Credential News Unleashed

Credential News Unleashed

The world of credentials is seeing increased coverage with continued excitement about MOOC’s, reverse transfer fast becoming a reality, more and talk and action in moving from credit hours to competency-based education, and continued buzz around the potential for data to further transform education.

The following links are intended to help keep current on this exciting market as Parchment helps to turn credentials into opportunities.

Data Analysis

Since the last edition of Credentials News Unleashed, there has been increased coverage into the sensitivities around big data in education. The New York Times has given a lot of attention to this topic with articles on the potential for ed-tech providers to mine the data of young children and the privacy and the reaction as “Group Presses for Safeguards on the Personal Data of Schoolchildren,” “Senator [Edward Markey] Raises Questions About Protecting Student Data,” and “Deciding Who Sees Students’ Data.”

The growth in Open Data also received coverage with The Chronicle of Higher Education asking “What the Open-Data Movement Means for the Future of Colleges.”

Making a Better Match

There was a recent “White House Meeting on [the problem of] ‘Undermatching’,” as this topic has been receiving more attention from higher education researchers and advocates. I was recently reminded of an Atlantic article from earlier this year titled “Why American Colleges Are Becoming a Force for Inequality” which discusses how under-matching contributes to this problem.

We all know that college admissions can be highly competitive, Inside Higher Ed recently wrote about how some colleges are “Using FAFSA Against Students” by interpreting the order that students list the colleges they are interested in to determine priority, resulting in students being denied admission or offered reduced financial-aid packages as a result.

Innovation and Disruption

Michael Moe (Co-Founder of GSV Asset Management, a Parchment investor) wrote about “The New Innovator’s Dilemma.” This Huffington Post blog post explains how regulation can serve as a barrier to innovations in education. There may be some relief as a growing number of reform-minded lawmakers on Capitol Hill believe it’s “Time to Change the Rules” and help pave the way for competency-based education and other innovations.

The New York Times asks “Are You Competent? Prove It,” degrees Based on What You Can Do, Not How Long You Went.

There is also a rise in coverage on “reverse transcript”, including stories about increased efforts to “Find college graduates (who don’t know they are).” about Project Win-Win uses data-mining at state and private colleges to find students who have the credits needed to earn a degree or certificate.

College Rankings

A recent survey shows that college rankings have more pull with students than ever, with two-thirds of college-bound students reporting that rankings influenced their college application decisions and that students with the highest SAT scores were the most likely to have considered rankings in their application decisions,

While there is no shortage of methods to see how colleges stack-up, the New York Times covered how “Lists That Rank Colleges’ Value Are on the Rise

Transcripts in the News

In England 20 “Universities to adopt US-style ‘grade points’ system” and mark students’ work using new GPA’s to replace the 200-year-old system of first, second and third class degrees.

College Transcript Allegations Fuel Latest Feud Between Mayoral Candidates”after an attempt to verify one candidates degree through the National Student Clearinghouse showed that no degree was issued an attempt was made to request the candidates transcript without his consent.

The EdTech Market 

The recent Common App problems received wide coverage including an article in the New York Times, “Online Application Woes Make Students Anxious and Put Colleges Behind Schedule.”  In the midst of Common App’s problems, Universal College Application added Princeton as their newest member institution.

…and Parchment in the news

Ted Mitchell, NewSchools CEO and a member of Parchment’s Board of Directors, has been nominated by President Obama as Under Secretary of the Department of Education.


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