SOC DNS Membership

The Degree Network System (DNS) is a group of accredited institutions that participate in transfer and articulation rules designed to help servicemembers earn a college degree. These institutions also have policies and programs in place to serve the educational needs of the active duty military student.

There are two components of the Degree Network System:

  • Degree Network System-2 for associate degrees;
  • Degree Network System-4 for bachelor’s degrees

Institutional and degree membership in both the DNS-2 and -4 demonstrates a commitment to providing a high quality, tailored educational experience for servicemembers and to active duty military student success. Membership provides institutions with high visibility within the military voluntary education community.

Key features of SOC DNS membership include:

  • SOC DNS schools agree to limit their students’ academic residency requirements to no more than 25% of the degree (30% if the degree is offered completely online).
  • Acceptance of non-traditional credit including military service and training experience and nationally recognized testing programs.
  • Many SOC DNS schools offer courses through a variety of delivery methods.
  • Guaranteed transferability of major and major-related course work between member institutions.
  • Flexible policies, including the refund of military Tuition Assistance funds when official military obligations prevent the student from completing a course that s/he has registered for, and readmission to a degree program the student may have had to temporarily discontinue due to deployment or transfer.
  • SOC DNS member schools are required to issue a SOC DNS Student Agreement to military students.

The SOC DNS periodically issues a Call for Programs, soliciting degree program submissions from current and prospective DNS member institutions. Institutions having programs in those specifically identified areas may submit their programs for integration into the SOC DNS. Membership criteria and a current list of programs being solicited for integration into the DNS may be found on the SOC DNS Membership page.

Benefits of SOC DNS Membership

There are many benefits to becoming a SOC DNS member institution. These benefits include:

  • Increased visibility within the military voluntary education community;
  • Demonstration of a commitment to meeting the needs of military students as they pursue educational goals while facing the challenges of deployment, transfer, and military duties;
  • Inclusion in SOC DNS informational media including the SOC DNS Handbooks and on the SOC website.

Responsibilities of SOC DNS Membership

Students expect clear and honest communication from their institution’s academic counselors, and assessment of prior learning from the institution in its outreach to the military community.

As a SOC DNS member, colleges and universities are also required to complete the following to remain in good standing:

  • Issuance of SOC DNS Student Agreements for all eligible students;
  • Designation of a dedicated SOC DNS Point-of-Contact at the institution;
  • Completion of the Annual SOC DNS Handbook Update;
  • Response to requests for SOC DNS Course Circulations;
  • Submission of the annual Graduate Survey;
  • Providing advising/academic counseling to military students or referring them to an advisor
  • Develop institution-wide awareness of the specific needs of active duty military students (e.g., deployments, military credit recommendations, and readmission policy).

The SOC DNS Student Agreement is an educational plan detailing the courses and academic requirements for the educational credential and provides a roadmap for success. An institution is expected to evaluate servicemembers’ sources of prior learning and apply transfer and evaluated credits for non- traditional learning that is applicable to their selected education plan, and consistent with the institution’s academic policies.