SOC Principles and Criteria
SOC operates under principles agreed to collectively by the higher education community the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD), and the Military Services, including the Coast Guard.
SOC Principles are predicated upon models such 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). They are drawn principally from the cumulative experience of educational institutions and agencies that successfully work with servicemembers. The Principles embody necessary institutional flexibility with thoughtful development of programs and procedures appropriate to servicemembers’ needs, yet recognize the necessity to protect and assure educational program quality.
Inherent in the SOC Principles are expectations and standards essential to their translation into performance and action. The SOC Criteria express those expectations and standards and constitute an operational framework for SOC institutions to extend to servicemembers undergraduate educational opportunities that are sometimes distinct from common institutional practice. The Criteria characterize flexibility essential to improving servicemembers’ access 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.