PESC Elects Parchment’s Mark Cohen to Board of Directors

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The P20W Electronic Standards Council (PESC) membership recently elected Parchment’s Mark Cohen as a member of its Board of Directors, effective July 1, 2014. Cohen, a Parchment Co-Founder, serves as the organization’s Chief Security and Privacy Officer and has been aligned with PESC in various capacities for more than 10 years.

Established in 1997 and located in Washington, D.C., PESC in a non-profit, community based, 501 (c)(3) umbrella association of data, software and service providers; local, state and federal government agencies; colleges and universities; college and university systems; professional, commercial and non-profit organizations; and national and international non-profit associations and foundations.

Through open and transparent community participation, PESC enables cost-effective connectivity between data systems to accelerate performance and service, to simplify data access and research, and to improve data quality along the education lifecycle.

Proactive and committed to data standards, Parchment believes strongly in the open exchange of data, allowing the community to work together to solve problems through consortium. Parchment is proud to work closely with PESC as they promote and facilitate the use of standards for data sharing within education. Today Parchment is the only organization to be recognized with the PESC Seal of Approval, recognizing Parchment’s implementation of PESC Approved Standards.

PESC also named Cohen as a Co-Chair to its Common Data Services (CDS) Task Force which is developing EDexchange as an open, data exchange network for the education community. During his tenure serving with PESC, Cohen has previously served on the High School Transcript Work Group and co-chaired the Education Record User Group (ERUG) focusing on the management and governance of admissions and registrar standards.

Congratulations to Mark on these appointments!

Virginia Students Poised for Success with Parchment

The Virginia Department of Education has selected Parchment as the eTranscript provider for its 331 public high schools. Parchment has also been selected by the state to provide receiving tools for all of its higher education institutions. The services provided at both the secondary and postsecondary levels will allow learners 24/7 access to their digital credentials.

This statewide initiative to provide electronic exchange of learning credentials marks the eleventh statewide initiative for Parchment. Other statewide adoptions of Parchment’s eTranscript services include Alaska, District of Columbia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Kansas, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and South Carolina.

The Most Awarded eTranscript Solution

Award-sq-CupAnother academic term is ending, and all over the country students are coming to the end of their academic journey: achieving the  degree they’ve been chasing for so long.  For us at Parchment, it’s a wonderful time of year. We celebrate with students earning these credentials.  We hope that as students move forward to their next step, their credentials provide the opportunities they desire.

Thinking about all of these achievements got me interested in Parchment’s credentials.  It’s exciting to see such diversity in the range and scope of Parchment’s honors!  Parchment is  the preferred eTranscript solution for 12 States, was voted a 2014 University Business Top Product, and is the Patent Owner for the standard “Blue Ribbon Security” Certified PDF Technology.  These and many more honors create a comprehensive foundation and we take pride in the key partnerships and innovations we have achieved over the years.

Take a look at the cataloged list of Parchment’s awards here.

But we aren’t about to rest on our laurels! We work hard every day to ensure that we make credential exchange easy, intuitive, and innovative. It’s our hope that as students head off with their newly minted diplomas, the work we’re doing at Parchment will keep their credentials working hard for them for their entire life.

We are proud and humbled to be recognized by our peers and industry experts!

Kentucky Becomes First State to Implement Fully Electronic Transcript Program for All Public Schools

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Parchment is thrilled to announce that the Commonwealth of Kentucky has trained and rolled out Parchment’s electronic transcript services to all of its public high schools. Current high school students may request their transcripts and other credentials, such as letters of reference, 24 hours a day, seven days a week through Parchment at no cost. Students can send directly to any of the state’s 44 public or private colleges and universities, and other participating schools worldwide with Parchment Send, which is fully integrated with Infinite Classroom, the state’s student information system (SIS).

The statewide eTranscript initiative is a joint project of the Kentucky Department of Education, Council on Post-secondary Education and Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority.The agencies worked together to streamline the request, delivery, monitoring, and processing of transcripts for their respective constituents and completed deployment of the Parchment platform in an unprecedented nine months.

“Our goal with the Kentucky initiative was two-fold: to help students achieve success and to support the diverse needs of the state educational agencies. The breadth and speed of this implementation is record breaking for Parchment. The Kentucky academic leaders are to be congratulated,” said Matthew Pittinsky, Parchment CEO.

All of Kentucky’s public and private postsecondary schools all use Parchment Receive to download and process transcript requests. Work continues to implement the Kentucky common transcript at all of the state’s private high schools.

Parchment Applauds University of Phoenix for First Place in PESC Best Practices

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Parchment is proud to join the well-deserved standing ovation for Monterey Sims, Director, Admissions & Evaluation and University of Phoenix for winning the Postsecondary Electronic Standards Council (PESC) Best Practices Competition for 2013!

PESC recognized University of Phoenix’s holistic approach to improving the student experience with innovative technologies and approved standards through the University’s Electronic Transcript Acquisition Process (eTAP) submission. Through a culture of continuous improvement, University of Phoenix Office of Admissions & Records is guided by three principles: 1. Process academic transcript requests efficiently; 2. Actively engage in electronic transcript exchange partnerships; 3. Ensure integrity in processing student’s academic records.

“Monterey and her team are innovative and have created incremental opportunities for University of Phoenix students through an electronic exchange of education credentials,” said Matthew Pittinsky, Parchment CEO. Parchment is a proud partner with University of Phoenix in their overall electronic transcript acquisition process. Additionally, Monterey serves on the Parchment Advisory Board.

Congratulations to Monterey and the entire team at University of Phoenix!

Make Your Choice! National Acceptance Day

May 1st is probably the most nerve wracking day for University Admission Officers. It’s the day they find out whether all of their planning and forecasting will meet expectations. Last fall they were frantically working through the  mountain of paperwork typical of any admission season. Receiving thousands of applications, letters of recommendation, and of course Parchment’s favorite credential: transcripts.  It’s not an exaggeration to say that Admissions officers work around the clock to process and get acceptance letters out the door.  But once letters are out,  they wait.

Until May 1: National Acceptance Day.

This is the day that students must make the choice between all of their acceptances and notify their chosen institution of their intention to attend.  It’s a nervous time for all!

At Parchment, we were curious if students were waiting until the last minute before making their final selections.  At Parchment.com  there are many admission tools that help students find and evaluate postsecondary options.  When students make their college list, they can track their admissions progress by indicating whether they are interested, applying, accepted, or ultimately accepted and attending. Once students make their choice the institution logo is added to their dashboard on Parchment.com:

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And they can let their friends know on Facebook. Start sharing the good news!

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We know students — millions of them — are using the tools at Parchment.com to help make their final decisions. But we didn’t if they were making colleges sweat it out to the last minute or not.  To find out we asked our Data Scientist  if he could let us know when students registered with Parchment.com finally make their choice.

It turns out that while students are regularly indicating that they’ve made a selection, we do see 5 Times as many students updating their Acceptance status on May 1.

 

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One of our favorite authors, Jeff Selingo (College UnBound), has said that college is one of the only products you buy at 18 and even when you’re 60 you’re still wearing a sweatshirt showing it off.  It’s a big decision, and we are excited for everyone heading off to their chosen institution this fall!

CourseTalk and Parchment Help Students Evaluating College Courses

Parchment is really excited to have another partner in CourseTalk to help students evaluating colleges and universities. CourseTalk is the leading search and discovery platform for learning about online courses that postsecondary institutions provide. CourseTalk will integrate Parchment’s prediction tool, College Chances, into student’s CourseTalk profiles allowing them to immediately weigh their chances of being admitted into their desired colleges and universities.

Read more about the partnership  in today’s press release, and if you’re a high school student set up a profile and explore your own chances with the College Match and College Chances tools available on parchment.com.

College Match Helps Students Easily Find Colleges

Last week Parchment launched another tool for high school students to help them navigate the tricky college admission waters.  The new tool is called College Match, and it uses the list of postsecondary institutions that students registered on Parchment.com have identified interest in to suggest other schools that they might also like.  It provides an “If you like This, then we think you’ll like That” experience that will help students uncover options they may not have considered before.

To make this tool even more valuable, Parchment applies it’s College Chances algorithm to predict the students admission chances.

College Matches

 

Read more about  College Matches in these articles:

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New Data-Driven Online Tool Makes Applying To College A Lot Easier Parchment Launches College Recommendation Engine So Applicants Can Hedge Their Bets Parchment Unveils Free College Match Tool

Parchment Wins 2014 “ROE” Innovation Award!

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Last week Parchment joined the who’s who of education technology as they convened in Phoenix, Arizona at the ASU + GSV Summit.  It’s always exciting to meet with other innovative companies in the EdTech space and talk about our favorite topic: Turning Credentials into Opportunities.

Attending and presenting at ASU+GSV was an honor, but we were absolutely thrilled to learn that Parchment won the prestigious  Annual Return on Education (“ROE”) Innovation Award!

The Annual Return on Education “ROE” Innovation Award had more than 350 nominations, broken into 12 categories.  Parchment was a finalist in the “Knowledge as a Currency” category, and we were hopeful to win! We couldn’t be more surprised, honored and humbled that Parchment was voted by the 1000+ attendees as the overall winner of the ROE award.

Thank you to Arizona State University, the Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation, GSV Advisors, and the attendees who voted for Parchment for this incredible honor!

Learn more about Parchment and what we do in this video:

Credential News Unleashed

Following is the latest edition of the ‘Credential News Unleashed’ newsletter containing relevant articles to help you stay current on our market.

Competencies and Skills

A new group has come together to Call for a National Conversation on Creating a Competency-based Credentialing Ecosystem to increase transparency, trust and portability in the credentialing marketplace to improve employer competitiveness, reduce skill shortages, expand career advancement opportunities for workers, reduce time to credential for workers and students, and improve returns of accredited credentialing systems relative to costs.

Lumina Foundation announced that it is funding 14 Colleges and Universities Selected for CAEL Competency-Based Education Initiative.

Credentials and MOOC’s

New credentials give baby boomers an edge. A new report from Data Points, American Association of Community Colleges shows that adults over age 50 who seek retraining focus on practical, high-value programs geared toward industries that are hiring.

Privacy

Mind/Shift asks What Will Happen to ‘Big Data’ In Education? after InBloom, a Gates backed nonprofit shuts down.

Prominent Ed-Tech Players’ Data-Privacy Policies Attract Scrutiny with growing public concern about student-data privacy prompting fresh scrutiny of the ways technology vendors handle children’s educational information.

Innovation and Disruption

A newly formed coalition of 20 states is trying to create joint Data Standards for Workforce Credentials.

The Workforce Data Quality Campaign released a report that describes states and schools that have worked to broker data-sharing agreements with certification bodies and licensing agencies.

Transcripts and Transfers

Ball State University Challenges Ruling on Transcripts to the Indiana Supreme Court after a lower court ruled that they would need to release transcripts of a student who left the school with unpaid tuition.

You can’t take it with you; more than 40 percent of community college transfer students unable to transfer their credits to a four-year school. Two researchers at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York conclude that a big reason many community college students fail to get a four-year degree is not because of inferior academic preparation, but because the four year colleges they transfer to won’t accept many of their community college credits.

The EdTech Market

Boston Consulting Group published Five Trends to Watch in Higher Education.

Education Technology Startups Raised Over Half A Billion Dollars In Q1 of 2014, marking the single biggest quarter for capital committed to the sector in the past five years.

Can This Online Course Get Me a Job? A new Service from the Apollo Group aims to help navigate a sea of web classes with links to explicit employment opportunities.

Clever Raises $10.3M to Help Schools through the development of APIs that let schools integrate new learning software with their existing district data systems.

 

Where in the world is Matt?

Today Matt popped up in Miami at the University Professional and Continuing Education Association (UPCEA) annual conference “Own the Moment.”  Leaders from across the country gathered to share best practices and ideas about serving adult students with quality continuing education and online programs. 

UPCEA educators oversee a wide range of programs, mostly online, that include non-credit and non-degree offerings.  They are keenly aware of the importance of lifelong learning to advance adults’ education and career goals, and recognize the need to innovate and digitize credentials that reflect that learning. UPCEA CEO, Robert Hansen, moderated a session “Where is Credentialing Going?” that exclusively featured Matt.

Matt and Robert discussed the PAR (Postsecondary Achievement Report), Matt’s vision for an extended transcript, badges and other initiatives that document skills and competencies.

Next stop:  Denver and the Parchment Exchange User Conference and AACRAO National Conference!

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Matt is on the shortlist of notable EdTech leaders

Finalists for the fourth annual EdTech Digest Awards have been announced, and we are excited that Matt Pittinsky is a finalist for “Edupreneurs and Ed Tech Startups Leadership Award” for 2014.  The program honors tools, trendsetters and leaders in the education and technology sectors.  Matt is recognized as a forward-thinking contributor to technology that creates a better future for students.  Check edtechdigest.com for more information.etdAward2014-LDR 400x400

Where in the world is Matt?

Matt barely had time to unpack his cowboy boots from two panel sessions at SXSWedu, before he hit the road again.

Today Matt is in San Diego, CA where he spoke at the ACE Annual meeting.  The American Council on Education (ACE) convenes 2000 university presidents and senior leaders in higher education to highlight work going on across the country, explore innovative solutions, and discuss how to “seize opportunities” in the midst of challenging times.

Matt spoke on a panel, “Turning Credentials into Opportunities: Innovations in Documenting the Postsecondary Experience,” moderated by Andy Chan from Wake Forest University, which also included Dr. Aaron Brower, who oversees University of Wisconsin’s innovative Flexible Option Program, Dr. Kate Kazin, Chief Academic Officer for the College for America Program at Southern New Hampshire University, and Dr. Holly Zanville, Strategy Director at Lumina Foundation.

The group addressed the insufficiencies of the conventional transcript, and it was a great forum for Matt to share his vision for a PAR (Postsecondary Achievement Report), an extended transcript that helps learners access better opportunities.  Matt was in great company, as each panelist is on the forefront of developing, sharing and building solutions to better document the postsecondary experience.

The critical role credentials play in creating opportunities for learners of all types is a conversation that is gaining momentum.  And we are fortunate that Matt Pittinsky is a leading resource to help guide it.

Later this month… the future of credentialing with University Professional and Continuing Education Association(UPCEA) CEO, Robert Hanson.  Stay tuned!

ACE 96th Meeting

 

 

#credFuture @SXSWedu

Three days and three late party nights into SXSWedu, attendees packed into the room at 9am to learn more about the emergence and acceptance of alternative credentials.  Matt Pittinsky and his co-panelists, An-Me Chung from Mozilla, Darin Hobbs from Western Governors University and moderator Cathy Sandeen from ACE, discussed how innovations in credentialing can complement our current system, and better reflect what people know and how well they know it.  The conversation covered badges, competency-based transcripts, credit for prior learning and the technology platforms and open data standards that connect and integrate the credentialing ecosystem.

Here are a few screen shots of what attendees were tweeting, and you can check out the conversation #credFuture.

Hope we can come back next year and plug into the great energy, creativity and optimism that is SXSWedu!

From the tweetospere:

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AMCAS Integration

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Part of having a complete ecosystem for eTranscripts is being able to communicate effectively with the other systems and organizations you commonly use.  Helping institutions and students submit their medical school applications in the preferred method for the American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS) is just one more way we’re helping to ease the exchange of student credentials.

In this integration, we are allowing our postsecondary Parchment Send member institutions to set up “AMCAS Transcripts” as one of the products that students may request.  When selected, this Parchment will include the AAMC ID (an 8 digit numeric ID) and the Transcript ID (a 7 digit numeric ID) as individual fields within the XML that is delivered with the transcript.  This allows AMCAS to seamlessly identify the application that the transcript is related to – easing the application processing.

Depending on the services that you offer through Parchment, adding AMCAS transcript ordering to your students may be a great idea.  Please contact your account executive to learn more about how this solution would work at your institution.

To learn more about the relationship between AMCAS and Parchment, read the press release.

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