A person who serves their country in the United States Armed Forces has a lot of different opportunities open to them. They are stationed at different duty stations around the world, and it involves a lot of starting and stopping. Along with balancing the needs of their dependants and families it makes the process of getting an education more difficult than it can be for those who are civilians. With their service at different duty stations and at locations around the world it becomes a challenge, and it can be daunting for the individual Servicemember. This is one of the reasons that the Servicemember Opportunity Colleges were created. It is a group of facilities and educational colleges and universities that number about 1700 institutions. They work together to try and make it easier for Servicemember families and Servicemembers to attend school.
It can be difficult to maintain the necessary discipline and focus when you are transfer to different duty stations. The program is directly funded by money from DANTES and the Department of Defense. The program is administered and ran through the DANTES program, and the participating schools all agree to pool resources and support for Servicemembers. The different schools try to find ways for members of the Military and Servicemembers to be able to work on coursework, and to attend classes despite the different active duty hardships against attending college. Servicemember Support Education colleges work to set common standards and to create simplified credit transfers, they work to accept credits and coursework from each other in a cooperative effort. They work to eliminate or reduce residency restrictions, to allow more students on active duty to participate. Many SOC schools offer distance learning programs as well as on campus individual courses and degree programs. The Servicemember College Education program publishes a “Guide To the SOC College Consortium,” and it gives information about different programs, SOC member’s schools, programs and different SOC polices.
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There is a wealth of information in the SOC Guide, and the individual policies for each of the schools are listed, as well as CLEP testing, ACE Credits, various Credit by exam programs and other different SOC procedures and polices. The SOC program has support from all 5 of the different Armed Forces Programs.