SCOTTSDALE, Ariz., Sept. 12, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- In an effort to provide additional support to the Commonwealth's PK-20 education system, the Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) has contracted with Parchment Inc. to implement the Pennsylvania Electronic Student Transcripts And Records System (PA eSTARS), a statewide network for exchanging student records and transcripts at all grade levels. This unified digital system will increase schools' operational efficiencies and allow student information to be safely shared between schools, whether a student moves to another town or state or applies to college.
A student record is comprised of the information accumulated throughout a student's academic career, including course credits received, grades earned, and participation in extracurricular activities. The student transcript is a subset of this information, used by colleges and universities in making admissions decisions.
This initiative will improve the process of moving student records and transcripts across the Commonwealth, while ensuring schools receive more timely access to critical information so that they are able to provide the appropriate services to Pennsylvania's students.
Pennsylvania is the seventh state education agency to select Docufide® by Parchment™ through a competitive bid process. Nearly 1,000 local education agencies (LEA) and institutions of higher education (IHE) in Pennsylvania are eligible to benefit from this voluntary initiative. A federal grant awarded to PDE will be used to underwrite the initial implementation costs for entities signing on prior to July 1, 2013. K12 LEAs can register for PA eSTARS now at https://securetranscript.docufide.com/districtreg/PAeSTARS. Any questions from K12 LEAs can be addressed to PAeSTARS@parchment.com. Postsecondary institutions may register by contacting PAeSTARS@parchment.com.
"Pennsylvania joins a growing number of states that are building a digital records infrastructure, a fundamental component of data-driven schools, universities, and education agencies," said Parchment CEO Matthew Pittinsky, Ph.D. "By securing a federal grant to cover the start-up costs, PDE is helping ease the transition for its public schools to a digital system, and encouraging greater use of data to accelerate achievement and education transitions."
Six other states have successfully adopted the Docufide platform for PreK-20 digital records and transcript exchange. Nearly 80 percent of Indiana's eligible high schools are using the service, and more than 115,000 transcripts were exchanged there in the last 12 months. Michigan has experienced similar success with Docufide, where 70 percent of eligible schools exchanged nearly 200,000 transcripts over the past year.
Prior to the Department of Education contracting with Parchment, no solution existed that enabled the rapid and secure exchange of digital student records and transcripts across Pennsylvania's preK-12 schools or between the K-12 and postsecondary schools. The Docufide® by Parchment™ platform offers an alternative to the current labor-intensive methods that cost districts and colleges millions in human resources, postage, printing and paper.
In addition, Docufide will provide Commonwealth schools better access to complete student records – essential at the preK-12 level for ensuring that students are placed into the correct classes and receive the supports they need to thrive. At the postsecondary level, the quick and confidential delivery of transcripts to admissions offices via Docufide assures students that their applications are received, their coursework is applied to their program of study, and they have the assistance necessary to ensure their future success.
Parchment is the leader in electronic transcript (e-transcript) exchange. More than 9,000 high schools (over 30 percent of the U.S. secondary school market) and postsecondary institutions have exchanged 4 million transcripts using the Docufide by Parchment™ SaaS platform. Beyond providing the cost and operational efficiencies of electronic transcripts, Parchment works with learners and institutions around the world to unlock the value of transcript and credential data – helping people collect, promote, and share their education credentials in simple and secure ways. At Parchment.com, students can research colleges and discover their chances of admission, see how they compare with peers, get college recommendations, and send official transcripts when they are ready to apply. Founded in 2003, Parchment Inc. is a venture-backed company headquartered in Scottsdale, Ariz. with offices in Roseville, Calif. and Washington, D.C.