The traditional concept of an educational transcript has become outdated as the needs of individuals and industry have evolved alongside new technologies to record, validate, and share information about students’ educational accomplishments. In the year 2020 and looking forward, the need is for a “learner record” which includes the same information as a traditional transcript as well as information about non-classroom learning experiences and credentials earned via industrial trainings, field work, military service, volunteer experiences, and more.
The Midwestern Higher Education Compact (MHEC) is engaged in several activities related to digital credentialing, e-Transcripting, and comprehensive learner records (CLR). CLRs fill a niche in the market in that they merge technology with the detailed, expansive documentation students and employers wish to see pertaining to the college experience. MHEC activities include an ongoing partnership with Credential Engine, a 14-year long contract for e-Transcripting services, and evolving regional and state level communities of practice working to improve the capacity of each MHEC state to move toward digital credentialing and credential transparency.
To help MHEC make optimal decisions about this work, an advisory group of individuals from a variety of constituencies (i.e., educational agencies such as K-12, state higher education executive offices, institutions, data and IT fields) within MHEC states will be assembled and convened in Fall 2020. Initially, members of this group will participate in virtual meetings to:
- Share the status of their respective states' progress along the paths toward digital credentialing and credential transparency;
- Learn about current and emerging practices and technologies relevant to the paths; and
- Hear from vendors responding to MHEC’s RFP for digital credentialing solutions.
In 2021, this same group will explore specific areas of interest and help MHEC strategize and prioritize additional projects within the area of digital credentialing and comprehensive learner records to bring value to MHEC’s member states. The advisory group may look at areas where technology and higher education intersect, seeking collaborations across the region that can produce benefits for the Midwest that otherwise would be difficult to achieve at state and institutional levels.