There are several programs that can provide you with ways to earn a college degree in less time and for less money. One way is through SOAR.
What is SOAR?
SOAR means Students Occupationally and Academically Ready.
SOAR prepares students for college and careers in a diverse, high-performing workforce. A SOAR Program of Study is a State approved Career & Technical Education Program that credits skills and tasks learned in high school or a Career and Technical Center (CTC) to a college degree, diploma or certificate program.
These FREE college credits are earned while at the high school or CTC by completing the SOAR Program of Study requirements. They are called articulated credits and these FREE articulated credits can save you time and money. A high school graduate who enrolls at HACC in the same technical program can start with between 3 to 12 credits already earned. So it will take less time to earn that degree or certificate and cost less money.
If you graduate from high school and you have completed an approved Career and Technical Education Program you may qualify for SOAR credits. Those credits are accepted at colleges all over Pennsylvania. That means there will be classes you don’t have to take. You can finish college quicker by taking fewer classes and you can save money on the total tuition bill! Many colleges accept 9 credits or more.
How do I do that?
The main steps you need to take are:
- Sign up for a career and technical education program and finish the program
- Earn a high school diploma
- Achieve a minimum 2.5 grade point in your career and technical education program
- Achieve competent or advanced level on the NOCTI
- Achieve proficiency on all tasks in the approved Task List
- If you achieve those requirements then there may be colleges all over Pennsylvania that will award you college credit for the work you did in high school.
Are there other programs that can help?
Dual Enrollment is also known as College in the High School is another program. They are college classes that you can take for a reduced cost while you are going to high school. A Dual Enrollment or College in the High School (CHS) program enables qualified, capable high school students to enroll in college-level courses that are taught at their high school or technical school. Students earn dual enrollment credits from both college and their high school for approved courses that may satisfy high school graduation requirements. These course credits become part of the student’s permanent record and can count towards a college degree program and can be transferred to a number of colleges and universities.
Finally, there may be local credit agreements that your school has developed with a college in your area. You should meet with the high school guidance counselor to see if there are any agreements in your desired field.
SOAR is a statewide program developed through The Pennsylvania Department of Education, by the Bureau of Career and Technical Education.