Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges’ (SOC) contract—funded by the Department of Defense (DoD)—will undergo some significant changes to the programs and services it provides for the 2015 Fiscal Year. SOC's contract has been modified to meet the changing programmatic needs and oversight demands of voluntary education sponsored by the Military Services and DoD.
The most notable of these changes is the dissolution of the SOC Consortium, the voluntary membership confederation of colleges and universities across the country who collectively agree to abide by the SOC Principles and Criteria in their performance and actions on campus to facilitate degree completion by servicemembers. The SOC Consortium is being phased out and will be completely dissolved by December 31, 2014.
Under the modified contract, the Department of Defense (DoD) plans to:
- Dissolve the SOC Consortium, and phase it out by January 2015. The enhanced Department of Defense (DoD) Voluntary Education Partnership Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) provides a mechanism for current SOC Consortium institutions to continue serving as valued education partners with DoD.
- Consolidate the Degree Network System (DNS) by removing Service distinctions (SOCAD, SOCNAV, SOCMAR, and SOCCOAST). Servicemembers will have full access to all associate and bachelor’s DNS programs irrespective of the member’s branch of Service.
- Establish and expand membership in SOC DNS based on criteria reflective of the needs of the servicemembers, geographic location, and the type and quality of educational program offerings.
- Develop and maintain a resource guide of Career and Technical Education degrees and certificate programs that will assist servicemembers in gaining credentials for the civilian job market.
- Engage SOC to assist the Department and the Services in documenting, investigating, and resolving concerns and complaints submitted regarding compliance with the Voluntary Education Partnership MOU or the Postsecondary Education Complaint System (PECS).
- Dissolve the SOC Advisory Board, a representation group of cooperating higher education agencies and associations, the DoD, and the Military Services who meet annually to provide guidance and direction for the SOC programs and services.
Letter from the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense outlining changes to the Defense-wide contract for SOC programs and services.
Frequently Asked Questions addressed by SOC staff in response to inquiries received from our membership.