Connecting Campuses and Companies via Experiential Learning

A team of educators, technology builders, and recent grads dedicated to producing more career-ready graduates. SOC helps colleges and companies run quality, scalable experiential learning programs.

Why Does SOC Exist?

Students are entering an increasingly competitive career market where Experiential Learning (EL) is required for career-readiness. 

A key predictor of success after graduation—in terms of career goals, placement, improvements in critical thinking, and general post-grad life satisfaction—is EL participation. 

At SOC, our mission is for every student to participate in EL opportunities, so they are better prepared to enter a rapidly evolving 21st-century life and workforce. 

Less than 15% participate each year.

There are decades of research that show the value of Experiential Learning (EL) for campuses, companies, and students alike. However, less than 15% of students participate in EL opportunities each year. 

Why is this? Simply put, it is a massive logistical challenge for all parties involved. First: Campuses and companies must negotiate and sign legal agreements to work together to design joint programming. Second: they must implement the programming without the bandwidth, processes, technology, or resources to do so at scale.

Getting to 100%

SOC solves Experiential Learning (EL) scaling and implementation challenges with two services:

For higher ed, SOC provides a research-based program to get schools to a “full-scale” EL operation in 18-36 months. For employers, we help design and run custom EL projects with thousands of students at hundreds of colleges and universities nationwide.

We believe every student can and should participate in quality EL education to help bolster their career-readiness and achieve their life goals.

Our Story

Student Opportunity Center (SOC) began when a group of students at Florida State University noticed that many of their classmates wanted to do more to better themselves and be more career-ready during their time in college but simply didn’t know where to start. Initially, SOC started as a student project at FSU before expanding into Florida, the Southeast, and now nationwide, where it is the country’s leading provider of technologies and services for Experiential Learning (EL) and High-Impact Practices (HIPs).

Our Investors

Leadership Team

Chris Freire

Chris Freire

CEO

Claire E. Jacobson

Dr. Claire Jacobson

Vice President, Campus Strategy

Paurav Surendra

Paurav Surendra

Director, Engineering

George Kuh

Dr. George Kuh

Advisor, High-Impact Practices

John Cavanaugh

Dr. John Cavanaugh

Advisor, Campus Success

David Yaskin

David Yaskin

Advisor, Student Success

Experts

Work with a network of national experts on experiential learning and High-Impact Practices. These leaders help organizations develop their own comprehensive and sustainable strategies to efficiently scale their experiential education initiatives by consulting on quality, equity, assessment, pedagogy, curricular development, and implementation.

George D. Kuh, Ph.D.

Founding Director of NILOA, Chancellor’s Professor Emeritus at Indiana University, Founding Director NSSE

John C. Cavanagh, Ph.D.

Prev. Chancellor PASSHE, President Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area

Carina Beck

Carina N. Beck, Ed.D.

Vice Provost - Allen Yarnell Center for Student Success and Director, Hilleman Scholars, Montana State University

Cynthia Alby

Cynthia Alby, Ph.D.

Director of GC Journeys and Professor of Education Georgia College

Lavar Charleston

LaVar Charleston, Ph.D.

Chief Diversity Officer, Deputy Vice Chancellor for Diversity and Inclusion, University of Wisconsin–Madison

Erik Montenegro

Erick Montenegro

NILOA Fellow, Director of Communications for the Credential Engine

Bruce Vandal

Bruce Vandal, Ph.D.

Prev. Senior VP Complete College America

Claire Jacobson, Ph.D.

VP Campus Strategy at SOC, Prev. Director of NASH TS3, HIPs

Krys Strand

Krys Strand, Ph.D.

Program Director, Neuroscience; Director of National Fellowships and Undergraduate Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity

Mary-Ann Winkelmes

Mary-Ann Winkelmes, Ph.D.

Founder and Principal Investigator, TILT Higher Ed; Executive Director, Brandeis University Center for Teaching and Learning