In the United States, our education environments have historically been regionally focused. From curriculum development to data sharing between institutions, public school districts and postsecondary institutions have operated with a narrow focus. This regional focus has produced unintended results: a more challenging environment for the learner.
New Mexico schools have taken an unprecedented approach to redefine this paradigm and implement a collaborative model between secondary and postsecondary institutions, centered on student success and executed with interdepartmental efficacy. A model which could be incorporated by any other state.
A Shift 10 Years in the Making
The movement started as most do: with a problem that needed solving. In this case, the University of New Mexico (UNM) had been struggling to come up with an easy way to reflect dual-enrollment for the growing number of students who’d taken classes at two institutions simultaneously. E-transcripts were too static to help, though they’d been around for years.
UNM was seeing a growing number of students trying to save on costs and finish degrees faster. Some were ambitious high schoolers taking classes at Central New Mexico State community college in hopes of rolling up credits that would later transfer to and accelerate progress at UNM. Others were community college students taking UNM core courses just before transferring. In each case, keeping a consistent record of work completed prior to full enrollment meant pulling data into one consistent, easily verifiable record.
UNM realized it needed to replace its current e-transcript provider with one that recognized how innovative approaches drive results. In 2015, UNM convened representatives from the local community colleges, Albuquerque Public Schools (APS) and Parchment to create a plan to how to leverage the digital credential in order to unify the student’s academic journey.
The message coming out of that meeting was clear, APS and the other two largest districts in the state — Las Cruces and Rio Rancho — had fully embraced Parchment for sharing digital transcripts and credentials. And for UNM, the company’s platform would become a sort of data hub for tracking the pathways of students journeying to college.
Sharing Data, Driving Success
All of the discussions have been focused around the students’ college and career success. At the school administrator level, the conversations focused on how students can leverage digital transcripts to optimize their academic experience. Additionally, students are using Parchment to find scholarships and match up with schools best positioned to help them achieve career goals.1
Alternatively, state administrators were looking at ways to crunch student data made available through Parchment to design better educational pathways and improve outcomes. Imagine if the University of New Mexico knew what their most successful finance majors studied in high school and community college? Imagine if they also knew the most likely point at which current finance majors drop finance and move onto something else? Optimizing pathways and curriculum becomes possible, and a lot of this data already exists in Parchment.
Parchment turns aggregated data from a district or region into anonymous chunks for later analysis. That way, administrators can see the most popular curriculum for their most successful students — and then share that with partner institutions. K-12 students enjoy more targeted learning as a result, and are setup to achieve from day one at college.
Will You Accept the Challenge?
To be innovative and rethink the role of data in student success, collaboration is instrumental. To best position students for success in their academic and career journeys, it’s critical to redefine the capabilities of the digital credential. New Mexico’s top administrators are leveraging data and the digital credential to report measures about how well state schools prepare students for college and careers and K-12 achievement.
Are you ready to join the movement? Contact us today to find out how to get Parchment working for you and your students.