Credentials Solutions, a leading higher education transcript service provider, and Scottsdale-based Parchment, a leading platform for issuing and receiving academic and professional credentials, announced today their intent to merge. The anticipated new combined organization will support an integrated network of 10,750 K12 schools, universities, and professional organizations, enabling learners to turn their credentials into opportunities across a range of enrollment and employment pathways.
The intended merger will position the new organization to invest in the innovation agenda of institutions and schools as they look for better ways to support learners with records that more effectively reflect verified learning outcomes and achievements.
The future combined company will have the resources necessary to address sector trends at a particularly dynamic and exciting time in academic credentialing:
1. Enrollment Pathways: The high school transcript is becoming an ever more important source of information for admissions and post-matriculation advising, while credit transfer is increasingly critical for postsecondary students as they move between schools on their path to a degree. Transitioning transcripts from paper to PDF to machine-readable data formats is critical to enhancing these pathways.
2. Credential Innovation: Colleges and universities are reimagining the scope, form, and function of their academic credentials to help translate their learners’ education into successful employment pathways.
3. Lifelong Learning: Traditional barriers between secondary, postsecondary, and professional education are blurring as learners expect greater control and stewardship of their knowledge profile. Technology must support stackable, secure, and verifiable credential management.
4. Open Standards: Postsecondary Electronics Standards Council (PESC) and IMS Global are enabling sustainable innovations in digital credentialing based on the principle of interoperability.
5. Blockchain Technology: Creating the potential of an open, learner-controlled credentialing ecosystem enables the exchange of verifiable credentials without aggregating large amounts of student data in a single data source/clearinghouse.
“From higher education’s first degree verification service to automated transcript processing, our heritage at Credentials has been listening to and serving the college and university registrar,” explained Randy Levy, Chief Administrative Officer at Credentials. “The mandate we are driving towards today is to accelerate the transformation of the transcript into one that contains machine-readable data, based on open standards, learner managed, and securely exchanged. Our team at Credentials is incredibly excited that we will have this opportunity to join Parchment to collectively deliver on this shared mandate.”
“Combining Parchment’s and Credentials Solutions’ networks of schools and universities will create a comprehensive platform that integrates the issuing and receiving of transcripts, diplomas, certificates, and badges, backed by a customer service focus that puts the learner at the center,” said Matthew Pittinsky, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of Parchment and leader of the new combined organization. “Across our two organizations we have a talented team that cares deeply about serving the credentialing community. Our first priority after completing the merger will be to deliver on our members’ high service expectations today, while integrating the two platforms and processes to support continued innovation for the future.”
When integrated, the Credentials and Parchment network will span high schools, higher education admissions and registrar offices, state education agencies, college application services and Online Program Management, and certification and licensing boards, as well as background check companies and employers.
As part of today’s announcement, Credentials and Parchment have launched a comprehensive information site, credentials.parchment.com, to provide stakeholders of both organizations with ongoing updates and answers to questions. Until the merger is complete, it is business as usual for Credentials Solutions and Parchment. The relationship with their respective members remains the same as it is today.