Students taking a test

Montana to link K-12 transcript data to universities

The Montana Office of Public Instruction (OPI) announced plans to build a secure electronic transcript repository for K-12 students and connect it to postsecondary data for Montana high school students who enroll in the Montana University System.

Working with IBM and ConnectEDU, OPI will collect transcript data through a Web portal from high school districts and stage the data for cleansing and verification, according to the announcement. Once verified, this data will flow through ConnectEDU's transcript management system, where student transcript requests will be processed and fulfilled in a secure, Web-based environment. The records will then be delivered to their intended recipients at no cost to the requestor or school district.

Although this process will be voluntary for all school districts, the OPI hopes that providing transcripts for free to all Montana students interested in the Montana University System will be an incentive for the school districts to provide this information and enhance the state's ability to assess college and career readiness. Additionally, analysis of the data could inform policy decisions at the state level, support college and career planning, as well as facilitate the transition for K-12 students to college.

Using IBM's Data Warehouse and Reporting and ConnectEDU's Connect! platform, Montana OPI will be able to store academic data in a statewide longitudinal data warehouse where educators and district and school administrators can access it to support transcript sharing between districts and universities across the state.

"Today's challenge is to make sense of the vast amount of data that surrounds the education industry; to be successful we must harness its insights through analytics for better decision making by educators and ultimately better performance for students," said Michael King, vice president of global education industry at IBM. 

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