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eTranscript CA Gets a National Audience at AACRAO Meet

November 18, 2021

Conceptual image of electronic filesCalifornia’s electronic transcripts system received a national audience earlier this fall during a virtual gathering of U.S. higher education admissions officials.

Mark Cohen, a product manager with the California Community Colleges Technology Center, presented a session titled, "eTranscript CA, Exchanging Data Throughout California," at the AACRAO Technology Summit, on Sept. 30. The presentation included real examples of how the electronic transcripts service benefits California colleges and the students they serve, and how the initiative is serving new use cases through the exchange of learner data.

Additionally, Cohen provided an overview of proposed changes to eTranscript as an enabling technology supporting California’s Cradle-to-Career data system. Changes include using the Tech Center's SuperGlue infrastructure to automate transcript exchange within the CCC, and facilitating transcript exchange with non-CCC institutions through the EdExchange data standard, which the Tech Center helped to develop. There is also a vision for eTranscript to support exchange of digital learning records between state social service agencies, colleges, and employers.

Attended by users and non-users of eTranscript California, the session was well received, according to Cohen, with feedback that supported the case for eTranscript's efficient delivery of standards-based data to accelerate admissions decisions for California community college students transferring to four-year institutions.

The summit was held Sept. 29-30 by the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers to highlight the technology of transfer and meaningful data exchange. AACRAO has long advocated for digital record portability and interoperability as a way to support both student and institutional success. With the pandemic having forced much of the education sector into a remote operating environment, AACRAO contends there is now an even more acute need for efficient processes to support transfer.

Standards-based Transcripts

eTranscript California has facilitated the exchange of standards-based transcripts across California's postsecondary systems since 2007. Developed by the CCC Technology Center under a competitive statewide grant from the CCC Chancellor’s Office, the system was designed with an emphasis on areas that are unique to California's student transcripts. More than 100 higher education institutions are currently registered users of eTranscript California, including California community colleges, California State Universities, University of California campuses, as well as major independent and out-of-state universities. The CCC Chancellor's Office continues to fund eTranscript for the California Community Colleges.

Mark Cohen, Product Manager for Infrastructure and Data Services, California Community Colleges Technology CenterCohen (pictured) has a long background in digital record portability. Prior to joining the CCC Technology Center, Cohen co-founded Parchment, a digital credential service, where he led product development for the company's first 10 years before serving as Senior Vice President of Market Strategy with a focus on new initiatives.

At the Tech Center, he is the product manager of Intfrastructure and Data Services, which includes eTranscript California, CCC Data (systemwide Data Warehouse), SuperGlue, and the Multiple Measures Placement Service. Cohen is also involved in the standards-setting community, representing the Tech Center at the Postsecondary Electronic Standards Council (PESC) where he serves as Co-Chair of the EdExchange Steering Committee and JSON Transcript Workgroup.