The California Community Colleges Technology Center at Butte College was recently honored by the Corporation for Education Network Initiatives in California (CENIC) as the 2010 Innovations in Networking for Educational Applications Winner for its eTranscript California Project.
eTranscript California provides secure, streamlined electronic transcript exchange for 53 post-secondary institutions in the State (community colleges, California State University campuses, and many private and independent colleges). With a statewide transcript system in place, many other things are made possible such as translating large numbers of transcripts into national standards, tracking, combining transcripts into a single Composite Transcript, interfacing with high schools, and longitudinal studies on student success. The California Community College Chancellor's Office estimates that the transcript-related costs for eTranscript California member colleges drops from an average of $7 to less than $.50 per transcript.
Not only does eTranscript reduce costs but it also deters the generation of fraudulent transcripts. Further, the paper used for traditional transcripts is highly processed with chemicals, almost like currency paper, according to Tim Calhoon, Director of the California Community Colleges Technology Center, so cutting back use of this paper is an ecologically sound practice.
“The way to think about this is to not think about transcripts, which evokes a piece of paper but rather to think of this as a student records exchange. This saves money, cuts down on transcript fraud and is a green process but the most important piece of the project is that it facilitates the successful transfer of students from one academic institution to another,” said Calhoon. “It allows students to gather in one place what they have already accomplished and to see what they have left to accomplish to meet their academic goals.”
Work on the eTranscript project began in 1999 and the pilot program was launched in 2001 with 16 community colleges and four-year institutions participating. The project was implemented statewide in 2007.
The California Community Colleges Technology Center at Butte is funded through grants from the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office. The purpose of the center is to identify and develop technology-based synergies that save the state’s 112 community colleges money and serve its 2.9 million students.
California's education and research communities leverage their networking resources under CENIC in order to obtain cost-effective, high-bandwidth networking to support their missions and answer the needs of their faculty, staff, and students.