3 New Year’s Eve Resolutions For Registrars’ Offices

2017 is quickly coming to a close, and 2018 preparations are well under way. As your office gets ready for a new semester and a new year, it’s good to set some concrete rules for how you’ll operate going forward. We always make New Year’s resolutions to improve our personal lives, so why not our professional lives as well? After all, don’t we all deserve to breathe a little easier in the office next year? Here are three resolutions to help you do just that:

1. ‘I will escape the trap of paper-only systems.’

Working in a registrar’s office, your weekdays are filled with request after request from students. With the class of 2018 spending the semester looking at post-graduation options – first-time jobs, graduate school, etc. – many of these requests will involve transcripts and diplomas. In a paper-only setting, your office can easily become overwhelmed by all the documents you need to send and receive, making it highly likely that someone’s request will fall through the cracks. 

Switching to a digital system alleviates a lot of that strain. No longer do you have to search through cabinets full of files and mail things by hand. Instead, the system does everything for you, automatically pulling student records and sending them to their destinations in an instant. Convenient, no?

2. ‘I will ensure my office puts learners first.’

Have you noticed that the standard process of sending transcripts makes students very nervous? There’s rarely any delivery tracking, so students anxiously await news from the recipient that their credentials made it to their destination. Since mail takes anywhere from a few days to a week or more, your students are left in the dark leading to more questions for your office.

With digital credentials, that worried feeling completely disappears. Their transcripts are immediately sent wherever they need to go, regardless of whether the recipient is within the school’s destination network or not.

In fact, it helps to have a third-party service with a large network of academic and professional institutions within reach, thereby completely relieving you of the burden of credentials. That said, be sure to choose a provider that also sends physical records with USPS or FedEx tracking, just in case students send their credentials to destinations that only want paper.

3. ‘I will make sure our transcripts are accurate and protect the authenticity of the school.’

Digital credentials like eTranscripts aren’t new, but schools have been very reluctant to adopt them. According to a survey from the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers, one of the primary reasons for avoiding digital is integrity concerns. Many school officials are afraid that digital transcripts and diplomas can be altered more easily than paper ones.

In actuality, digital credentials are safer than their traditional counterparts. Parchment, for example, sends verified PDFs that alert recipients if and when the information inside has been altered.

Make your office run smoothly in 2018 by offering eTranscripts and other digital credentials. Take a load off your mind and learn how Parchment can successfully work with your school to improve your office and the lives of your students.

Accio Transcripts: Magic Isn’t Better Than Digital Credentials

Everyone who’s read or watched the “Harry Potter” series asks the same question: Why, in a world where magic is real, do witches and wizards still rely on paper and quills? If people can shape-shift into cats, shouldn’t they be able to draft any document out of thin air? Why does Hogwarts seem determined to stay in the middle ages?

Keep in mind that if you haven’t adopted digital credentials at your institution, students are probably asking the same thing about your school.

In fact, when it comes to student credentials, digital is always the way to go. It beats anything that Hogwarts, Durmstrang and Beauxbatons could ever hope to offer. Here’s how digital credentials give your students the magic of the future without chaining them to the past:

Delivery more secure than owl post

One of the most memorable scenes in the “Harry Potter” movies involves the wizarding world’s famous owl post. Harry’s uncle, Vernon Dursley, keeps intercepting the young wizard’s Hogwarts acceptance letters. At one point, the school is forced to flood the house with letters, sending thousands of them through the fireplace, doors and windows. 

This isn’t the only time in the series that owls are prevented from delivering important letters. With digital credentials, the idea of missed delivery vanishes like a mischievous student under an invisibility cloak. Students can securely send their transcripts to schools or potential employers with a few mouse clicks and can rest easy knowing their credentials will always arrive at their destination. In this case, an electronic transcript exchange is a lot faster than an owl.

If, however, students want to send their transcripts through the mail, a digital credential service can do that for them and offer tracking to ensure no letter is ever missed.

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Verification, not transfiguration

Students at Hogwarts learn to transfigure mice into teacups, so who’s to say they can’t change a daisy into a diploma? J.K. Rowling never talked much about magical cheating, but surely some clever students must have found ways to forge their test grades.

No need for you to worry about fraudulent diplomas and transcripts when you’ve got digital credentials. Every document is delivered as a certified PDF and adorned with your school’s logo, so recipients know it’s the real deal. Plus, if your students choose to send paper credentials, the right service will print out their diplomas, transcripts and more on secure paper for extra fraud prevention. 

Records that withstand an attack on Hogwarts

The Reparo spell can fix just about anything – except for damage from Fiendfyre, an inferno created from Dark Magic. Imagine if all of Hogwarts’ records were consumed by this deadly blaze.

A normal fire can do the same to your school’s paper records, which is big trouble for your students and hinders your legal compliance. But digital records are stored in the cloud, meaning you can always access them no matter what sort of disaster hits. Dealing with flood from a hurricane – or perhaps destruction from a raging troll? The paper copies may be damaged, but you’ll still have your digital credentials. 

Better than magic

Your students may not be getting their Hogwarts letters, but their future will be more magical with digital credentials. Their diplomas, transcripts and other documents aren’t just signs of completed courses – they’re gateways to amazing opportunities. By giving students easy access to proof of their experiences, you arm them with the tools necessary to enter their dream school or job.

Want to know more about how digital credentials help your students succeed? Contact Parchment today

Get Inspired at Parchment Connect National, Then Get to Work

With hundreds of Parchment members from across the country attending Parchment’s user conference, Parchment Connect National, there are many opportunities to get inspired and learn how to make your dreams a reality.

This isn’t just something we say. It is actually happening! As in the case of Loma Linda University.  Their VP for Enrollment Management and Student Services, Dr. Rick Williams attended the conference in 2014 in Denver. As part of the program, Dr. Rodney Parks from Elon University had just finished developed his first iteration of Elon’s Experiences Transcript.

Experiential-Example-1

Dr. Parks discussed how Elon went about creating their Experiences Transcript, including how the information is collected, verified, and stored within their SIS. He covered the factors that went into the design of the new transcript as well as their choices on how they would distribute it to their students.  All of these details got Dr. Williams thinking about how they could develop and an experiences, or co-curricular, transcript at Loma Linda.

He went back to campus and immediately started making the connections needed to create a distributed verification workflow across campus. They worked with a developer to create an easy to use interface to manage the process. Then designed their experiences transcript and started distributing to their students.  Within 18 months from hearing about the idea, Loma Linda had a brand new credential type that is helping their students represent a host of service, research, and leadership activities that were previously obscure.

LomaLinda-Transcript

In 2016, Dr. Williams and his team returned to present their work at the Parchment Connect National held in Washington, D.C.  

With so much activity and interest around the innovation of credentials, the opportunity to attend Parchment Connect National is a great way to connect with peers and innovators from across the country. Meet the people who are actually doing the projects that you are interested in. Talk to them about the challenges they’ve faced, and the rewards they’ve reaped.

If you have been doing a project – no matter what stage you are in – share your story! So many people are just getting started and need your insight and expertise as they decide how to improve their office and help their students. The insights you can impart cannot be overstated.

We hope to see you at Parchment Connect 2018! You never know what inspiration you will find.

Early Bird Registration: 50% Off Until 12/31/17. Register today!

 

3 Myths About Cover Letter Writing to Tell Your Graduating Seniors

Today’s graduating college students face an employment landscape unlike that of any generation before them. Not only are businesses more international than ever – increasing the number of applicants competing for a single position – but modern ideas like working remotely, contingent/freelance staff and an emphasis on soft skills have altered what companies look for in an employee.

This, unfortunately, means it’s that much harder for students to get a job – even if their credentials are a perfect match. That’s why nuances like a well-crafted cover letter are so important.

That said, just as the job landscape has changed over the past few decades, so too have best practices for writing cover letters. Let’s look at what’s changed by debunking three cover letter myths and reviewing how a school’s Career Services employees can help students write them more effectively:

Myth No. 1: Cover letters are short and light on information

Old advice dictated that cover letters were to be a paragraph long with a generic greeting (“To whom it may concern,” of course) and a brief introduction of the applicant. These days, that type of thinking won’t cut it. Job recruiters are inundated with dozens, if not hundreds, of applications throughout the hiring process. In the interest of saving time, they want to know as much about a candidate as they can before scheduling an interview.

When helping students write cover letters, encourage them to go beyond the basics when discussing themselves and their credentials. Help them describe how their school experience and assignments gave them both the hard and soft skills necessary to succeed in the specific role, rather than simply saying they studied X, Y and Z.

Myth No. 2: Cover letters are just an introduction to the rest of the application

Cover letters were often seen as sort of a throwaway document – a formality that just introduced the resume and application. But as we said earlier, hiring managers want more information up front, and the cover letter is the best way for students to make themselves known.

Student credentials can play a major role here, if written about correctly. According to PwC’s 20th annual CEO Survey, one primary concern of most CEOs (77 percent of them, to be precise) is that incoming new hires don’t have the key skills necessary to succeed in their new positions. Therefore, students should detail in their cover letters both their credentials and the skills they accrued while acquiring those credentials – for example, improved collaboration, proficiency in a specific software application, strong time management and more.

“Students need the ability to easily access their credentials.”

Of course, it helps if students can easily and quickly access their credentials in a secure location. The more easily students can acquire this information, the more likely they are to include it in their cover letters. When helping students write their cover letters, make sure they know where and how to find their credentials, and even how to direct potential employers to verified copies.

Myth No. 3: Cover letters avoid mention of workplace culture

If you’ve paid attention to recent hiring strategies or even read a few job listings, you’ll have noticed that many employers focus on concepts like free snacks or meals, creative workspaces and volunteer days. The idea is that promoting certain perks creates a compelling culture that attracts top-qualified applicants. What’s more, businesses finally understand that a strong office culture increases employee engagement, which can lead to higher productivity and reduced turnover.

If you know the company or school to which a student is applying emphasizes a specific branding idea or company culture, encourage that individual to explain what makes them a great fit. This shouldn’t take up the bulk of the cover letter, but a brief paragraph helps hiring managers get a greater sense of a candidate and imagine them in a specific role.

As today’s graduating students face important decisions about their futures, they need every advantage to help them gain the best opportunities. By providing access to their credentials and helping them adapt their cover letters to meet modern employer-held expectations, you give your students the best possible chance of finding a fantastic job after college.

Parchment makes it easy for students and alumni to access and send their credentials. See how partnering with us improves learners’ success!

Upcoming Webinar: Credential Engine Application Showcase

Credential Engine is powering the credentialing marketplace forward through the use of its unique common credentialing language and a web-based Credential Registry that collects and connects critical credentialing information in a clear and comparable format. Through these tools, Credential Engine is making the vast and complex landscape of credentials more user-friendly.

View the recording here.

Faster, Easier Diploma Replacement at Emory University with Parchment

University Registrar’s Offices are notoriously busy and always looking for ways to increase efficiency—like taking replacement diploma ordering online. That’s why Emory University partnered with Parchment to simplify the process. Today, graduates can reorder lost or destroyed diplomas on the school’s online transcript ordering portal, and track order status as well. As a result, the staff member solely dedicated to processing the paper diploma orders now has time to do more.

According to Brittney Simmons, Business Operations Specialist, it was a daunting task to keep track of the paper trail generated by the replacement diploma ordering process. With Parchment, there are no more paper forms or checks and money orders for the office to handle. And there are fewer calls from students wondering where their orders are, which also saves time and money thanks to tracking options through Parchment.

“Parchment has allowed us to create a simpler process for ordering a replacement diploma, making it a lot easier for us and our students,” Brittney says. For the busy Registrar’s Office staff, ordering diplomas through the Parchment storefront is fast, secure and environmentally friendly. Something the students, and staff, really love.

Check out the case study!

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3 Simple Steps to End the Year for Parchment Receive Members

Fall semester is winding down, which means it’s a good time to reflect and reorganize. So that you are all set to enjoy the holiday season and start fresh next semester, we wanted to share three simple steps to help you end the year on a good note.

  • Get your year-end Parchment Receive report
    • Just contact Ray Santos (West Admissions) at rsantos@parchment.com or Lindsay Kleiss (East Admissions) at lkleiss@parchment.com to get your year-end receive report. It’s a great snapshot to share across your institution, including monthly volume, your top senders, year-over-year growth, and document volume by type. You even get recommendations customized for your institution.Contact us to get your end of year report.

 

  • Update your administrators 
    • Make sure you have the correct setup for your user:  Go to SETTINGS tab >> Choose USERS >>Delete administrators who have left >> Add new administrators
  • Sign up for training
    • Learn how Parchment can make your life just a little bit easier. Topics include: Mastering Administrator Settings, Downloading Tips & Tricks, Expert Filtering, Reports & Analytics to Make You Shine and more. Just sign in to Parchment, click Support, and then click Training to sign up for one of our weekly webinars.

College Application Deadlines Are Here

While the retail world is anticipating Black Friday, here in the EdTech world we are anticipating the two biggest days for admissions applications – November 1 and November 15. While it may not have a fancy name yet (did someone say #NameChallenge), we know the excitement level for students, parents, and your staff is just as high as a blue light special while you are next to those luxury 1,200 thread count sheets set you’ve been eyeing all summer.

Yes, the most common early action admissions days are upon us. It’s about to get real for many students and your document intake staff. Don’t fret, we have some great ideas to help you land on the other side of this admissions season unscathed. By letting your students know you prefer electronic credentials during this peak busy season, you can ensure your process will be streamlined and you can focus on fulfilling their holiday wishes of being admitted to your school.

Communicate, Communicate, Communicate

  • Parchment Member Directory
    Updated regularly, our member directory will show you which of your feeder schools are in the Parchment Network. Have your admissions staff reach out to the counselors and let them know you prefer electronic credentials for speedy and efficient decision making. Login to your Parchment account and click the “Directory” icon on the top right hand corner to access it.
  • Get Social
    To help students answer the questions of “When do I send my transcript” or “When will I hear a decision,” go to where they are – the social network! Post on your school’s Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook accounts to share your admissions deadline information. Let your prospective students know you prefer electronic transcripts to help the decision arrive to them even faster.
  • Use Your Campus Channels
    High School students are in full college tour mode, so use your campus as your own message center. Bulletin boards, admissions packets, counselor blog, school website, email signatures, or even digital displays around campus can all be used to let future students know you prefer they send their transcripts to you electronically.

We’d love to hear from you on other great ideas you’ve had to spread the word about receiving electronically. Share below and let’s get this conversation started!

Online Learning 20 Years Later: Five Observations

To mark the 20th anniversary of the Educom NLII Instructional Management Systems (IMS) retreat in March 1997 at Sonoma State University, and the founding of Blackboard LLC in June 1997, Blackboard co-founder and Parchment CEO Matthew Pittinsky shares five observations about the state of eLearning 20 years later.  In an earlier blog (Part 1), Matthew shared lessons learned founding and scaling a global education technology platform.

When most (normal) people think of Autumn, their minds turn to Halloween and Thanksgiving.  For those of us in higher education technology, however, Autumn means a third annual event is upon us … the annual higher education technology meeting of EDUCAUSE!  

This year’s meeting in Philadelphia is a special one, marking the 20th anniversary of one of the most impactful initiatives ever launched by a higher education association.  Originally dubbed the Instructional Management Systems (IMS) project, it was the brainchild of visionary leaders Carol Twigg, Bill Graves, and Carl Berger (to name a few) and led by Carol Twigg, Mark Resmer and Steve Griffin.

Their goal?  To ensure that a marketplace of learning technologies — learning management systems (LMSs) first and foremost — would emerge to support the delivery of high-quality learning in a networked age.  More precisely, a marketplace of standards-based learning technologies.  At a time when academic computing played second fiddle to administrative computing, and just three years after the launch of Netscape, the idea that higher education needed to proactively catalyze a learning technology market, while simultaneously ensuring openness and interoperability, was a big and prescient one.  

I’ll keep the history brief.  While IMS was organized under Educom’s National Learning Infrastructure Initiative a year earlier, it was March 1997 when the project fully kicked-off with a month-long convening.  Held on the campus of Sonoma State University, participants from UNC Chapel Hill, Michigan, Maricopa Community College, Penn State, Cal State, Buena Vista University and others, joined with representatives from Apple, IBM, Sun, Thomson Learning and KPMG Consulting (my employer and ticket into the room), to identify the key enabling standards required to support interoperability and reduce friction in the adoption of learning technologies by faculty and institutions. In short, our work was to begin the design of an open architecture for online learning; one that could transform the Internet into a more powerful environment for teaching and learning.

It’s now 20 years later and safe to say the marketplace imagined in 1997 has by and large developed, centered around the widespread adoption of the LMS.  IMS was critical to this development. I will leave it to others who work every day with tools and content to judge the degree to which the goal of openness and interoperability has been realized.  The IMS project of 1997 has evolved into the IMS Global Learning Consortium, home to such critical standards as LTI and Common Cartridge.

Anniversaries are an opportunity to reflect on time gone by and I’ve been thinking about the state of online learning 20 years later.  In various talks on the topic I’ve made five observations that have garnered particularly strong reactions – heated disagreement, as much as support.  Here they are:

  1. The LMS experience of 2017 is surprisingly similar to 1997.  I left Blackboard in 2007 to finish my doctoral studies and take a tenure-track position in the sociology program at Arizona State University.  I rejoined the edtech market with Parchment in 2011.  Perhaps four years falls short of “Rip Van Winkle” status, but I was surprised to walk the 2011 EDUCAUSE exhibit hall and see how much the major LMS systems looked like each other, and more importantly, looked like the WebCT, Blackboard CourseInfo and Web Course in a Box systems of old.  When you consider the major technology shifts that have occurred since 1997 – social, mobile, Big Data, SaaS, etc. – it’s remarkable that a course web site today is not so different as one of yesteryear.  Similarly, the continued bright line between “front office” and “back office” – between LMS and SIS – is as bright as ever; noteworthy and a barrier to innovation.
  1. We need to flip 80-20 to 20-80.  The key to a fundamentally different and more effective online learning environment lies in the degree to which platforms support pedagogical and discipline differentiation in those learning environments.  I always thought of Blackboard as an operating system for education.  Yes, that’s a presumptive and ambitious thought from a business perspective.  But for me, the point was that Blackboard’s value lay in the apps you ran on it, not the system itself.  

LMSs provide the 20% of tools that 80% of learning environments need: gradebook, discussion tools, content management, etc.  Impactful learning environments are about the 80% of tools that only 20% of learning environments may need because they are specific to that instructional approach and subject.  It’s no surprise that the platforms most different from 20 years ago – Minerva, MOOCs, 2U – have all developed in the context of a specific set of programs and with a specific pedagogy.  

  1. The learning technology marketplace remains a fresh palate.  Whenever I am pitched by an edtech entrepreneur or learn about a new company, I use a simple matrix to help classify their product.  The matrix is pretty high level, but I think it serves its purpose of illustrating how fresh the palate is for edtech innovation.  

The rows of the matrix are the four major challenges that characterize the historical development of education in the United States: access, quality, efficiency, equity.  As a country and industry, each of these challenges has risen and fallen in relative priority.  They are interrelated to be sure.  The columns of the matrix are the four major technologies that are being applied to those challenges: networks, interactive media, data, mobile.  Some definitions: By “interactive media” I mean the spectrum of learning resources from simulations to augmented reality.  We can teach American history by being at the Stonewall Inn in New York City during a seminal moment in the gay rights movement.  We can understand the electoral college by simulating marginal shifts in votes by states and see how they change who sits in the White House.  By “data” I mean Big Data, but more to the point, the application of Big Data through AI and algorithms, for example in the effort to personalize learning and identify retention risk.  When the four big challenges intersect with these four core technologies, the exponential nature of the opportunity space emerges.  This is especially true when you consider that the 16 cells of the matrix exist in multiple dimensions, taking on different qualities in the contexts of community college, liberal arts college, the big research university, the HBCU and so on.

Networks Interactive Media Data Mobile
Access
Quality
Effecienct
Equity

 

  1. The measuring stick of “as good” remains a tricky one.  I struggle with this topic; hence it is the longest.  Carol Twigg has long argued that to measure online learning against the yardstick of classroom-based instruction is, well, dumb (my word).  First, it reifies classroom-based instruction in a way that ignores the poor learning outcomes and the isolation that exist in too many lecture halls across America. Second, it constrains the imagination of online learning, which should be about increasing quality and lowering costs to achieve breakthrough outcomes.  As much as I admire Carol, I am not fully there.  

The original problem Blackboard set out to solve was to augment a traditional classroom-based course with an additional context for learning: the course web site.  Discussions and reflections, formative assessments, interactive learning resources, and yes, administrative activities, could all be integrated and enhanced through the LMS.  While  “hybrid” courses and “flipped” classrooms are a new norm, for many institutions fully online distance learning has overtaken augmentation as their primary strategic focus.  

In that context I think it makes sense to ask whether online learning is as good as traditional classroom-centered and campus-based learning.  Surveys of employers suggest they don’t believe so, perceiving online degrees lower in terms of quality. Of course it’s foolish to judge all subjects, degree programs, education providers and learners with a single pronouncement. It’s foolish to make the statement that online education is not as good when there are examples of programs or providers that no doubt are better.

That said, I think we are way too uncritical in our acceptance of online education as a delivery method.  We should ask the question, Are online learning environments as good as high impact brick-and-mortar environments?  For me the answer is usually no, with only a few exceptions. I say this for three interrelated reasons.  First, I believe that nearly all instruction delivered by a college or university should embed in its design the principles of a liberal arts education.  As Michael Roth, president of Wesleyan University and closing keynote at our latest Parchment Summit, argues, a liberal arts education is at its core about producing leaders and change agents with the capacity for innovation, judgement and productive risk taking. Second, I believe that education is fundamentally a social process rooted in experience:  instructor-to-student, student-to-student, in the context of instructor-led activities and outside of them.  Few online learning environments are social at their core, and the answer is not borrowing from the design principles of Facebook!  Third, I believe in the unofficial curriculum of a campus-based undergraduate education (and many graduate programs as well).  Learning is what happens in the quad, library, residence halls, student groups, lectures, faculty office hours, research projects … the list goes on.  Most online programs reflect a fraction of that richness.  Student life is higher education’s secret sauce.

Usually these observations generate three objections.  The first two are that there are institutions that prove me wrong, and there are instructional programs for which my objections are not as relevant.  Both are true.  The third objection is that I fail to acknowledge the barriers to access that are being broken down with online.  The typical learner is not 18-21 and living on campus. Students can earn degrees who might not otherwise.  And online can be delivered at a cost that can expand attainment.  

Here I stand my ground.  I believe that the goal of broad attainment of higher education is about more than just individual economic mobility.  I believe that the liberal arts principles and unofficial curriculum that characterize brick-and-mortar higher education (done well) are critical to both economic mobility and the broader purposes of a degree.  I also believe that historically our education system has proven to be remarkably good at sorting students by race and class in ways that perpetuate inequality.  We must be on guard and bring a critical eye.  There is a real risk that the sorting of who learns through online education and who learns on campus will become the 21st century postsecondary equivalent of the 20th century practice of tracking by secondary schools, which was not a happy story.

  1. Change happens incrementally. Most of us tend to speak of change happening in increments of five years and ten years.  Five years is something imminent, and ten years is something that will happen sooner rather than later.  My rule of thumb for change in the education is market is to take a forecast and triple it: near-term is 15 years, while sooner rather than later is more like 30. Take for example the “flipped classroom,” in which in-class time is repurposed for more instructor-student interaction, while lectures are presented online.  The idea of shifting from “sage on the stage” to “guide on the side” was coined in 1993, but it wasn’t until roughly 2007 when the practice gained broad attention. A second example is the MOOC. Seventeen years ago (2003), Arthur Levine, then president of Teachers College, Columbia University wrote in a book I edited, The Wired Tower, that faculty members will become free agents and go online to reach a large global audience.  What he described as a near-term trend took just nine years before Coursera was founded.

My point is that big change does happen in higher education. It just takes longer and it happens incrementally. That is, A leads to B, B to C and C to D. Rarely does A lead directly to D. This “radical incrementalist” model is the secret to technology-driven innovation in the academic world.

There you have it. Twenty years have gone by. We must be humble and recognize the true state of what online education can do pedagogically. There’s a temptation to believe the medium can do more than it can, especially with the siren song of disruption calling out to do more, faster.  We have experience now upon which to draw. Companies like Blackboard are reimagining the LMS with the benefit of rich data about how people teach and learn.

The vision of IMS was interoperable tools and content, accessible by faculty to support their instruction and student learning.  It is a vision as urgent and important today as in 1997.  See you at the Parchment booth at Educause!

Sending and Receiving with The Coalition App in Three Easy Steps

The Coalition for Access, Affordability, and Success is going into their second year and the number of colleges participating has grown from 45 to 133 (with more to come!) As more and more of your students are applying to Coalition App schools, it’s so easy to send and receive transcripts using Parchment. Here are the three simple steps to sending and receiving with The Coalition App.

Applicants Check the Box

When students at schools using Parchment fill out the Coalition Application, they’ll check the box to indicate that they’ll be sending their transcripts to you another way. Their transcripts will be sent directly to Coalition Application members using the same workflow and experience they use for colleges in general.
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Students then go ahead and place their order through Parchment, selecting the Coalition App school as a destination:
CoalitionApp-Student-Order

Counselors Process as They Do Today

Student requests will arrive and be processed electronically by high school counselors just as they were previously. With no change to your process whether the student is sending to a Coalition or non-Coalition school, you won’t have to spend time making adjustments. It’s a good thing!

CoalitionApp-SendWorkflow

Receive in Your Parchment Inbox

College receivers will continue to receive electronic admissions documents just as they do today. Basic receivers download all high-resolution transcript PDFs with one click. Premium receivers can go further and automate the indexing process with transcript PDFs and an index file of student data.

CoalitionApp-ReceiveWorkflow

If you have questions or need any help sending or receiving with the Coalition App, contact us!

Supporting Our Community In Times of Need

Today, more than ever, it’s important to come together as a community, especially during times of natural disaster. The hurricanes in Texas and Florida caused wide-spread devastation. Many individuals and organizations took action to help those affected. The Parchment community was no exception.

Our Parchment Wellness Committee, Kind.Heart.Ed, led the charge, creating a GoFundMe page with the proceeds going to All Hands Volunteers. While our goal was to raise $500 for hurricane victims (with Parchment matching contributions up to that amount), we should have known people would go above and beyond.

Thanks to our generous Parchment community, we raised an amazing $2,500 from 34 employees in less than 30 days, blowing our original goal out of the water! And we couldn’t be more pleased for recipient All Hands Volunteers, a volunteer-powered disaster relief organization dedicated to rebuilding hope for people impacted by natural disasters all over the world, addressing both the immediate and long-term needs of the affected communities.

To further the cause, we also reached out to Parchment members that were affected and extended extra support to them during this time. From hurricanes, fires, and other challenges large and small it’s important for all of us to reach out and give a helping hand where we can. That’s what community is all about!

Find Out Your College Admissions Chances on Your College List

Remember when Amazon was just an online bookstore? Now, an entire day can be filled with Amazon products – just ask Alexa! She’ll send you dinner, put on your favorite show, and help you store a lifetime of memories. Simply put, technology is amazing.

At Parchment, we use the power of technology, our expanding network, and some pretty smart data wizards to go beyond just helping you send your credentials. We also let you explore what opportunities those credentials can lead to. Answering questions like “What colleges can I get into with my SAT scores” or “what are my chances of getting into my parents’ alma mater.” If you thought Parchment was just for sending your high school transcript to the college of your dreams, think again.

Use Parchment’s College Tools to think bigger and discover colleges you may not have even known should be on your top list. Just like the “You may also like” or “People also viewed” sections on your favorite streaming app showed you your new favorite show, Parchment College Tools will help you explore new colleges and find out your true potential.

Parchment College Tools

Complete your Parchment profile by answering a few quick questions at the top right-hand corner. Question include:

  • Where you went to high school
  • Unweighted and Weighted GPA
  • SAT and ACT scores
  • Class rank and class size
  • College majors interest
  • Extracurricular interests

Once your profile is complete, that’s when the data-magic happens. Quickly add colleges you are interested into your “College List” and gain an inside look* at the types of students who are also interested in that school. For example, you can see the average ACT and SAT scores, GPA, top states they are coming from and their top majors, so you know how you rank against your competition.

Better still, let the colleges you’ve added to your list know you are interested in them. Their admissions office will be happy to hear you are interested in learning more about their school. You can also keep track of important admissions deadline information or your application statuses, then export the list to share with your high school counselor or parents. They’ll be impressed that you are staying organized and taking the next steps towards your future goals – college, here you come!

Get started today by visiting My Chances.

*Our college predictions, ranking, and recommendations are powered by 765,689 college applications annually – the largest application database online. The Admissions Chances algorithm we’ve created should not be considered a guarantee that you’ll get into your top choice. But, it’s still a helpful guide to create a list of colleges where you have a good chance of admission.

Digital Credentials Are the Key To Opportunity for Professionals

As professionals, each of us is looking to improve our careers and potentially make that next step. To do that, at one point or another we may need to seek additional learning or skills. Whether that’s a professional development course, a training program, or even going to trade or graduate school. Each one will result in a credential, such as a badge, certificate, license or degree, that certifies all of your new knowledge and opens the door that was holding you back.

With so much on the line, it doesn’t make any sense to have these credentials only as paper documents that your employer will never see. Without verified proof, they just have to take your word for it that you have the credential you say you have.

Luckily, employers, licensing boards, associations, and other organizations are utilizing Parchment’s digital credential platform to issue digital diplomas, certificates, and badges to their recipients. Offering digital credentials makes a big difference to both the learner and to the organization.

For Employers, Going Digital Is Simple

Adopting digital credentials for your organization is simple and secure!

  • Employers love being able to increase brand awareness and employee recognition with a shareable digital certificate.
  • Licensing boards and other organizations find managing their credential programs simple by uploading a spreadsheet.
  • Associations can increase their membership and reach by letting their members promote the association through their social media channels.
  • The secure and verified link to a digital credential is used by employees any time they need to share the credential you’ve issued them.

Learners Love Digital Credentials

We live in a digital world, so having our achievements in an easily shareable format can help learners make the most of their investment.

  • Available immediately, digital credentials can be put to work right away. Most recipients of digital credentials are able to get the steps to their promotion moving more quickly. They don’t need to wait for their paper credential to arrive!
  • Being able to share digitally on social media platforms like LinkedIn can make them much more marketable. Back up your claims with verified credentials to rise to the top of the pack.
  • Enjoy one place to collect and manage all of their credentials. Parchment lets everyone store their transcripts, diplomas, licenses, and certificates in one convenient place. Anytime you need to share your credentials, they’re just a click away.

In the modern world we live in, having our credentials stuck in a drawer or on the wall, doesn’t help. We need to be able to securely share our accomplishments to get that opportunity we’re looking for. You earned your credentials, you might as well be able to show them off!

To learn more about offering digital credentials like badges, diplomas, certificates, and licenses, contact us here!

Scholarship Winners Are Heading To Their Colleges Of Choice

Spring Valley High School in South Carolina was the winner of our Member Status Program for 2015-2016, winning a $10,000 scholarship. During our 2016 Parchment Connect: Carolinas we were so pleased to be able to provide the prize to the Spring Valley High School counselors in attendance (BIG check and all!).

Over the course of the year, Spring Valley High School decided that they wanted to make the most of their winnings, and split the $10,000 scholarship into four $2,500 increments. Each of the four recipients are lower-income students, so this scholarship money was truly impactful to help make their college dreams come true.

Scholarship Winners:

  • Meredith Kimmer, going to North Greenville University
  • Aspen Evans going to Clemson University
  • Maya Ingram, going to University of South Carolina
  • Sunshine Spiva, going to North Carolina State University

Each winner is going to a university that receives Parchment transcripts electronically!  We wish them the best of luck at their college of choice!

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