Military Student Advocacy
Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges (SOC) was created in 1972 to help meet the voluntary higher education needs of servicemembers. Policies and programs such as SOC Principles and Criteria, SOC Standards of Good Practice, and the Military Student Bill of Rights, were created to fulfill SOC’s mission statement to Serve, Strengthen, and Advocate.
SOC functions in cooperation with the Department of Defense (DoD) and Active and Reserve Components of the Military Services to expand and improve voluntary postsecondary education opportunities for servicemembers worldwide. SOC provides program support for DoD and the Military Services related to the Postsecondary Education Complaint System (PECS) where servicemembers and families can register complaints about postsecondary institutions.
SOC also delivers program support for DoD MOU compliance issues working collaboratively with institutions to clarify and resolve identified concerns. The DoD also has specific policies and programs that govern Voluntary Education for servicemembers. Visit the DoD MOU website for more information on DoD Voluntary Education policies.
In addition, SOC continues to serve as a troubleshooter⁄ advocate for military servicemembers and families by working with other voluntary education-related organizations.
SOC Program & Policy Resources
- SOC Principles and Criteria
- SOC Standards of Good Practice
- Video Series: Selecting a College That's the Right Fit for You
- Activation⁄Mobilization Support
- Veteran and Military Family Programs and Services
SOC Program Publications
- Military Student Bill of Rights
- Pocket Guide for College Outreach to Military Students
- Educational Attainment: Tracking the Academic Success of Servicemembers and Veterans
- Examples from the Field: Strategic Enrollment Management (SEM)-Related Institutional Initiatives for Military Servicemembers
SOC also provides voluntary education related web links with valuable information to both students and college administrators. Policy letters, federal law, state laws, and governing policies addressing activation of military students including letters issued by the American Council on Education (ACE) and the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) to their member institutions are also available.