3 Pitfalls to Avoid When Starting a Course-Sharing Initiative
At the center of the closing of ITT Educational Services, Inc are the students and alumni who were pursuing their postsecondary education and now face the challenge of earning their degree elsewhere. Will other colleges accept their ITT credits? When will they gain access to their transcripts to begin the process of transfer? In many ways these questions reveal the broader issue of transferring course credits in the U.S. and the lack of a Transfer Student Bill of Rights. But they are especially urgent and real for those who attended ITT and are now facing the involuntary need to change institutions.
The focus of this post is our announcement today that ITT has engaged Parchment to provide a convenient and national, online request and fulfillment service for ITT transcripts and related credentials. This service will be available during ITT’s wind-down period and afterward, ensuring a secure and accessible avenue for students and alums to receive the transcript and diploma services they deserve. As of noon Pacific today, orders may be placed at beta-www.parchment.com/ITT.
If you are a student, alumni or adviser to one, we have some important information to share about how the service works and some expectations to set for what your experience will be like in the first few weeks we are live.
Please be patient and expect initial fulfillment times to be slower than you deserve (several weeks).
Initially, ITT staff will start fulfilling requests placed on Parchment.com. Their staff are limited, so it is likely that most orders will queue until ITT makes its records available to Parchment’s systems. Once ITT’s records are available, Parchment can speed up processing time, but given the backlog of orders we will be starting with, we estimate that transcript fulfillment by Parchment will still take several weeks at first. As the initial backlog of orders is cleared, we expect processing time to take less than 48 hours. We have developed a special email that will be sent after each order explaining the processing timeline and how you can use Parchment’s online tracking tool to stay up-to-date.
Please take note of your graduation year as the service can support 2001 graduates to current students only.
We are only able to serve students and alumni with graduation years from 2001 to current students.
If you are sending your transcripts to a college or university, please use Parchment to send them electronically.
In addition to online request and tracking, Parchment provides the ability to send your transcripts electronically to colleges instead of us printing and mailing them. When you start the ordering process, you will be asked to type in the destination. With more than 80% of colleges accepting electronic transcripts, it is likely that we will recognize your destination and inform you that the admissions office prefers electronic delivery. (It is easier and faster for them to process electronic transcripts, especially when courses need to be evaluated for credit.) You can always choose to send via email to any email address or have printed and mailed to any address.
Please think twice before choosing overnight delivery as an option.
We provide an overnight delivery option, but because of the volume of requests we will be receiving at first, it will still take a while to process your request. Once processed, we will send it overnight, of course. But we want to make sure that requestors understand that we cannot ensure 24-hour delivery following a request until the initial surge of orders are processed.
Please take advantage of our Help Center.
It’s natural to have questions and we have developed our Help Center to provide assistance when you need it. If your main question, understandably, is “Where is my transcript?” or “When will my transcript go out?”, the tracking tool is your best and most up-to-date resource. Beyond that, we have lots of tips and guides and when needed, you can file a support request via the Help Center and we will work to respond by email as soon as possible. We are adding staff to help serve ITT students. That said, the watchword remains patience as we work to serve a large number of students all at once.
Please understand that there is a fee.
Yes, I saved this one for last. In cases like this we do what most state agencies and many colleges and universities do — we charge a request fee. For electronic requests that fee is $12. If you choose for your transcript to be printed and delivered by mail, there is an additional $2.50 handling fee. We recommend you send electronically, both to save those costs and because it’s the delivery method colleges prefer. If you choose overnight delivery or international destinations, the handling fee will be higher based on what you’ve chosen.
Schools or hiring agencies may need to request ITT credentials too.
While we anticipate the bulk of ITT credential orders to come directly from students and alumni, we recognize that there are colleges, universities, hiring agencies and other credential verifiers that have permission to request credentials on behalf of ITT students or alumni. In order to process these types of orders, requestors will need to be have a Parchment Receive account (don’t worry, its free we make it easy). Organizations looking to receive ITT credentials through Parchment can learn more about our Parchment Receive program here.
Our mission is to help turn credentials into opportunities.
At a time like this you are probably not interested in the mission statement of the organization that is providing your services. That’s understandable. I share it because we want you to know, that we know, how important gaining secure and speedy access to your transcript is. We work everyday with learners in mind. The credentials we enable are critical to so many transitions and goals that people are pursuing, from admissions, to licensing to employment. You deserve our best and you will have it. We need your patience at first as we complete the transition from ITT and work through a big backlog and rush. Our sleeves are rolled up to make that happen as soon as possible.
We wish you the best of luck, wherever your transcripts may take you.
Matthew Pittinsky, Ph.D.