Servicemembers Opportunity Colleges (SOC) was created in 1972 to provide educational opportunities to Sailors experiencing trouble completing college degrees due to their frequent moves. 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 Sailors worldwide. It is funded by 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).
The SOC Degree Network System (DNS) consists of degree-granting colleges and universities that have adopted policies outlined in the Voluntary Education Partnership Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to help Service members and their adult family members earn college degrees. Many courses offered by DNS institutions have two-way guaranteed transferability, making it easier for Service members to complete associate and bachelor’s degrees no matter where they move during their military careers. The SOC DNS was consolidated in Fall 2014 into a 2-year institution and 4-year institution system without Service branch designations (SOCAD, SOCNAV, SOCMAR, and SOCCOAST). DNS institutions will be required to sign the most recent DoD MOU governing institutions providing voluntary instruction to Service members.
The SOC Program is a cooperative civilian and military effort designed to link Sailors to institutions that provide high quality education while 1) maximizing the proper award of academic credit for military training and experience, and alternative testing, and 2) facilitating the transferability of credits, so Sailors can reach their educational goals and the goals of the Services.
Further information on SOC DNS is available from SOC .