4 transcript and enrollment questions raised by the pandemic

May 1, 2020
  • Enrollment Management
  • Transcripts
  • covid-19
  • NSC
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by Rick Torres, CEO, National Student Clearinghouse 

As we all adjust to this new normal, our thoughts are with you and your families and I hope you're staying safe and healthy. This isn’t business as usual, and it’s a time of great stress and uncertainty. But we also know that it’s a moment in time when the work that you’re doing is the most critical. 

With COVID-19 spreading around the globe and the threat of a recession materializing, we know that thousands of higher education institutions across the United States have been impacted, affecting millions of students. We have addressed four key questions below to keep in mind as your institution navigates this pandemic.
 

During this system-wide disruption, what options do school registrars have to handle student transcript requests, especially smaller schools?

This crisis presents a window into understanding data management practices across higher education institutions. Wherever an institution falls on the technology spectrum, the Clearinghouse is a dependable partner that offers timely solutions for higher education institutions of all sizes and their students. 

During this time, schools may need assistance providing academic data and verifications to learners, businesses and government agencies. The Clearinghouse is here to provide support to colleges and universities during this outbreak. We are available to help you maintain your solutions for sending transcripts, diplomas and more. To learn more about this support, contact the Clearinghouse.

In a post-crisis world, what does the future hold for student transcripts and diploma requests and the role school registrars play in improving learning pathways?

The Clearinghouse is forging ahead with new and innovative ways to empower school registrars to handle all requests for academic/student data securely. Watch for additional updates over the next few weeks on some exciting new projects that we will be involved in. 

This includes a partnership with higher education institutions, and major corporations in the development of an interoperable learner record (ILR). The ILR is a lifelong learning record that moves seamlessly with learners, so they can have complete control over their academic credentials, which they can use to create new learning pathways throughout their life.

As cyber threats are on the rise, how is the Clearinghouse continuing to ensure that all student transcripts and other administrative data are securely exchanged during the pandemic?

Our commitment to protecting student privacy will never waver. We take pride in the strong actions we’ve taken since our founding in 1993 to maintain the security and privacy of the student documents and records in our care. During the pandemic, we have enacted stringent business continuity plans to ensure critical functions, like transcript services, are fully supported. 

That’s why more than 3,700 colleges and universities and nearly 14,000 high schools trust us with their student enrollment and academic achievement information.

How will the next recession impact U.S. college enrollment, persistence, and completions?

The National Student Clearinghouse Research Center data can help clarify how postsecondary pathways transpire during a recession and shed light to help institutions and public policymakers craft effective responses to respond to today’s uncertain times.

The findings presented in “National Postsecondary Enrollment Trends: Before, During, and After the Great Recession,” showcased patterns among traditional-age, first-time students enrolling in colleges and universities for fall 2006 through 2010. The report includes detailed trend summaries and related tables; color charts broken down by regions, institution types, years, and other important variables; and insights.

Furthermore, "Completing College: A National View of Student Attainment Rates – Fall 2008 Cohort" reveals that while a larger number of students enrolled during the peak of the recession, completion rates declined. The largest decrease in completions was among nontraditional age students.

There is no instruction manual for how to feel at a time like this, and we know this causes stress for everyone including your students. Our thoughts are with the people affected and everyone working around the clock to help those most in need. Everyone at the Clearinghouse wishes you and your loved one’s good health and strength in the days and weeks ahead.