Articulation/College Credit

Options for CTE Students to Receive College Credits for Completing their CTE Program

Students enrolled in approved Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs have three (3) options to gain college credits for their successful completion of their CTE programs, NOCTI exams, and also the achievement of selected industry certification exams – SOARS, NCCRS and ACE. A description of these options are detailed below:

Option 1.

SOARS (Students Occupationally and Academically Ready)

SOARS logo


What Is SOAR?

The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) supports Career and Technical Education students aligning their high school courses to a college program in order to complete a degree, diploma or certificate. SOAR stands for Students Occupationally and Academically Ready. SOAR programs articulate skills and tasks gained at the secondary school (high school) level to course credit earned in a postsecondary (college) degree, diploma or certificate program. SOAR programs can help students:

  • Prepare for entering the job market with college and career ready skills
  • Choose the best career pathway
  • Save money on college tuition
  • Save time by not duplicating coursework in college
Current List of SOAR Programs
Learn more about SOAR Programs
PA SOAR Flyer (English)
PA SOAR Flyer (Spanish)

How Does a Student Qualify for SOAR Credits?

Qualified SOAR program students are eligible to apply for credits up to three (3) years after their high school graduation date. In order to qualify for SOAR program postsecondary credits a student must:

  • Earn a high school diploma, with a minimum 2.5 GPA on a 4.0 scale in the technical core courses
  • Complete the secondary school component of the approved PDE Program of Study
  • Achieve proficiency on all tasks of the approved PDE Program of Study Competency Task List
  • Achieve Competent or Advanced level on the secondary school end-of-program assessment (NOCTI test) that is appropriate for the approved PDE Program of Study

How Do I Find a College that Offers Articulated Credit with SOAR Program(s)?

The following PowerPoint presentation will provide you some information on how to use the search feature on using SOARS and for students to pursue receiving credit for completing their CTE Program of Study (POS): http://www.collegetransfer.net/portals/0/bcte/BCTE_ProgramSearchGuide.pdf

To begin your search, go to - PA Bureau of Career and Technical Education Program Of Study Search

Once a search is completed, the results displayed will indicate how credit may be awarded to an individual that has successfully taken the particular POS. The results are ordered alphabetically by institution and users can select View Detail to see more information about the articulation.

How Do I Apply for SOAR Credits?

The student will apply through the normal admissions process at the postsecondary institution found in the SOAR program search. In addition, the student will need to submit the following required documentation designating that he or she is a SOAR participant seeking advanced credit:

  1. Copy of High School Diploma
  2. Official High School Transcript
  3. Perkins Statewide Articulation Agreement Coversheet
  4. Perkins Secondary Competency Task List with the signature of your high school technical instructor
  5. Pennsylvania Skills Certificate or the Pennsylvania Certificate of Competency earned in your technical program

Students should contact their high school guidance counselor for assistance with submitting these additional documents. Qualified SOAR program students are eligible to apply for credits up to 3 years after their high school graduation date.

Option 2

National College Credit Recommendation Service (NCCRS)

National College Credit Recommendation Service


NOCTI collaborates with the National College Credit Recommendation Service (NCCRS) to evaluate all of its credentials. Experienced industry experts and professors evaluated the rigor of the NOCTI assessments to translate the content into college credit equivalencies.

NCCRS College Credit Recommendation Flyer
List of Cooperating Colleges/Universities
List of Eligible Assessments, Assessment content, and Recommended Credit

How Does it Work?

  1. Students must meet a 70% benchmark on an approved NOCTI multiple-choice (Written test) credential to be eligible.
  2. A College Credit Recommendation Report will be generated for each eligible student at no additional cost.
  3. Communicate with the college the student plans to attend to see if an "official" transcript is needed or if the free "College Credit Recommendation Report" generated as part of the NOCTI score report package will suffice.
  4. An "official" transcript may be obtained through Excelsior College for $45.00 per test per student. Because each college is different, confirm the college will accept a transcript from Excelsior prior to completing an application.
  5. Application for Excelsior College Transcript

Option 3

ACE (American Council on Education)
ACE logo 
The American Council on Education (ACE) has reviewed and recommended the following industry certification exams for college credit:

  • Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) certification for Office 2010, Office 2007, Office 2003, Office XP, and Office 2000
  • Internet and Computing Core Certification (IC3) GS3, GS4, 2007 & 2005 standards
  • Adobe Certified Associate for Creative Suite 6, Creative Suite 5, Creative Suite 4, and Creative Suite 3 applications
Individuals who currently hold or are pursuing IC3 Digital Literacy certification, Microsoft Office Specialist certification or Adobe Certified Associate certification may apply for college credit through the American Council on Education (ACE) member institutions.

Ultimately, the college or university the student will attend (or plans to attend) will independently decide whether to grant credit and waive associated tuition requirements. However, ACE member institutions give considerable weight to ACE credit recommendations. Contact your institution, or the institution you plan to attend, and inquire about its policy regarding ACE credit recommendations.

How do I get credit?
  1. Visit the ACE College Credit Recommendation Service web site to register with ACE. 
  2. Provide the college/institution of your choice with an ACE Credit Recommendations Transcript verifying your Certiport credential(s).

An ACE Credit Recommendations Transcript contains all of your ACE-evaluated exams in one document with easy-to-read descriptions, ACE credit recommendations, and suggested transfer areas. Your transcript can be released at any time to you or a college or university of your choice. ACE does charge a fee to provide copies of the transcript.