SOC Principles and Criteria
SOC is founded on principles and criteria agreed upon collectively by the higher education and voluntary education community, the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD), and the Military Services, including the Coast Guard.
SOC Principles are predicated upon such principles as those set forth in the Joint Statement on the Transfer and Award of Credit of the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO), the American Council on Education (ACE), and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA), and are drawn principally from the cumulative experience of educational institutions and agencies judged successful in their work with servicemembers. The SOC Principles encompass institutional flexibility and the thoughtful development of programs and procedures appropriate to the needs of servicemembers, while at the same time recognizing the necessity to protect and assure the quality of education.
The SOC Criteria constitute an operational framework for colleges to extend to servicemembers undergraduate educational opportunities that are sometimes distinct from common institutional practice. The Criteria characterize flexibility essential to the improvement of access by servicemembers to undergraduate educational programs. The Criteria stipulate that institutional policies and practices be fair, equitable, and effective in recognizing special and often limiting conditions faced by military students.