• Earning College Credits for High School Coursework Completed at TCHS Pickering

    There are several ways that students can earn college credits while enrolled at TCHS Pickering:

    1. Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE): Students Occupationally and Academically Ready (SOAR) Statewide Articulation/Program of Study
    2. One to One Articulations
    3. Credit for Prior Learning
    4. College Open Enrollment
    Opportunities are specific to each Career & Technical Education program.  For more information,
    please e-mail
    Jane Fraschilla, post-secondary coordinator, or call 610-247-2485.


    Click on the SOAR pamphlet title below to learn more about earning college credit for high school coursework.

                                                  Your Future Begins Before High School Graduation

    Click here to see how SOAR programs are accepted at higher education institutions 
    Students Occupationally and Academically Ready (SOAR) Programs of Study are career and technical education programs approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE). SOAR Programs of Study are considered by Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry to be High Priority Occupations, which means that they are in high demand because they require a high skill level. As a result, graduates of these programs are likely to earn higher than average wages.
    What’s more, high school students enrolled in SOAR programs can earn free college credits as a result of partnerships between secondary schools (high schools) and post-secondary institutions (colleges, universities, etc.). In fact, many of these post-secondary institutions offer nine free credits, and at least one offers 21 free credits - that’s more than a free semester of college courses! In short, SOAR programs lead students who qualify into a career pathways that aligns their high school courses with post-secondary programs for completion of a college degree or certificate.
    SOAR is the Pennsylvania Department of Education's official statewide college track pathway for Career and Technical Education (CTE) students completing approved Programs of Study.

    Career-focused technical skills can help with job advancement, job security, and job portability for current or emerging occupational opportunities (high priority occupations).

    Saving Money on College Tuition
    Saving Time by Shortening College Attendance
    Getting on the Right Career Pathway
    Entering the Job Market Ready
    Getting a Consistent Education
    To Qualify For Free SOAR Credits Offered at Participating Colleges:
    1.  Students must be enrolled in an approved Program of Study (POS) in the PDE SOAR program.
    2. Students are expected to prepare for both college and a career by taking college prep academics, for example: College Prep English or Algebra II by junior year.
    3. Students must achieve a 2.5 GPA in the CTE program.
    4. Students must score competent or advanced on the end-of-CTE-program test called the NOCTI, which is taken during the spring semester of senior year of high school.
    5. Students must complete the SOAR statewide articulation competency list for their Program of Study.

     To Access These Free SOAR Credits:

    1. Students may access these POS articulated college credits up to three (3) years after high school graduation.
    2. Students must present the following documentation when applying to a college participating in SOAR: transcript showing technical GPA, evidence of NOCTI scores, technical competency task list signed by the CTE teacher, and their high school diploma.
    3. Students must follow all normal college application processes and procedures,  including testing and fees.
    4. Students should also provide to the college evidence of industry certifications earned. These might provide the student with college credits in addition to the free SOAR credits.
    5. The college will determine when the student will receive the articulated SOAR credit. These credits may be granted immediately upon admission to the college or the college may require the student to earn a minimum number of successful credits in order to have the articulated SOAR credits entered onto a transcript.
    6. The college will not charge for the Program of Study (POS) credits, they are free.
    7. Students may earn credits at participating colleges. The list of colleges and courses is available on the web at: Click here view the list of participating colleges and the courses they offer. Check the website periodically for new additions. Use “PA Bureau of Career and Technical Education” as the “From” college.

    The Career & Technical Education programs listed below have received Pennsylvania Department of Education program approval for SOAR Programs of Study delivery for 2012-2013.

    Automotive Collision Technology (Autobody/Collision and Repair Technology/Technician 47.0603)
    Automotive Service Technology (Automobile/Automotive Mechanics Technology/Technician 47.0604)
    Carpentry (Carpentry/Carpenter 46.0201)

    Culinary Arts (Institutional Food Workers 12.0508)

    Early Childhood Care and Education (Child Care and Support Services Management 19.0708)
    Electronic Systems Technology (Electrical, Electronic and Communications Engineering Technology/Technician 15.0303)

    Engine Technology (Vehicle Maintenance and Repair Technologies, Other 47.0699)
    Finance Academy (Accounting Technology / Technician and Bookkeeping, 52.0302
    Health Career Academy/Pre-Nursing(Health Professions and related Clinical Sciences, Other 51.9999)
    Health Occupations (Health/Medical Assisting Services 51.0899)
    HVAC (Heating, Air Conditioning, Ventilation and Refrigeration. 47.0201)

    For more information, go to Pennsylvania Department of Education website for SOAR Programs of Study.  Please check the links on the side bar Articulations for Post Secondary Information and Framework for Secondary Information


    Many Career & Technical Education programs at the Technical College High School have additional articulation agreements with post secondary colleges and technical schools. These agreements are specific to each post secondary institution and may provide for advanced placement based on the competencies or industry standard certifications mastered at TCHS.

    • Current agreements are active with Harcum Community College and Delaware Valley College for Animal Science students; Montgomery County Community College and Johnson & Wales University for Culinary Arts students, and University of Northwestern Ohio for students in the Automotive Service Technology program.
    • Agreements are established between TCHS and post-secondary institutions, including community colleges and technical schools.
    • Agreements provide eligible TCHS graduates opportunities to earn advanced college credits for technical course work mastered at TCHS.
    • By obtaining advanced credits, TCHS students avoid duplicating course work and may save on tuition costs.
    • Agreements may also provide other incentives for eligible TCHS graduates.




    1) Student receives a college acceptance letter.

    2) Student contacts the college advisement department to inquire about earning credit for prior learning and makes an appointment.

    Ask:  Should I bring my art portfolio?
            Should I bring my e-portfolio?
            Should I bring documentation of certifications I have earned in high school?
            Are there any fees?

      3) Please note, this process can vary between colleges.





    High school students, in 11th and 12th grade, may be eligible to attend college and start taking college courses on their own. 

    1) Always check with your high school counseling office to clarify whether or not college credit will apply

    toward high school graduation requirements.

    2) Contact the college admissions department to complete the college enrollment process.



    All students should be planning for their future career pathway by researching the required skills, education, projected job openings,working conditions, and starting salaries. It is expected that 80% of jobs through 2020 will require at least two years of post-secondary training/education. Most existing jobs do not and most future jobs will not require a four-year college degree. Programs of Study and Articulation Agreements help students prepare for high-skill, high-wage, and high-demand jobs. These are referred to as gold collar jobs.

    • Focusing on a career objective.
    • Completing higher level academic and technical courses.
    • Continuing their education via a post-secondary program such as an associate's degree, apprenticeship, industry certification, etc.



    The following web sites are resources for career related research:

    The Center for Workforce Information & Analysis - Pennsylvania Workforce Statistics

    Bureau of Labor Statistics - Occupational Outlook Handbook

    PA Career Guide