Service members Opportunity Colleges (SOC) was created in 1972 to provide educational opportunities to service members who, because they frequently moved from place to place, had trouble completing college degrees. SOC functions in cooperation with fifteen higher education associations, the Department of Defense (DoD), and active and Reserve Components of the military Services to expand and improve voluntary postsecondary education opportunities for service members worldwide. SOC is funded by the DoD through a contract with the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU). The contract is managed for DoD by the Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support (DANTES).
Because of the realities of the mobile military lifestyle, Service members Opportunity Colleges criteria stipulates that institutional policies and practices be fair, equitable, and effective in recognizing the special and often limiting conditions faced by military students.
Colleges and universities within the Service members Opportunity Colleges Consortium must meet four Criteria:
(Source: Voluntary Education, 2011, http://apps.mhf.dod.mil/pls/psgprod/f?p=VOLED:SUB:0::::COHE,TITLE,IMG:257735,Programs,257789)
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