MHEC Digital Credentialing Solutions Brief
Transcripts are the traditional record of a student’s success in completing coursework and earning a degree at educational institutions. They have long served as “proof” to potential employers and other educational institutions that a student has engaged in certain learning activities and mastered given areas of content. However, the traditional concept of a transcript has become outdated as the needs of individuals and industry have evolved alongside new technologies able to record, validate, and share information about students’ educational accomplishments. In the year 2020, the need is for a “learner record” which not only includes the same information as a traditional transcript, but also includes information about non-classroom learning experiences and credentials earned via industrial trainings, field work, military service, volunteer experiences, and more.1
The purpose of this paper is to provide a background and starting place for understanding the unfolding shift from traditional transcripts to comprehensive learner records and to explore the work in which MHEC might engage to support this transition. For example, in the short-term, MHEC has an expiring contract for e-transcripting (January 2021) that needs to be refreshed in a way that pays attention to the fast-paced changes in the world of learner records and credentialing. In the longer-term, work is needed to support institutions, systems, and states as they transition from the use of traditional transcripts to a system of comprehensive learner records.
1 Lumina Foundation (2019). Unlocking the nation’s potential: A model to advance quality and equity in education beyond high school. Author. https://luminafoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/unlocking-the-nations-potential.pdf