Where in the world is Matt?


Don’t blink, because Matt is on the move.  Following a great panel on Tuesday with Mozilla and ProExam at the 2014 Innovations in Testing conference in Scottsdale, AZ, Matt hopped a plane and headed for “weirder” pastures.

Wednesday morning found him in front of a packed room in Austin, TX on a SXSWedu panel, “Show me what you learned,” hosted by The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF). Stacey Clawson moderated an interactive conversation with Karen Vignare from University of Maryland University College (UMUC), Adam Newman from Education Growth Advisors and the illustrious Matt Pittinsky.

BMGF kicked it off talking about the critical role credentialing plays in propelling social mobility and economic development.   Then each panelist described their organization’s work to support student success.  For UMUC it’s competency-based credentialing;  for Parchment it’s our technology platform that brings credentials online, in one place, for learners, issuers and receivers;  for Education Growth Advisors it’s providing a framework and research for evidence of learning.

My favorite segment of the session was the true or false questions Stacey put forth to the audience first, and then to each panelist.  I’ve listed them below.  There are no wrong or right answers.  The audience and panelists split on most of them. Comment some of your thoughts and I’ll reply with how some of the panelists’ responses.

And don’t forget to “tune in” tomorrow for the debrief on the “Enabling Stackable Credentials” panel. #credFuture

True or False?

1. Employers will eventually drop postsecondary degree requirements for many positions – because they will trust validated competency assessments and analytics more than the degrees themselves.

2. Learners will not reliably maintain profiles or portfolios unless they are looking for a job, seeking college credit, or applying to a school. Lifelong learning will not be enough of a motivator.

3. Colleges and universities will be pushed to clearly articulate degree competencies and offer services that help students document learning for employment.This is especially true for general ed and liberal arts.

A Spring Update for Parchment Receive

We are really excited about the updates for Parchment Receive.   Take a quick tour of the updates, and see more details below.

A Simpler Interface

Destinations are Now on the Left: To align with other document management systems we’ve moved the destinations from the right side of the screen to the left.  You can continue to drag and drop documents directly into the destination area.

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Expand to Use and Build Filters:  Filters have been moved from the left, where they were taking up a lot of real estate, into a collapsable panel along the top of the To Be Routed area.  Users can use one of the standard filters, or build a custom filter using the Filter Builder.  Choose a filter and apply the value. Clicking the “+” will let you add additional filters together, “-” will remove them.  Click the “X” in the upper right of the box to clear the filter.  Premium members may save their filters using the “Save Button.”

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Route to Multiple Destinations:  Once you’ve identified a set of documents using the filters you can route them for Web Download by dragging and dropping, or by using the Route button.  Route will let you send a copy of the document to one or more destination.  Check the box for each destination, and off they go.

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Select All Documents:  The Select All check box will check all of the documents on a single page of results. If your documents exceed one page, you can click “Select All Documents” and will select all of the documents in your entire inbox that meet your filter criteria, letting you act on them all at once.  Click “Clear Selection” to unselect and remove any applied filters.

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Save Online: A new destination type, Save Online, lets you store documents online without needing to download them.  Documents routed to this destination are marked as “Confirmed without Download.”  Students are notified that you have received the document, and can see the “Confirmed without Download” status in their online tracking.  This option is perfect for those documents, like secondary school reports, that you want to have but do not want to print or include in your normal processing routine.  You can access these documents at any time in the Library (which will be discussed more below).

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Downloading Your Documents

Download Indicators: New indicators on each destination let you know the status of your web download files.  A blue box indicates that your documents have been routed and are being processed.  The green arrow lets you know that the file has been completed and is ready for download.

Download Indicators

Download Status & History:  Find Download packages that are processing and ready for download. Tabs for ProcessingReady to Download, and History let you easily find the right download package. In History, you can locate download packages from the past 14 days in order to download them again if you need to.

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Package Size:  Sometimes downloading very large files can result in connection errors, causing your download to fail.  To help with that, if more that 1000 documents are routed to a destination at once the download file will be broken into 1000-document increments.  The file name retains the destination and date, as well as an incremental number to identify the order of the 1000-document packages. All sorting applied to your documents is retained between files.


New to Parchment Receive is the Library. Store all of your documents. For as long as you want.  There’s no charge, and no limit to how much you store.

View Documents in Several Ways: View documents routed to each of your destinations.  Or use the drop down to sort by time increments: Recent, Expiring, Expired, or All Documents.

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Filter and Route: Just like in the Inbox, you may use Filters to find documents. Reroute will let you resend documents to other destinations. Never ask for a document to be redelivered again – it’s already in your Library!

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My Folders:  Premium Parchment Receive members can create folders within the library to organize documents as they desire. These are distinct from the destination folders and you can choose to add or remove documents from these folders as you wish.

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Manage Retention: We encourage you to keep everything you receive, but if you’d like to adjust your retention timelines to meet your policies you may do so on a global or destination-by-destination basis.

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SFTP Awesomeness!

Premium members can automatically route incoming documents to SFTP directories without ever lifting a finger. Now setting these SFTP directories up is easier than ever! SFTP routing can now go directly to subdirectories.  In the settings, type in the full path to the subdirectory. If the directory doesn’t exist check the “Create path to file if it doesn’t exist” and use the Test button to make sure everything is working properly right away. No IT required … it couldn’t be easier!

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Please let us know what you think of the new features! They are due to hit the street mid-March, and we’d love to hear what you think!

#credFuture is around the corner

Education stakeholders, advocates, optimists and innovators are convening in Austin, TX next week for SXSWedu.  Over 2000 people will gather for conversations around promising practices that improve teaching and learning, and make the world a smarter and better place.  Parchment’s very own innovator-in-chief, Matthew Pittinsky, will be featured on two panels:

Show Me What You Learned, Wed. March 5, 10:30a- 11:30a, Hilton Austin, Salon H
Enabling Stackable Credentials:  The Future is Now, Thurs. March 6, 9:00a- 10:00a, Hilton Austin, Room 400/402

If you are in Austin next week, we want to see YOU (and all your friends and colleagues) there! Give us one minute (literally), and Matt will tell you some of the great reasons you should attend the “Enabling Stackable Credentials” panel. Click here to watch a quick Q&A with Matt.

And spread the word:  #credFuture @SXSWedu

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Midwestern Higher Education Compact (MHEC) chooses Parchment again

Following a thorough RFP process, MHEC again awarded Parchment the contract to provide eTranscript exchange services to MHEC’s 12 member states:  Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin.  Parchment has been serving high schools and colleges throughout MHEC states since 2006, and earning praise for helping save money and make transcript processes more efficient.  The new MHEC contract expands the scope to include the full suite of Parchment Send and Receive services to enable even more benefits, such as enhancing the admissions process and providing better data, leading to higher degree completion rates.  Read the press release for more details.

They’re h-e-e-e-e-re

Nope.  Not the “TV people” (extra points for getting the movie trivia reference).  It’s the Ellucian API’s for native integration!  For eight years Parchment has been automating eTranscripts for members that use Ellucian SIS, like Georgia Tech and Furman University.  Now, as a Community Partner of Ellucian, Parchment will also be offering native integration to automate eTranscripts processing.  For more information, technical requirements and FAQ’s, click here.  Want to get a sneak peek?  Sign up here

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Extend the transcript: Matt P. envisions how a PAR can help learners access better opportunities

Today’s edition of Insider Higher Ed devotes a column to Matt Pittinsky’s vision for a PAR (Postsecondary Achievement Report), an extended transcript that more fully reflects the impact of higher education and documents learning outcomes.

Our current system of credentialing is being challenged, both within and outside higher education.  Employers charge that a college diploma is insufficient to predict success on the job.  Scholars believe the academic transcript doesn’t go far enough to reflect how the college experience prepares students to thrive in a dynamic career landscape.  We all agree we need a better education credential.

In his essay, Matt describes in detail how the PAR could bring together three initiatives already underway— competency-based transcripts, co-curricular transcripts and data-enabled transcripts—and create a new generation of academic credentialing that would make student learning outcomes more easily understood and actionable.

The PAR presents a consistent document structure and data standard and creates a common understanding of both course-based and campus-based achievements.  It harnesses the innovation in content and substance of co-curricular and competency-based transcripts, and delivers information electronically to enable machine-readable data and analytics.

It’s time to extend the transcript, capture and validate the significant value gained during the postsecondary journey and set the stage for lifelong learning.  A PAR would be a major step to empower learners and help them turn credentials into opportunities.

Read the full article here.

Just What the Doctor Ordered …

…or what the future doctor ordered:  an eTranscript from Parchment!  Parchment proudly announces we are an approved vendor with the American Medical College Application Service (AMCAS) to exchange secure electronic transcripts.  Now if only we could make residency easier…

GuidedPath teams up with Parchment to streamline the college application process

Parchment proudly announces a partnership with myCCA, a leading provider of college planning solutions.  Parchment will provide electronic credential fulfillment for GuidedPath, a SaaS-platform application sold directly to high schools and districts around the world.

Counselors and educational consultants use GuidedPath to help students  prepare for and create application plans for college online.  Now, Parchment will help fulfill those plans.  Parchment allows GuidedPath users to easily and securely send transcripts, recommendations and other school reports electronically.

Since 2005, MyCCA has been the leader in college planning solutions, and has helped over 1,000 education professionals and 40,000+ students worldwide find best-fit colleges.
The MyCCA team brings together decades of education and technology expertise to build a dynamic college planning product that serves education professionals and students in over 20 countries.

“GuidedPath helps you plan.  Parchment helps you fulfill your plan.”

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Credential News Unleashed…

Since the last edition of Credential News Unleashed there has been continued focus on the emergence of competency-based education, the ever evolving MOOCs, and new company’s emerging to help individuals identify and showcase their skills and match them with employers. There has also been an increased focus on the transcript itself and its potential to help document and drive this change towards stackable credentials.

The following links are intended to provide an overview of what is going on in this exciting market as Parchment helps to turn credentials into opportunities.

Transcripts in the News

Inside Higher Ed reported on a “Digital Upgrade for Transcripts” featuring a company called parchment that is transforming how we use transcripts.

University Business named its “Higher ed leaders select the most effective products of the year” which included an eTranscript category which was awarded to Parchment.

Credentials and MOOC’s

The Census bureau 50 million U.S. adults, or “One-Quarter of Adults Hold Educational Credentials Other Than an Academic Degree,” including professional certification, license or educational certificate apart from a postsecondary degree awarded by colleges and universities.

MOOC’s continue to generate a lot of interest in the education media with some new research that suggests that “Completion Rates Aren’t the Best Way to Judge MOOCs.” Researchers at Harvard and the MIT say that “course certification rates are misleading and counterproductive indicators of the impact and potential of open online courses.

Recent changes in the MOOC landscape include “MIT to offer its first professional MOOC in big data” with participants paying $495 for a certificate for the group of modules. Meanwhile “edX Drops Plans to Connect MOOC Students With Employers,” and “Credit-for-MOOCs Effort Hits a Snag” with students not pursuing college credit for MOOC courses despite 17 colleges prepared to accept them.

A big change announced today is Coursera will start awarding specializations for students who have mastered a series of closely connected online courses, reported on in “Coursera Flirts With Diplomas: Online ‘Specialization’ Is $250.”  The site now invites students to take Signature-track classes, in which final exams are digitally proctored and students pay $100 or so for a completion certificate. Currently more than 200 of Coursera’s total 584 classes are offered in Signature format

Competencies and Skills

The Chronicle of Higher Education reported on how “Tech-Enabled Alternatives Must Be Part of Education Reform, Report Says” which featured a discussion about the need for competency and skills-based programs and stackable credentials to support them.

EdTech Digest reported the Skillmeter, a new tool designed to help recruiters hire better and faster by measuring candidates’ skills through personalized tests.  Another education startup Koru raised $4.35 Million to teach students job-specific skills and help match them to jobs. Collegefeed is another new company helping to place workplace-ready college graduates, and is working to identify specific talents sought by employers and makes a match through an algorithm which looks at major and other factors.

Making a Better Match

Earlier this month the White House held an “Education Datapalooza: Promoting Innovation in Improving College Access, Affordability and Comp,” which showcased some upcoming changes to Parchment.com.

Innovation and Disruption

The Harvard Business Review writes in  “The Degree Is Doomed” about the disruptive change affecting higher education and how the unbundling of traditional degree is tied to it losing its relevance in favor of evaluative information.

College Rankings

A new study says that “Your College’s Reputation Matters in Measurable Ways,” and may shape a college’s reputation and short-term enrollment fortunes in measurable ways. The study can be found here.

The EdTech Market

The Chronicle  reported on Mark A. Baker, associate registrar at Whitworth University who launched Software PhD, “The ‘Yelp’ of Higher-Education Software.” Parchment is included in the directory and is currently ranked at 5 stars.

The Chronicle listed “What 5 Tech Experts Expect in 2014,” which includes the familiar themes of analytic, cloud storage, and actionable data.

Happy reading,


The Future is Now

Last week the White House convened a summit with more than 100 college and university presidents that focused on improving college access for low-income students.

Credentials are central to that conversation.  We go to school, learn and gain skills, and we earn credentials that help us access our next education or career opportunity.  Our diplomas, degrees and transcripts are our tickets to the next gig.  But leading thinkers are also examining how alternative credentials are going to be increasingly critical to accessing opportunities beyond high school.

Parchment sits in the center of that revolution.  Our online credentials management platform enables learners to request, collect, stack and put all their credentials to work.

In collaboration with our SXSWedu panel partners from Mozilla Foundation, ACE and Western Governors University, Matt Pittinsky will explore how credentials innovation is opening up new and better opportunities for all.

Watch a short video about why Matt is looking forward to speaking at SXSWedu and shining a spotlight on how the future of credentials is now.

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Thursday, March 6, 2014
9:00AM- 10:00AM
Hilton Austin Downtown Room 400/402
500 East 4th St.
Austin, TX

How ‘bout them apples?

Front and center on Inside Higher Ed’s home page today is “Digital Upgrade for Transcripts,” which reviews how the industry is changing and how eTranscripts are opening the door to innovative uses.  Parchment, Matt Pittinsky and Parchment member Carteret Community College figure prominently in the article.  Read, enjoy and share!

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Our support for free and open exchange

Today we announced that Parchment has signed on to support the G.R.E.E.N., “Global Registrar EduRecord Exchange Network,” established by the National Student Clearinghouse.  G.R.E.E.N. formalizes a set of principles developed to promote the free and open exchange of electronic student records.

We added our support to publicly declare that these principles are consistent with our longstanding commitment to open exchange, privacy and security, as evidenced through our security practices, data policy, and ongoing commitment to open exchange and data  standards.  Open, secure and trusted networks are critical to serving the needs of students, and Parchment will continue to support all service providers in their efforts to maintain access for all students and institutions.

Our members have spoken: Parchment eTranscript is a University Business Reader’s Choice Top Product

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The 2013 University Business Readers’ Choice Top Products awards are out, and Parchment eTranscript is on the list!  The Readers’ Choice Top Products list informs university leaders and administrators about the products their colleagues around the country are using to help their schools excel.  Based on glowing member nomination, University Business recognizes Parchment eTranscript as one the most innovative products in higher education.  Read more in the Press Release.

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