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SOAR -- Students Occupationally and Academically Ready

The Bureau of Career and Technical Education, Pennsylvania Department of Education, is announcing its initiative with the acronym SOAR, Students Occupationally and Academically Ready.  SOAR is built on programs of study, which incorporate secondary and postsecondary education elements; and, which include coherent and rigorous content aligned with challenging academic standards, and relevant career and technical content.  These career and technical programs include a statewide articulation agreement partnership between secondary schools and postsecondary institutions.  For more information on this initiative, please click on SOAR.

SOAR Supports High Demand Careers

SOAR programs include High Priority Occupations (HPO), which include career categories that are in high demand by employers, have higher skill needs, and are most likely to provide family sustaining wages.

SOAR Saves Money on College Tuition

SOAR programs can help ease some of the financial burden of educational costs.  With rising tuition costs at postsecondary institutions, students and their parents are exploring opportunities to save money.  These programs were developed by the PA Bureau of Career and Technical Education with input from secondary and postsecondary instructors, as well as industry representatives.  This collaboration helped to identify the core competencies to be taught at the high school level.  As a result, students who demonstrate proficiency in their technical coursework (as defined by the statewide articulation agreement) may be eligible to receive nine or more college credits for coursework they complete in high school.  By visiting, teachers, parents, and students can access information for any SOAR program, and discover which postsecondary institutions across Pennsylvania are offering credits, which programs those credits apply to, and the process by which a student can apply to receive the credits.

Goals of SOAR:

SOAR is the career and technical Program of Study (POS) educational plan that articulates the secondary career and technical programs to postsecondary degree, diploma, or certificate programs.  SOAR programs lead students into a career pathway that align the secondary and postsecondary, in order to complete a degree or certificate.

Benefits of SOAR:
1.            Saving Money on College Tuition
2.            Saving Time by Shortening College Attendance
3.            Getting on the Right Career Pathway
4.            Entering the Job Market Ready
5.            Getting a Consistent Education

Frameworks of SOAR:

Secondary Components
1.            Validated Competency Lists
2.            Alignment to PA Academic Standards
3.            Articulation to Postsecondary Institutions
4.            PDE/BCTE Career and Technical Education Program Approval
5.            End of Program Assessment
6.            Industry Certification Alignment, if appropriate

Postsecondary Components
1.            Articulation to Secondary Programs
2.            Validated Core Common Competency Lists
3.            Alignment to College Standards
4.            Approved Career and Technical Education Programs
5.            End of Program Assessment
6.            Industry Certification Alignment, if appropriate

Articulation Information of SOAR:

The SOAR Program Agreement:  Articulation for advanced credit transfer is made possible when Perkins allocated postsecondary institutions and Pennsylvania secondary schools offering SOAR programs agree to the terms and conditions stated in the Perkins Statewide Articulation Agreement.  This agreement outlines the general agreement conditions between secondary and postsecondary institutions and student qualification measures, allowing for the student to acquire postsecondary education credits leading to an industry-recognized credential or certificate at the postsecondary level, or to an associate or baccalaureate degree.

To view the website of Perkins Statewide Articulation Agreement and other materials related to POS Programs, please click on Articulation.

SOAR Advanced College Credit Opportunities:

SOAR programs offer qualifying students advanced credits with partnering postsecondary institutions in aligned CTE programs.  To view current advanced credit opportunities articulated with postsecondary institutions, please visit the equivalency search results by clicking here.