

Degree Network System – See “SOC Degree Network System”

Delivery Methods – Three methods by which SOC Degree Network System member institutions make degrees available to students. They are Traditional Delivery, Distance Learning, and Learning Assessment.

Distance Learning – An external degree delivery method that provides instruction by non-traditional means (e.g., Internet, video, teleconferencing, correspondence) and may require academic residency at a given institution. Distance learning degrees within the SOC Degree Network System are those degrees in which the majority of credit hours required are available to servicemembers through a distance delivery mode from the home college.

Guaranteed Transferability – SOC DNS Core member institutions guarantee transfer of courses in SOC DNS Course Categories, so that courses may be transferred back to the home college without prior approval. Courses mapped to SOC DNS Course Categories appear on the SOC DNS Student Agreement, in Chapter 8 of the SOC Degree Network System Handbooks, and in the Guaranteed-Transfer Courses section of the Web site.

Guaranteed-Transfer Network – One network type within the SOC Degree Network System. A Guaranteed-Transfer Network consists of degrees in a single academic area that must achieve a 40 percent standard of two-way guaranteed transferability in major and major-related courses.

Handbooks – See “SOC Degree Network System Handbook”

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.

Learning Assessment – An external degree delivery method that usually requires little or no academic residency and may be based entirely on college credits derived from evaluation of learning from nontraditional sources or transfer of credit from other institutions.

Network – A number of degree programs in a single academic area offered by SOC Degree Network System Core member institutions at a variety of military installations, through distance learning, or by learning assessment. There are two types of networks with the Degree Network System: Guaranteed-Transfer Networks and Auxiliary Networks.

Official Evaluation – A determination by the college of credits accepted in transfer and awarded for previous formal and non-traditional education and experience and an official notification to the student of those decisions. The awards are guaranteed to the student by the institution as soon as the Student Agreement is issued.

Quarter Hour – An award of college credit typically resulting from completion of a minimum of 10 classroom hours of study (normally at least 20 are needed for laboratory or shop activities). One-quarter hour converts to 2/3 semester hours.

Resident Credits – Academic credits taken with a college, whether on campus, at a military installation, at some other off-campus location, or through distance learning.

Semester Hour – An award of college credit typically resulting from completion of a minimum of 15 classroom hours of study (normally at least 30 are needed for laboratory or shop activities). One semester hour converts to 1.5 quarter hours.

SOC Degree Network System – A sub-group of SOC Consortium member institutions selected by the Military Services to deliver specific associate and bachelor’s degree programs to servicemembers and their adult family members. SOC operates the Degree Network System for the Army (SOCAD), the Navy (SOCNAV), the Marine Corps (SOCMAR), and the Coast Guard (SOCCOAST).

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 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.

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.

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 across 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 Handbooks Chapter 4 on the SOC Degree Network System Handbooks CD-ROM of these Handbooks and on the SOCAD, SOCNAV, SOCMAR, and SOCCOAST Web pages.

Traditional Delivery – A delivery method that includes classroom-based instruction and an academic residency requirement.

Transferability Tables – The listing of courses that are mutually accepted in transfer for each SOC DNS Course Category. Within a Category, these courses are guaranteed to be accepted in transfer in place of the course(s) listed from any other SOC Degree Network System Core member institution within the same Course Category. Both current and recently removed courses, or those with a “Before” date, are listed for easy reference. Separate Transferability Tables apply to associate and bachelor ’s degree programs.