Students Occupationally and Academically Ready (SOAR)
A SOAR Program is a Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE)-approved, Career and Technical Education (CTE) program. It provides credits for skills and tasks learned at the secondary-school (high school) level. You can apply these credits to a post-secondary (college) degree, diploma or certificate program.
SOAR students can earn three to 12 articulated credits while in high school or at a Career and Technical Center (CTC). Depending on the program, you may be able to apply these credits to a college degree, diploma or certificate program.
We base SOAR programs on high-priority occupations.
What is a SOAR program?
The SOAR program strives to prepare students for college and careers in a diverse, high-performing workforce.
SOAR programs also prepare students for high-priority occupations. We consider high-demand careers high priority. We also place priority on careers that pay high wages.
Why should I enroll in a SOAR program?
A SOAR program offers many benefits. You will:
- Get a head start and complete your college requirements sooner.
- Earn an industry-recognized certification.
- Be better prepared to start your career or post-secondary education.
- Save money on future tuition costs —you will be earning credits while in high school or CTC.
- Earn credits that can transfer statewide. There are 40 post-secondary institutions accepting SOAR program credits.
How can I earn free SOAR credits?
- Earn a high school diploma.
- Achieve a minimum 2.5 GPA in your Career and Technical Education program (shop).
- Achieve competent or advanced level on the NOCTI.
- Achieve proficiency on tasks in the approved task list.
- Submit proof that you have met the requirements for the SOAR credit. You can submit proof to:
What does articulation mean?
Articulation is an agreement between two schools. Technical high schools and high schools with Career and Technical programs work with colleges and post-secondary schools. They compare the curriculum and tasks at the high school level. When the high school curriculum matches introductory college courses, the college accepts the credits. It is similar to advanced entrance.
What documentation is required for college credits?
You must provide the following documentation, if applicable:
- High school diploma
- Official student transcript
- Secondary competency task list. Make sure your secondary-school technical instructor signs it.
- PA Certificate of Competency or PA Skills Certificate from technical program area
- Earned industry certifications
Student Documentation Coversheet for Programs of Study Articulation Agreements (pdf)
Coversheet for Secondary Competency Task List (pdf)
Notify your guidance counselor to submit the documentation. Your guidance counselor will provide assistance.
How many post-secondary credits can I receive?
Your awarded credits are CTE-program specific. The amount varies among the partnering post-secondary institutions.
Do I need to complete all competencies on the POS Secondary Competency Task List?
You must complete all the tasks listed on the Secondary Competency Task List to industry proficiency level. You will qualify for the course credits once you complete these tasks.
You must complete all tasks —we will not award partial credits.
How long do I have before the credits expire?
Your credits will expire 3 years from your graduation date. You must apply and enroll into the related CTE program at a partnering post-secondary institution in order to receive credit.
Where can I get more information about the SOAR program?
- View more information online at www.education.state.pa.us
- Visit the Career Resource Center
- Visit the Pennsylvania Career Zone
- Visit PA Career Standards
- View SOAR programs offered at LCCTC (Collegetransfer.net)
- View a list of institutions accepting SOAR credits
- View types of transfer credits
- Visit the National Occupational Competency Testing Institute (NOCTI)
Click here to view information on Entrance Testing [This link refers to one of the draft pages that we have set up for Pathways. The entrance testing page is not live so a link here will not work until it is live.]
Who can I contact for more information?
For further information, please contact your school counselor.