After graduating from high school, Jackie set off on a path to earn her degree in early childhood education. But as the cost of her degree continued to rise, Jackie found that attending college full-time was not an option for her. She began working as a nanny while continuing to pursue her degree on the side.
Like many students, Jackie’s path was inconsistent. She found it challenging to balance work and school together. She transitioned in and out of education, taking courses at multiple institutions. There were semesters that her courses and her work conflicted and she couldn’t take the classes to keep progressing her degree, especially the closer she got to the finish line.
Fast-forward a few years. Jackie had a life changing moment and she realized that she wanted to change course and pursue a nursing program at an institution that specializes in pediatric care. However, she was unable to determine how the courses, credits, and credentials she collected throughout her learning journey would count towards her nursing program. She was scared she was starting over, and that the time, effort, and money she invested over the years were all for naught. How could she know what she was committing to before the deadline to register passed?
Solving the Challenge of the Nonlinear Student Pathway
Unfortunately, we all know someone like Jackie. And more and more, stories like Jackie’s are becoming the norm. Many of today’s students break the mold of the traditional 18-22 year-old demographic. They are working adults, parents, and caretakers, juggling multiple demands on their time. They lack the luxury of time, and want the flexibility to follow the pathway that best fits into their lives. And they want to ensure that every dollar they spend – and every minute they invest – will take them one step closer to attaining a credential or degree.
Today’s college and university students are unlike students of the past. While some still follow a traditional path where they graduate from high school and attend a single college or university before attaining a degree, many students follow a much different, much less direct, path to credential or degree.
It’s highly likely that students today will transfer courses or institutions throughout their educational journey. It’s common for students to move from one institution to another, taking courses and credits with the hope that one day they will add up to a credential or degree. Once viewed as negative, this pattern of “swirling” is quickly becoming the new normal where students view higher education as a marketplace where they can take courses from multiple institutions, so long as the course fulfills their need.
In fact, 30%+ of all college students transfer at least once during their academic career and 45% of these students change institutions two or more times.
That’s why Parchment and Quottly are coming together. Bound by a passion for helping students succeed, we are bringing the power of their respective solutions together to address critical challenges for learners and institutions alike. Not only will we innovate to provide a seamless exchange of credentials, but we will also work to ensure that those credentials translate into credits that count towards student pathways. As a result, we will improve access, reduce barriers to entry and cost, and accelerate time to completion, all of which lead to improved student success.
*Jackie’s story is based on a true story.
Interested in learning more about how you can support the exchange of credits and courses to smooth student pathways?