Standing-Room Only, Parchment Summit Delivers!


Last week, Parchment and Connecting Credentials presented the inaugural Parchment Summit on Innovating Academic Credentials in Washington DC. Before a standing-room only audience of more than 215 higher education leaders, national policy advisors and workforce innovators, panel discussions ranged from the new language of credentials to ensuring interoperability and usability.

Because today’s academic credentials share limited information about what graduates know and are able to do, the Parchment Summit featured discussion on the future of credentials through the lenses of ‘why’ and ‘how’.  The Parchment Summit began with a keynote by Dr. Anthony Carnevale, Director of the Georgetown University Center on Workforce and Innovation. Dr. Carnevale shared that the only thing more expensive than going to college is not going to college and highlighted the growing market value of a college credential.

Jake Schwartz of General Assembly and Ryan Craig of University Ventures were part of a feature discussion on unbundling and stacking credentials. Pulin Sanghvi of Princeton and Scott Fast of Innovate + Educate fostered a dialogue about the changing paradigm of higher education’s role in career formation. Matt Sigelman of Burning Glass and Scott Bierman of Bellevue University discussed credential inflation while Mark Leuba of IMS and Bob Sheets of George Washington Institute of Public Policy engaged in a dialogue about the interoperability of twenty-first century credentials. Representatives from the Association of American Colleges & Universities, American Council on Education, AACRAO and NASPA presented research and project reports on how credential innovation is being received both by higher education institutions, workforce and the learner.

Dr. Arthur Levine, President of the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation was the closing keynote for the Parchment Summit and provided a historical context of education.  Referencing page after page of thoughtfully crafted handwritten notes, Dr. Levine addressed the need for a reinvention of academic credentials and giving ownership of the earned credential to the learner.

While many conversations first began at the Parchment Summit, the goal is to foster longer-term multi-disciplinary collaboration between technologists and practitioners, higher education leaders and employers that believe in the transformative potential of technology in extending the reach and the meaning of academic credentials.

Early survey results from Summit participants indicate that more than 90 percent would be interested in attending a future Parchment Summit on Innovating Academic Credentials with several respondents asking for more than a one-day convening.

In March, Parchment will launch a website featuring videos from the Parchment Summit, presentations, fresh new content and more.  Until the launch of the website, we want to encourage you to stay engaged. Join the Parchment online community, Collaborate, to stay connected. In Collaborate, you can build powerful connections, start a discussion, or pose a question. You can also continue the conversation on Twitter using #ParchmentSummit.

Until we meet again in 2017.

Live from Scottsdale, the Parchment Top 10

We all loved David Letterman’s Top 10 lists right? From the wacky to the wonderful, Letterman had a way to help us understand the importance of many current events. Today, Parchment introduces its very own Top 10: The Top 10 Reasons to You Should Attend the 2016 Parchment Exchange User Conference.  We can’t ask Paul Shaffer for a drumroll so without further delay, the Parchment Top 10:

  1. The Power of the Exchange: Time after time, attendees tell us that the most valuable takeaway from attending is the opportunity to network and have real conversations with their peers.
  1. Parchment Summit: Join us a day early for the first event bringing together leaders and practitioners in higher education, philanthropy and technology to discuss innovating academic credentials. (Separate registration required: Register now!)
  1. Get the Playbook: Learn directly from your peers how to execute your goals! This year’s sessions include a look at Loma Linda University’s Experiential Transcript … an idea they put into place after attending the 2014 conference.
  1. See the Future: Parchment Product Managers will present prototype software and conduct focus group sessions to capture your feedback. Help Parchment build the best product for you!
  1. Session Roulette: With four unique session tracks, there’s a wide variety of programming to choose from. See the full agenda.
  1. Long Lasting Connections: Meet the person on the other side of the exchange. Compare notes on how to help each other and make the coming year the most successful yet.
  1. Get Trained: Parchment’s K12 trainer will be at your service to get every question answered. (Free, optional pre­conference activity: RSVP here)
  1. Mix­n­Mingle: Enjoy a stylish night out in Washington D.C. at our annual Member Appreciation evening event.
  1. Combat Hunger: Create Opportunities Give back to the community and join the Morning Meal Prep volunteer activity at D.C. Central Kitchen (Optional pre­conference activity: RSVP here)

And the No. 1 reason to attend the 2016 Parchment Exchange User Conference…

  1. Explore the Nation’s Capital: The Renaissance Washington DC DuPont hotel is centrally located and the perfect launch pad to explore all of the activities DC has to offer. Extend your stay at the preferred conference rate to explore DC before or after the conference.

Don’t delay and register now. Early bird pricing ends December 31, 2015.

2016 Parchment User Conference: The Ultimate Agenda

The Fourth Annual Parchment User Conference is just ten weeks away and while you’re planning your 2016 New Year’s Resolutions, be sure “Enhance Parchment Skills” is on your list. With peer-led sessions, Parchment member schools will be bringing community to the network at the annual conference.

The conference, rich with member content will feature the following sessions:

  • Campus Collaboration: A Peoplesoft Integration Story. Salisbury University
  • Send & Receive Exchange Panel. Shippensburg Area High School; Temple University; Virginia Department of Education; Powhatan County
  • Low Budget Development of a High-Powered Experience Transcript. Loma Linda University
  • Transcript Outsourcing: Reallocated Labor and Improved Student Experience in Enrollment Services. Boston University
  • From 0 to 60: The Fast Track to Counseling Success. Frederick Douglass High School
  • How ASU Receives 220K Transcripts Without Breaking a Sweat. Arizona State University
  • The Visual Transcript: The Next Evolution of eCredentials. Elon University
  • Parchment Implementation CSM Style: Ellucian APIs. College of Southern Maryland
  • Parchment Breaking Barriers. City High Middle School
  • Admission G.H.O.S.T.s. Touro College
  • Extending the Transcript for Competency Based Education. University of Maryland University College

In addition to member sessions, Parchment will offer training sessions and insights into the Parchment product road map. The 2016 User Conference will be held Thursday, February 18 and Friday, February 19 in Washington D.C. Early bird registration is $50 through December 31, 2015.

To learn more or register today, visit 2016 Parchment Exchange User Conference

Help Supercharge the Parchment Community

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The Parchment member network is nothing without you. You and your peers bring community to the network of schools that rely on Parchment to safely and securely exchange academic credentials. The Parchment member community will gather February 18-19 in Washington DC for the Fourth Annual Parchment Exchange User Conference. Will you be there?

The Parchment Exchange User Conference is comprised of member-led sessions around topics related to credential exchange. Sessions will focus on:

  • Best Practices. Tips and tricks to save you time, energy and headaches.
  • New and Emerging Trends. Did you know that the State of Indiana has introduced a state-wide common transcript initiative using XML data?
  • Elon University is innovating their credentials by offering students a visual, experiential transcript.
  • Optimizing the Learner Experience. Learners can request their academic credentials in a variety of ways including on their smartphones.

All Parchment members are invited and encouraged to attend. This can’t-miss conference will have specific tracks with programming for high school senders, higher education senders and higher education receivers. Convening this diverse community of practice leads to rich and meaningful discussions.

Early bird registration is now open. Register by December 31, 2015 to save fifty percent. We look forward to helping you supercharge your Parchment experience next February in Washington D.C.

Receivers: It’s about time

Howdy Admissions officers! A new feature was rolled out a few days ago that we hope you will like! When you click that “Process” button, in the past there was no telling how long that would take. Should you get a cup of coffee? Or if your download file is larger, maybe lunch is a better plan.

We wanted to give you a little more information on how long it should take to process and download your documents. Now every time you process, we’ll calculate how long it took to process similarly sized files at the same time and give you an estimate of how long it should take to complete your download.

Step 1: Click “Process”

Step 2: Parchment calculates approximately how long your download will take

Step 3: The prepared file is in “Ready to Download”


We hope this new feature will help you as you’re in the busy admissions season. Please let us know what comments you have below, or by emailing

The Time is Right for a Transfer Student’s Bill of Rights

College students “swirl.” They swirl from one higher education institution to another in pursuit of degree completion. Unfortunately, these swirling students often times come upon roadblocks when attempting to transfer course credits from one institution to the next.

Matthew Pittinsky, Parchment CEO and Assistant Research Professor at Arizona State University (ASU) partnered up with Kent Hopkins, Vice President of Enrollment Management Services at ASU to call for a bill of rights for transfer students.

Pittinsky and Hopkins propose that a Transfer Student’s Bill of Rights would “…guarantee access to degree programs, sequences and prerequisites guiding higher education to do a much better job in serving the nation’s transfer students.”

The authors point out a recent report highlighting 37 percent of all students who began college in 2008 have transferred institutions at some point and state that this should be a “wake up call for Capitol Hill and the White House”.

To learn more from Pittinsky and Hopkins, read “Underserved and overburdened, transfer students face an uphill battle to earn their degrees”.

State Initiative Increases Opportunities for College-Bound Students


Parchment and the South Carolina Department of Education (SCDE) joined forces in 2008 to empower students to achieve success after high school.  Since the relationship began with SCDE seven years ago, Parchment has delivered more than 354,000 academic credentials on behalf of South Carolina students!

Today, the SCDE and Parchment have renewed their commitment to empowering students and taken it one step further. Through a new state initiative, current students are able to digitally send their high school credentials to schools beyond the South Carolina border. The previous initiative was limited to colleges and universities within South Carolina.

South Carolina State Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman is thrilled, explaining that a streamlined admissions process is paramount to the success of students. Spearman also notes that this initiative eliminates the cost to students to send digital credentials.

Students in South Carolina can now send their high school transcripts digitally to more than 3,400 higher education institutions, organizations and accreditation groups throughout the United States within the Parchment Member Network.

More Students Gain Access to Parchment Through Newly Launched Affiliate Partner Program

Parchment is committed to empowering learners. Every learner. Every day.

To enable more learners, in more places to turn their credentials into opportunities, Parchment recently launched an Affiliate Partner Program. This program introduces Parchment to more students through the tools they are already using to navigate their college prep journey, such as college counseling, enrollment, CRM and readiness applications.

How do affiliates work?

By adding the Parchment “Order My Transcript” widget to their site, affiliate partners create new entry points for learners to order their academic credentials from Parchment’s network of high school members. Imagine, without having to leave the college counseling tool they’re working in, learners begin the college application process by initiating a high school credential request from inside the counseling site.  Students currently using tools like Graduation Alliance, Kuder, and Shmoop will have an early advantage as these organizations were first in line as Parchment affiliates.

Do high schools need to make any changes?

Never fear though high school counselors and administrators, while providing new access points for these college-bound learners, Parchment’s affiliate partners will be required to adhere to your school’s established policies and workflows. We promise – no need for you to change your current processes!

To learn more about Parchment’s Affiliate Partner program, click here.

Student College Choices Drive Parchment’s Fifth Annual College Rankings


The Class of 2015 has offered advice to the Class of 2016 that includes: “College isn’t the goal, it’s a way of reaching your goal.” Wise words from the next generation of leaders.

As the Class of 2016 continues to rely on the Class of 2015 for information on college, look no further than the 2016 Parchment Student Choice College Rankings. More than 86,000 seniors from the Class of 2015 reported to Parchment that they had to choose among 154,000 admissions acceptances across 700 different universities! These choices, as reported to Parchment by college-bound students drive the results of Parchment’s annual college rankings.

But how does it work?

Imagine that your college choice was treated like a chess tournament. Schools would be ranked by the total number of matchups won against another school as well as the ranking of the school they faced in the matchup?  Example, you’ve been accepted to Arizona State University (ASU) and the University of Arizona (U of A). Which school do you choose? If you choose ASU (more matchups all time), then ASU is awarded points and U of A loses points. The more points a school earns, the higher their ranking.

Where is the Class of 2015 going?

Parchment’s Student Choice College Rankings offer some interesting results. As you’d imagine, for the third consecutive year, Stanford University is the top student choice. (who’s going to turn Stanford down?) Student choices vary each year as a result of various environmental factors. This year’s rankings highlighted several Liberal Arts Colleges on the move. Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, CA moved up twenty spots from last year’s rankings to the No. 3 spot in 2016.  Other Liberal Arts Colleges on the move included Swarthmore College in Swarthmore, PA, Pomona College also in Claremont, CA and Bowdoin College in Brunswick, ME ranked 11th, 12th and 13th respectively by students. Unique to the 2016 rankings, Harvard University dropped 39 spots, from the No. 2 position last year to 41 this year.

What should the Class of 2016 do?

Parchment’s college rankings are pulled directly from the students using the college admissions tools on Parchment’s college admissions tools are a free, online resource to help students and parents research colleges, discover their chances of admissions and see how they stack up with their peers. Check them out today!

Parchment, a University Business Top Product? You Decide!

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Industry magazine, University Business, publishes an annual list of Top Products intended to inform campus leaders around the U.S. about the products identified as best on the market. Who decides these products? You decide! College and university leaders nominate companies that offer top solutions as a way to give a virtual “thumbs-up” to their peers for consideration.

Is your school using Parchment to empower your learners? Are you helping #EveryStudent succeed using Parchment’s academic credential management system? Tell your peers by nominating us. We know you’re busy so don’t worry, the nomination deadline isn’t until Monday, October 5. And, the nomination form is quite simple. It shouldn’t take you more than 10 minutes to complete. Unless of course you really love Parchment, in which case take all the time you need!

Thank you. We value the role we play in helping your learners turn their credentials into opportunities.

Groningen Declaration: The Future of Digital Student Data Portability

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This spring I had the wonderful opportunity to travel to Málaga, Spain to represent Parchment and become a signatory of the Groningen Declaration. This international document seeks common ground to best serve both the academic and professional mobility needs of learners around the world by bringing together key stakeholders in the Digital Student Data Ecosystem.

Introduced in 2012 with meetings annually, the Groningen Network is a process. The intent of this process is a more integrated global system for the secure exchange of electronic student records. The process, of which the declaration is a part, includes demonstration projects and annual meetings designed to connect key governments, service providers and educational institutions. Each annual meeting includes a new class of invited signatories. An initial signatory, the U.S. based National Student Clearinghouse has played an important role in leading this international movement.

The declaration itself is a set of principles focused on allowing learners around the world to be able to consult and share their authentic educational data with whomever they want, whenever they want, wherever they want. The full text of the Groningen Declaration can be found here.

By signing this declaration, we have signaled our engagement with universities, companies and governments worldwide to facilitate the transfer of electronic academic credentials. It is an exciting time to participate in the early formation of a global ecosystem of governments, educational institutions and service providers committed to enabling the secure exchange of electronic student records.

Other global signatories from 2015 include:

  • Universities of Australia
  • ARUCC (Association of Registrars of the Universities and Colleges of Canada)
  • CDSL (Central Depository Services Limited) and C-NAD )National Academic Depository)
  • Academic Information Centre
  • EP-Nuffic
  • Groningen University
  • Glavexpertcentr –National Information Center
  • Universidad de Málaga
  • CollegeNET
  • IMS Global
  • IERF (International Education Research Foundation)
  • PESC
  • Stanford University
  • TAICEP (The Association for Credential Evaluation Professionals)
  • University of Texas at Austin

Parchment 7 is Here!


We Are So Excited!

Your suggestions inspired us to create the most advanced academic credential management system: Parchment 7. Thousands of your enhancements will help you process incoming transcript orders faster and better than ever before!  Thank you for helping build the best!

See the 7 Best things about Parchment 7:

Get more information about the features included in Parchment 7 with these resources:

Log in today to see what we’ve all been waiting for: The future of credential management!

And the Rock Star Counselor Award Goes to …. Sarah Elaine Hart!


We are so excited to announce the winner of our #HSC2015 style contest to  “Refer a Counselor!” The winner receives airfare, hotel, and registration to NACAC 2015 in San Diego.  After reviewing all of the submissions of so many great, and I do mean GREAT counselors, we finally settled on one counselor who really epitomizes the best and brightest in the field.

The 2015 Parchment Rock Star Counselor Award goes to, drumroll please, …..

Sarah Elaine Hart

William Monroe High School, Stanardsville VA


Sarah Elaine was nominated by one of her peers. When we called to let her know she was not only nominated but the winner she exclaimed, “I was beyond delighted and more than a bit stunned when my colleague informed me that I am the recipient of this award. I truly feel as though I have been told I am going to Disney World for counselors! What an amazing opportunity. I am deeply grateful. This sort of professional opportunity is certainly out of reach for me and my department.”

We’ll be following Sarah Elaine on her trip to NACAC and wish her — and all of you attending this year — a wonderful conference!

Thanks to all of you who submitted nominations. And congratulations to all of this year’s nominees!

You can read the submission for Sarah Elaine Hart below.  

Sarah Elaine Hart comes to school every day with a clarity of purpose I have rarely seen in any person, in any profession. The word “counselor” feels woefully inadequate to describe the nature of her interactions with every single student in our high school. She is alternately a sounding board, life coach, career adviser, cheerleader, and a master of the pep talk. She’s as likely to break up a fight as she is to offer a hug. She’ll turn up the heat on a slacking freshman just as easily as she can joke with a senior entirely consumed by senioritis just to squeeze out a few more drops of effort prior to graduation. Kids are drawn to her because they find immediate and indelible positive regard, no matter their struggles or afflictions.

Ms. Hart is either talking to a student or seeking out a teenager in need from the moment she arrives at school every day, to include the walk in from the parking lot. I’ve seen her pull off some very impressive counseling stunts while her kids are still sitting in their cars in the morning, presumably on the fence about going to school that day. Once she drove to a student’s house and she impressively charmed the student’s much older, shirtless, and not entirely sober boyfriend and convinced everyone in the house that coming to school that day was the only reasonable choice. That student is now on track to graduate, which is an outcome I could not have predicted prior to that inspired visit.

SE, as she is known to her coworkers, founded a mentoring program for at-risk students which has enjoyed enormous faculty support. She co-leads our 504 program and has overseen a highly effective overhaul to enhance understanding, communication, and efficacy among the students and staff alike. She started a group counseling program called CALM which cannot serve all the young people now clamoring to be a part of it. Did I mention that this is her first year at our school and in the profession? She has quickly become among the most essential adults in the building because of the sheer number of people who count on her every day for emotional or material support. Her hands are in everything and she has somehow not only balanced it all, but pulled it off with panache and gusto, all the while deferring credit, seemingly a bit embarrassed by all the attention her many successes have garnered.

She is beloved by the students, the staff, and the parents, not just because of her enormous charisma, not for the tremendous order and productivity she brings to everything she touches, and not because she appears indefatigable during even the longest of weeks. She profoundly believes in the kids in ways it never occurred to them to believe in themselves. It shows in all that she does, through all of her very long work days, she has filled us with Hart and we’re all the better for it.

New Interface with Parchment 7 in July; Training Available Now!


We are so excited to announce the next major product enhancement for sending eTranscripts: Parchment 7! For this product release we went back to the drawing board to determine what set of features and functionality make the ideal eTranscript and credential management platform. You’ll find a brand new interface for you and your students and an intuitive new navigation to make transcript processing easier than ever.

We’d like to invite you to join us for a training session to take a tour and start getting familiar with Parchment 7 well in advance of it being available in July.

Sign Up for Training!

K12 Training Sessions:

Each Session will cover the same material. Pick the date and time most convenient for you. If you cannot attend, register anyway and we will send you a link to the recorded session to watch at your convenience.

May 21, 2015
10:00 AM MDT – 11:00 AM MDT

June 16, 2015
11:00 AM MDT – 12:00 PM MDT

July 7, 2015
10:00 AM MDT – 11:00 AM MDT

August 11, 2015
10:00 AM MDT – 11:00 AM MDT

September 16, 2015
10:00 AM MDT – 11:00 AM MDT

Higher Education Training Sessions:

Each Session will cover the same material. Pick the date and time most convenient for you. If you cannot attend, register anyway and we will send you a link to the recorded session to watch at your convenience.

May 27, 2015
11:00 AM MDT – 12:00 PM MDT

June 17, 2015
11:00 AM MDT – 12:00 PM MDT

July 8, 2015
10:00 AM MDT – 11:00 AM MDT

August 12, 2015
10:00 AM MDT – 11:00 AM MDT

September 17, 2015
10:00 AM MDT – 11:00 AM MDT

Join Inside Higher Ed Editors for Discussion on Extending Credentials

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Parchment is excited to have partnered with Inside Higher Ed to produce a special booklet titled, “Extending the Credential.” This free booklet highlights a series of articles that explore topics like competency-based education, internships, the role of co-curricular activities and the evolving role of the transcript and of the degree. Download the booklet for free here.

Inside Higher Ed will present a free webinar on Wednesday, May 20 at 2 p.m. EST discussing the themes of the booklet. Presenters include Inside Higher Ed editors Scott Jaschik and Doug Lederman. To register for the “Extending the Credential” webinar, click here.

To learn about Parchment’s point of view on extending credentials, you can review the most recent whitepaper, “Extending the Credential Empowering the Learner.”


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