There are many ways that students can earn college credits while enrolled at TCHS Brandywine:1. SOAR Credits available in almost all programs and transferring to 42 colleges,2. One-to-One Articulations with dozens of colleges for specific credits,3. Credit for Prior Learning negotiated with your college, and4. College Open Enrollment as a real college student, at a reduced rate!Opportunities are specific to each Career & Technical Education program. For more information, e-mail Jane Fraschilla, Post-Secondary Coordinator, or call 610-247-2485.
1. SOAR CreditsStudents Occupationally and Academically Ready
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.View the SOAR Frequently Asked QuestionsSOAR 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).
To Qualify For Free SOAR Credits Offered at Participating Colleges:
- Save Money on College Tuition!
- Save Time by Shortening College Attendance!
- Get on the Right Career Pathway, Right Away
- Enter the Job Market Ready to Work
- Get a Consistent Education
- Students must be enrolled in an approved Program of Study (POS) in the PDE SOAR program.
- 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.
- Students must achieve a 2.5 GPA in the CTE program.
- 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.
- Students must complete the SOAR statewide articulation competency list for their Program of Study.
To Access These Free SOAR Credits:
- Students may access these POS articulated college credits up to three (3) years after high school graduation.
- 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.
- Students must follow all normal college application processes and procedures, including testing and fees.
- 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.
- 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.
- The college will not charge for the Program of Study (POS) credits; they are free.
- Students may earn credits at participating colleges. The list of colleges and courses is available on the web at: www.collegetransfer.net. Check the website periodically for new additions. Use “PA Bureau of Career and Technical Education” as the “From” college.
For more information, go to Pennsylvania Department of Education website for SOAR Programs of Study.
2. One-to-One Articulation Agreementswith state and national colleges
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 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.
3. Credit for Prior LearningTime Shortened and Money Saved
- Student receives a college acceptance letter.
- Student contacts the college advisement department to inquire about earning credit for prior learning and makes an appointment.
Things to 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?
- Please note, this process can vary between colleges.
4. College Open EnrollmentA real college experience before you graduate high school
1) Always check with your high school counseling office to clarify whether or not college credit will apply toward high school graduation requirements. This is called Dual-Enrollment and is a great opportunity to have your coursework carry double-duty as high school and college credit.
2) Contact TCHS Pickering's Guidance Counselor to begin the college enrollment process.
Our Goal: Each Student Ready for Their Future
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. SOAR Programs of Study, Articulation Agreements, and Dual-Enrollment options 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!
- Complete higher-level academic and technical courses!
- Continue your education via a post-secondary program such as an associate's degree, apprenticeship, industry certification, and more!
Additional Resources for Career Searches and Post-Secondary Opportunities:
- The Center for Workforce Information & Analysis - Pennsylvania Workforce Statistics
- Bureau of Labor Statistics - Occupational Outlook Handbook
- PA Career Guide http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt?open=514&objID=809063&mode=2
- Commonwealth Workforce Development System - Pennsylvania CareerLink
- Pennsylvania Statewide Career Coach