Archive for Thursday, October 29, 2009

Electronic transcript program on the way

Secure transfer of documents to colleges and universities would be provided

October 29, 2009


The Kansas State Department of Education has contracted with an outside company to provide electronic transmission of transcripts to colleges and universities.

The contract is with Los Angeles-based Docufide Inc., which will provide secure transfer of documents to colleges and universities that sign up in whatever manner they choose, said Kathy Gosa, director of information technology for the Kansas Department of Education.

The company also provides confirmation to students that transcripts have been received by their respective colleges and universities, Gosa said.

“It’s a huge benefit to parents and kids,” she said.

In Kansas, the state board of education will look to include public and private colleges and universities, including community colleges. Those schools would accept transcripts at no cost from the student.

Other universities and colleges throughout the region would also be included — some for a nominal fee — along with more than 4,000 colleges and universities nationwide.

The program will be initially funded by a three-year grant from the federal Department of Education, and the state will look at funding options to continue the program further after the grant expires, Gosa said.

While the annual cost is not yet known, Gosa estimated it could be between $300,000 and $350,000 per year.

The state department is now meeting with statewide colleges and universities to ensure they are set up to receive the transcripts. By the end of the 2010 school year, a few pilot school districts will be set up to begin the program, with the program expanding statewide in the next year-and-a-half to two years, Gosa said.

Robert Shandy, a counselor at Lawrence High School, said his school typically mails most transcripts, which can result in some anxiety among students as they wonder whether schools have received them.

The process also takes up staff time, as the school sends out hundreds of transcripts each year.

He said the new program sounded like a good idea to him.

“Sometimes, I think when we try to work harder, we need to work smarter,” Shandy said.


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