Servicemember's Opportunity Colleges - Navy (SOCNAV) is a system of college curriculum networks designed by SOC for Navy servicemembers and their adult family members. Networks consist of groups of colleges that have agreed to accept each other's courses in a particular program of study. Students can move freely among the colleges in a network without being reevaluated or worrying about whether or not courses will transfer. DNS-2 is the associate degree network system, DNS-4 is the bachelor's degree network system.
SOCNAV consists of colleges that offer associate and bachelor's degree programs on or accessible to Navy installations worldwide through resident courses or distance learning. Colleges taking part in each curriculum area guarantee to accept each other's credits for transfer. The "home" college issues an official evaluation of all prior learning on a SOCNAV Agreement. This agreement serves as the student's long range degree plan.
Why become a SOCNAV student? SOCNAV colleges offer degrees in many different areas (called networks). Students do not lose credits; transferability of courses within the same network is guaranteed from one SOCNAV college to another. Required residency is kept to a minimum. Many SOCNAV networks are closely related to Navy ratings, resulting in maximum award of credit for Navy training. SOCNAV colleges all over the world can be used to satisfy the degree requirements of the home college. SOCNAV programs are available at many military installations; distance learning options are available everywhere. The SOCNAV degree plan prevents the student from duplicating courses already completed.
SOCNAV-2 and SOCNAV-4 colleges provide students with the opportunity to complete college degrees without losing credit because of frequent changes in duty station. Curricula, or courses of study, are offered by colleges and universities on or accessible to most Navy installations worldwide. Some courses and degree programs are even offered on ships at sea.
Colleges within SOCNAV act as "home colleges" for SOCNAV students. Students begin their studies at their home college where they complete the required academic residency. SOCNAV colleges and universities require no more than 25%of a degree program in residence, and courses taken from the college anywhere in the world at any time during study for a degree count toward residency.
After completing no more than six semester hours at the home college, SOCNAV students are eligible for an official evaluation and SOCNAV Student Agreement, which is a degree plan and contract-for-degree. The SOCNAV college includes on the official evaluation appropriate credit for any previous college courses and nontraditional learning, including Navy Rates and Ratings, military training courses, and results of national examinations. Credit for nontraditional learning is based on recommendations of the American Council on Education.
When SOCNAV students are transferred to new duty stations, they may continue to take courses from other SOCNAV colleges, and acquire credit for further military experience and tests. These credits are transferred back to the home college which will award the degree when all academic requirements set forth on the Student Agreement are met.
SOCNAV students can pursue their degrees though three delivery options:
- Traditional Delivery - Courses normally are delivered through classroom-based instruction with some academic residency required. NCPACE, where college instructors deploy with the ship, is included in this option.
- Distance Learning - External-degree option that allows SOCNAV students to take courses without sitting in a traditional classroom. Courses may be by correspondence, computer, video, or other type of independent study. The electronic NCPACE program, which uses computer-interactive video courses, is included in this option.
- Learning Assessment Option - External-degree option that consists of approved curricula that do not require academic residency for graduation. Participating colleges and universities evaluate learning from nontraditional sources, and accept credit in transfer from other institutions.