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SOAR FAQs

SOAR FAQs

Learn about SOAR programs &Perkins Statewide Articulation by looking at our FAQs.

1.What does SOAR stand for?

SOAR stands for Students Occupationally and Academically Ready.  


2. What is a SOAR program?  

The SOAR program strives to prepare students for college and careers in a diverse, high-performing workforce.  

A SOAR Program is a PA 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 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.

Learn more about specific SOAR programs. 


3. What is a CTE articulation agreement?  

A CTE Articulation Agreement is a written agreement between two institutions. This agreement allows you to apply skills and tasks learned at one institution to another other institution. For SOAR programs, you can apply the skills and tasks learned at the secondary school towards a degree or certificate at a post-secondary institution.  

The PDE representing the Secondary School Partners and Perkins-Allocated Postsecondary Institution Partners make the agreement.


4. What does statewide articulation mean?  

Specific Perkins-allocated post-secondary institutions often agree to award college credit opportunities. This is statewide articulation. They award credits to any qualifying graduate of a PDE-approved secondary school that offers SOAR programs. These schools are located across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.  


5. Where can I learn more about the SOAR programs Statewide Articulation Agreement?  

Perkins-allocated post-secondary institutions and Pennsylvania secondary schools offering SOAR programs agree to the terms and conditions of the Perkins Statewide Articulation Agreement.  

This agreement outlines the general agreement conditions between secondary and post-secondary institutions. It also outlines student qualification measures.

Download the Perkins Statewide Articulation Agreement (pdf). 


6. Why offer college credits for secondary school work?  

Post-secondary institutions receive funds under the Pennsylvania State Five-Year Plan. They also work in accordance with the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Improvement Act of 2006. All post-secondary institutions receiving these funds award college-level credits or equivalent clock hours.  

You can apply the credits toward the PDE-approved study program. After completing the program, students earn an industry-recognized credential or certificate. They can also earn an associate or baccalaureate degree.  


7. Which PA secondary schools offer PDE-Approved SOAR programs?

8. Which PA post-secondary institutions accept credits from SOAR programs?
  • View the current list of post-secondary institutions accepting credits from SOAR programs.
  • Refine the search to see a specific institution. You can view its articulation opportunities in a specific SOAR program.

9. How can I qualify for SOAR post-secondary college credits? 

There are requirements to receiving SOAR college-level credits. You must: 

  • Earn a high school diploma.
  • Achieve a minimum 2.5 GPA in the technical courses.
  • Complete the secondary school component of the PDE-approved study program.
  • Achieve competent or advanced level on the secondary school end-of-program assessment. Your assessment should coincide with your PDE-approved study program.
  • Achieve proficiency on the PDE-approved study program secondary competency task list.
  • Submit documentation to the post-secondary institution upon written request. Documents should verify you meet all secondary requirements of the PDE-approved study program.

10. What documentation is required for advanced 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 in 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. The following flowchart provides more information on the student documentation:

Student Documentation Flowchart 

11. How many post-secondary credits can I receive? 
Your awarded credits are CTE-program specific. The amount varies among the partnering post-secondary institutions.

View current advanced credit opportunities.
 

12. 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.  


13. 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.