And Then There Were Two: The Shifting Sands of the Transcript Services and Data Exchange Industry
A Message to Our Education Partners
By Rick Torres, President and CEO, National Student Clearinghouse
Today’s December 10th intended merger announcement from Parchment and Credentials Solutions serves as a reminder to all of us of the evolving nature of for-profit entity ownership and ROI motives. We have watched this industry go through several consolidations, including Docufide becoming Parchment who then purchased AVOW Systems. Years later, Credentials Solutions merged with Scrip-Safe and now we have the intended merger of Parchment and Credentials Solutions. And then there were two: the Clearinghouse and the potential joint entity.
For 26 years, our mission of service to the education, workforce and learner communities has been anchored by our founding principles: We are a nonprofit dedicated to meeting our data and service commitments in a data eco-system that embodies trust, security, privacy, and transparency as its cornerstone elements.
Over time our mission has been driven by and dedicated to serving you and your learners as our primary stakeholders — not stockholders and shareholders — and by maximizing our value to you instead of supporting venture capital ROI objectives.
While market consolidation continues in the transcript services industry with the merger of Parchment Inc. and Credentials Solutions, we continue to stay the course, evolving our services with your best interests in mind, in the face of for-profit player pricing and customer service quality uncertainty.
As your advocate in higher education, we are very concerned about how this concentration of providers may impact institutional choice and service quality into the future. However, regardless of how things change in the transcripts service and data exchange space, you can count on the Clearinghouse as your trusted partner.
From humble beginnings in 1993 as a business process outsource solution, the Clearinghouse has evolved to an organization that has long-standing data relationships with postsecondary education representing 98% of the country’s enrollment as well as over 13,000 high schools and 46 states.
We have worked tirelessly on behalf of our education partners to provide modern and robust transcript solutions that keep you, your data, and students and their data first with intuitive, simplified ordering. We are currently providing transcript services to 1,100 institutions, processing close to 30 million transcripts orders.
While merger announcements always come with promises of a bright new future that supposedly only the new entity can provide, know that we are building the Next Generation Transcript and opening national data exchange platforms with both the Comprehensive Learner Record and interoperable learner record guidelines in mind.
Through products like Myhub, the Clearinghouse is uniquely positioned to lead career and educational ecosystem pathway tracking and tracing, which will provide learners with access to their comprehensive education record regardless of institution.
We’re also exploring innovative technology solutions, such as blockchain, with industry leaders, like IBM, that focus on developing sovereign identity solutions that serve lifelong learners and institutions. In addition, we’re collaborating heavily with the T3 Innovation Network and Credential Engine as well as data solutions that incorporate industry-issued credentials as part of a holistic data and interoperable record solution.
We look forward to continuing our journey with you as we help you take advantage of the opportunities brought by new technologies, when you are ready to take advantage of them, while we continue to support the key data- and transcript exchange-related services that you already receive from us.
Thank you for the trust that you have placed in the Clearinghouse and be assured that we will continue to serve you with the same commitment and principles on which we were founded 26 years ago.
“We look forward to continuing our journey with you as we help you take advantage of the opportunities brought by new technologies, when you are ready to take advantage of them, while we continue to support the key data- and transcript exchange-related services that you already receive from us.”
President and CEO, National Student Clearinghouse