AACRAO Survey of Electronic Transcript Delivery Services


AACRAO's VP for Records and Academic Services has directed a workgroup to collect information and report on the current availability and pricing of electronic transcripts delivery services. To this end we have developed this survey to identify prospective suppliers for the electronic delivery of transcripts and to describe their companies, services, and pricing. Results of this survey will be made available to AACRAO members in a report that will be published In AACRAO's College and University, as well the AACRAO website. In addition, the work group will also present the results of the survey at the AACRAO annual meeting in New Orleans, April 2010.

Please note that the workgroup will not recommend any one technology, vendor, or practice over another. The questions are intentionally exploratory and encourage you to provide detailed responses so that AACRAO members may conduct a prudent evaluation of the features, prices and services offered by each company. Our purpose is to describe the current state of electronic transcripts and to provide useful information to the AACRAO membership that will help them make an informed decision regarding whether or not they should deploy an electronic transcript service.

Thank you in advance for taking the time necessary to complete the survey.


Part 1
CORPORATE INFORMATION

         Short Answer
(Yes, No, n/a, number, etc)
Description / Explanation
What is your company's full name


National Student Clearinghouse

Year of incorporation


Established 1993

How is your company organized?


Not For Profit – 501(c)(6)  
List any other products/services you currently provide.


   
How many academic customers do you currently serve?



3,341 Post Secondary Educational Institutions

How long has your company been providing electronic transcript services?


2005

Where or to whom should schools interested in learning more about your service be directed?


Regional Directors
Web link

http://www.studentclearinghouse.org/colleges/coreserv/how_to_join.htm


Where or to whom should technical questions be directed?

doray@studentclearinghouse.org OR falk@studentclearinghouse.org


Other information you wish to add






Part 2
ELECTRONIC TRANSCRIPT FORMATS


Short Answer
(Yes, No, n/a, number, etc)

Description / Explanation
In what format(s) can you deliver electronic transcripts? (Check all that apply)




  • PDF

YES

  • EDI (ANSI X12 standard)

YES

  • XML (PESC standard)

YES

  • ASCII/flat file

YES

  • MS Word or MS Excel

YES

  • Proprietary format

N/A

  • Other

N/A





Part 3
CREATION OF THE ELECTRONIC TRANSCRIPT


Short Answer
(Yes, No, n/a, number, etc)
Description / Explanation
What data format do you require from the school as you prepare to deliver the school’s transcript electronically? (Check all that apply)



Schools may send data in any format; however they must confirm that the receiving institution accepts the format.
  • PDF

YES

  • EDI

YES

  • XML

YES

  • ASCII/flat file

YES

  • MS Word or MS Excel



  • Proprietary format



  • Other



Does your system create the PDF for the sending institution?


NO

If you deliver an electronic transcript in PDF format, does it include:


We will deliver the PDF that the school creates, if the school includes a cover sheet or includes a link to other web pages as part of the PDF it will be delivered. We do not subscribe to adding any information to what is specifically provided by the school.
  • Cover sheet?

YES

  • If a cover sheet is provided, what information is included?

Customizable by the school

  • Link to school website?

YES


  • Link to registrar’s website?

YES

  • Link to school course catalog?

YES

  • School identity

YES

  • Transcript Key/Legend

YES

  • Other features

A letter explaining the schools grading policies.





Part 4
DISTRIBUTION OF OUTGOING ELECTRONIC TRANSCRIPTS


Short Answer
(Yes, No, n/a, number, etc)

Description / Explanation

How do you distribute transcripts (Check all that apply)




  • Texas Server delivers to each recipient using the senders’ specified requirements

NO
  • Provide a secure web service where receivers can retrieve transcripts.

YES, this is for individuals
  • We utilize a network registry

YES, this is for schools


  • We email the transcript

NO


  • How are transcripts delivered to recipients unable to use the Texas Server or your in-network capabilities?


Recipients register with our exchange network (ETX), and a secure FTP account is created so that transcripts can be retrieved.

  • Are recipients required to be registered with your service?


Individual recipients through our transcript ordering service are not required to be registered. To use our transcript exchange network (ETX) , schools as recipients, are required to register to receive transcripts through our secure hub.

  • Other, please describe



Once delivered to the recipient, will the transcript expire?

Electronic transcripts delivered through our network exchange (ETX) are deleted from the Clearinghouse server after 90 days.

Once opened by the recipient, will the transcript expire for the recipient?
Optional During the implementation of the transcript ordering service schools can opt to place document controls on their electronic transcripts, one such control is the ability to expire the document. Electronic transcripts delivered through our exchange network (ETX) using our automated interface will not expire.




Part 5
RETRIEVAL/DISTRIBUTION OF INCOMING ELECTRONIC TRANSCRIPTS


Short Answer
(Yes, No, n/a, number, etc)

Description / Explanation

Other than a PDF reader, does your system require any special software installation to receive delivered transcripts?


NO
NOTE: Questions below may pertain only to a PDF transcript.




How are “mailboxes” established for recipients?

Network exchange (ETX)
Once the recipient is vetted our IT Operations set the account up within 24 hours.

Transcript Ordering service – A randomly generated URL is created where the recipient logs in with order specific credentials.

Does your system deliver to multiple “mailboxes” at a single school/organization?


YES We create as many mailboxes as required
Does your system deliver in batch to a single destination?


YES
Are recipients required to identify themselves each time transcripts are delivered?


YES
Are email(s) delivered to the receivers with instructions (perhaps including passwords and URL's) whenever a transcript is ready for be retrieved electronically?
YES Network exchange (ETX)- Email notification is sent to the school if desired. The notifications DO NOT contain any passwords, the recipient is directed to the general sFTP login page, credentials are provided to the recipient in the setup process.

Transcript Ordering service – Email notification is sent to recipient including a link. Separately another email is sent with the randomly generated password.

Are students notified that their transcript requests have been delivered and have been opened by intended recipient?
YES Transcript ordering service , the requestor is notified when the transcript is put out for delivery, and when the transcript is retrieved. They are also provided a notification if the transcript has not been retrieved by the recipient prior to it expiring so they can contact the recipient.

Is the sending institution notified that transcripts have been delivered and opened by intended recipients?
YES

We have tracking in place which determines exactly when the transcript was retrieved.

Are transcripts delivered in real time?
YES

Once the PDF is received at the Clearinghouse, it is placed out for secure pickup within minutes.

Other






Part 6
DATA STORAGE


Short Answer
(Yes, No, n/a, number, etc)
Description / Explanation
Does your service require a copy of the sending school’s transcript data base?


NO
Does your service store transcript data after delivery of the transcript?


NO
  • If so, for how long?

NO
  • If so, can the transcript data be released multiple times?

NO
  • If so, can the data be mined?

NO
How are delivered transcripts documented and reported if (after) they are physically removed from the system?



An audit log of all transactions is maintained
Other information you wish to include






Part 7
TECHNICAL REQUIREMENTS


Short Answer
(Yes, No, n/a, number, etc)
Description / Explanation
List the Student Information Systems on which you have installed your electronic delivery service.

The Clearinghouse transcript ordering solution is a 100% hosted solution. A PeopleSoft interface is available now and a Banner interface will be available in 1 st quarter 2011.

Describe a typical installation process and the time required for implementation and activation of your system.

Integration to the Clearinghouse transcript service to the schools SIS is comprised of a web services integration utilizing standard and secure web services technology to transmit requests and to send back transcripts.

Does your service require the use of proprietary software?


NO
What are the minimum hardware/software requirements that your service requires of a school, if any?




Describe how your system accommodates multi-campus delivery and reporting requirements.

Each campus will have individual transcript profiles created and corresponding sFTP accounts. This provides for campus specific reporting capability.

Describe the on-line help capability your system provides to all users.

The Clearinghouse provides numerous written guides as well as interactive demo online. We maintain a fully staffed customer service area that responds to emailed requests for assistance.




Part 8
SECURITY


Short Answer
(Yes, No, n/a, number, etc)
Description / Explanation
How are institutional/campus administrators selected and authorized?

Access can be requested only by existing/vetted users who log into the Clearinghouse secure site. A User Administration tab is accessed, there a “New User Request” is made.
Is the data that you send/receive encrypted?


YES
Is the data that you send sent through some form of secure FTP?


YES
Are any networks secured?


ALL
Are any servers secured?


ALL
If you deliver PDF transcripts, are they secured via a digital signature?


YES – option for schools The transcript ordering service provides an option for schools to add a digital signature to the PDF.

If NO, how does your system ensure that transcripts are authentic and have not been altered?

Network exchange (ETX) service the transcripts are securely uploaded directly to the Clearinghouse from the school, there is no access point for fraudulent activity.

How are delivered electronic transcripts verified as authentic over time?

Transcript ordering service provides an option for schools to control the number of times or length of time that an electronic transcript may be opened.

Network exchange (ETX) is from school to school, directly and securely, authenticity is not affected over periods of time.

Describe the use and assignment of user passwords

Transcript Ordering service – passwords for transcript retrieval are randomly generated and only valid for 30 days.

Network exchange (ETX) – Access to the FTP account is provided at the time of startup. At initial login the user is required to change their password.




Part 9
HIGH SCHOOLS


Short Answer
(Yes, No, n/a, number, etc)
Description / Explanation
Is your service utilized in high schools?



It can be.
Describe any features only used by high schools.






Part 10
REPORTING FEATURES


Short Answer
(Yes, No, n/a, number, etc)
Description / Explanation
What reporting functions are included with your service?



Full audit capability.

Can you report the number (by type, e.g. PDF, XML, EDI) of transcripts delivered on a monthly basis, weekly basis, etc.?


YES
Are your reporting services offered at additional cost?
NO There is no extra charge.




Part 11
PRICING/CONTRACT TERMS


Short Answer
(Yes, No, n/a, number, etc)
Description / Explanation
Is a binding contract required?


YES
If yes, please describe contract period.



The service agreement has no defined contract period.
Is there a per transcript fee? How much?
YES Transcript Ordering service - $2.25 fee assessed for each recipient (NOT PER ORDER) paid by the requestor.




Network exchange (ETX) is provided free of charge to collegiate institutions that participate in our free Transcript Ordering service. Otherwise, the annual fee is 10 cents times the institution’s enrollment (with a minimum annual fee of $300) to send transcripts via ETX. There is no cost to receive transcripts.
Is there an installation/initiation fee?


NO


Is there an annual fee?


NO
Are there initial or annual third party license fees?


NO
Do you offer tiered pricing/service models? If so, please explain.


YES – see pricing question
Are there charges for training?


NO
Do you offer discounts?


YES
Are there code escrow fees?


NO
Are there charges for upgrades or new releases?


NO
Are fees borne entirely by the sender?


Configurable by the school

Are there fees borne by the recipient?




Is pricing bundled to other services?


NO
Describe your customer support program.

The Clearinghouse has a dedicated customer service department that answers telephone calls and emails from schools and student requestors.

Online and telephone support M-F 8-5 EST and until 7 pm EST M-Th

How is your transcript delivery system documented?

The Clearinghouse provides written documentation for all our services on our website. Both written Users Guides are available as well as online demonstrations.




Part 12
SUMMARY


Short Answer
(Yes, No, n/a, number, etc)
Description / Explanation
Please list and describe the 5 top benefits of your system.

  1. We have been partnering with schools for many years, an established trusted relationship.
  2. Schools are comfortable with the secure Clearinghouse login and usage of our website.
  3. There are no setup fees, maintenance fees or upgrade fees.
  4. We do not store transcript data
  5. We have a dedicated customer service team.



Describe any features of your service not previously mentioned.






Part 13
AFFILIATIONS


Short Answer
(Yes, No, n/a, number, etc)
Description / Explanation
Are you an AACRAO member?


YES
Are you a PESC member?


YES
Are you contracted to provide services to a state(s), region or consortium?


YES
List any other affiliations pertinent to electronic transcript services.


Adobe LiveCycle
Attach a list (or active link) identifying the postsecondary institutions using your services as receiving and/or sending institutions.
http://www.studentclearinghouse.org/ETX/registry.asp

list is attached list is attached





Part 14
TRANSCRIPT ORDERING SERVICE


Short Answer
(Yes, No, n/a, number, etc)
Description / Explanation
This area is focused on transcript delivery. Briefly describe:

The Clearinghouse provides higher educational institutions with a web-based application called Transcript Ordering service, which handles all of the details necessary for a student or alumnus to order a transcript from the participating school. After the transcript request is made on the TO system, the school must retrieve the order data from the TO system in order to fulfill the transcript request via print/mail, fax, electronic delivery, etc. During the fulfillment process, the school is also responsible for updating the order status on the TO system. The TO system automatically emails the requestor with order status updates as the order progresses.

Do you offer a transcript ordering service


YES
Is your ordering service integrated with your delivery service


YES
Can other ordering services be used with your delivery service?