Parchment, a major digital transcript sharing provider, entered into new terrain this week by purchasing Quottly, a company that supplies software for course and program sharing, managing dual enrollment, and automating and expediting transfer agreements.
The leaders of the firms believe that merging two operations — transcript exchange and credit transfer — will enable universities to better manage the numerous moving components of the transfer process and facilitate the effective transition of students from one institution to another.
Trying to Utilize Technology to Ease Transfer Connections
Some higher ed experts see the move as a reaction to demand for a more complete transfer management platform when some colleges are employing various, separate digital tools to shepherd students through an already arduous process.
Transfer students, on average, lose 43 percent of their credits, the U.S. Government Accountability Office found in a 2017 report. Meanwhile, fewer than a quarter of colleges and universities communicate transcripts with each other electronically, according to a 2021 research by the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO) (AACRAO).
Only about half of colleges and universities nationwide have automated articulation rules governing which course credits count and are automatically applied.
Technology to make transfers go as smoothly as possible
“If you’ve attended multiple colleges and perhaps dual-enrollment courses in high school or AP courses, getting your records together to make them available to the college to which you’re transferring—and for them to be able to take the time to key punch all of the course information, all of the credits and grades, and run it through the evaluation system—is a major point of friction,” said the CEO of Parchment, Matthew Pittinsky. “
The other is the evaluation of courses and the management of equivalencies”—which classes at one institution count for credit toward a specific degree at another.
Pittinsky said transferring credits is the most common reason students request digital transcripts through Parchment. He sees the acquisition as a way to tap into a “underserved technology market” at a time when college leaders are “looking to make transfer a bigger part of their enrollment strategy” in response to pandemic enrollment declines.
Both systems will continue to be offered independently, but “they’ll have stronger links between them and extra capabilities due to the merged organization’s total capabilities,” he added.