The University of Texas at Austin will partner with the nonprofit National Student Clearinghouse to provide expanded and secure electronic student record exchange services for academic institutions and employers nationwide.
Under this partnership, the National Student Clearinghouse will assume operating responsibility for and invest in the university's service, known as the Standardization of Postsecondary Electronic Education Data Exchange or SPEEDE Server. The University of Texas at Austin will continue its role as a leader in promoting national standards for electronic data exchange and improving higher education services and operations.
"UT Austin has devoted close to two decades developing and supporting a national model for the electronic transfer of educational records. This partnership with the National Student Clearinghouse will allow for the expansion of the technology and services developed at The University of Texas at Austin into a truly national platform," said university Vice Provost and Registrar Shelby Stanfield. "Expanded electronic data exchange based on national standards as well as services available through the Clearinghouse will permit comprehensive research about higher education enrollment trends and improve efficiency at institutions across the country."
SPEEDE was started by the university in 1995 and processed more than 4.3 million documents last year alone for nearly 300 institutions. In addition to electronic transcripts, SPEEDE delivers electronic admissions applications for all public Texas universities through ApplyTexas as well as transcript acknowledgements, test scores and other educational records.
The National Student Clearinghouse, founded in 1993, provides educational reporting, verification and transcript services to more than 3,300 postsecondary institutions; most are available at no cost. The nonprofit also offers a research service, StudentTracker, which enables educational institutions and researchers to study postsecondary enrollment and success nationwide. SPEEDE will be added to the complement of services offered by the Clearinghouse and, as part of the partnership, the university and the Clearinghouse will work together to expand the use of electronic data exchange among institutions of higher education as well as to achieve the benefits that automation can bring to address institutional goals.
The National Student Clearinghouse was chosen by the university as a partner in this effort because of the Clearinghouse's ongoing commitment to improving efficiency for higher education with low-cost solutions, its deep research capabilities and its commitment to information security. The Clearinghouse receives insight and guidance from the Clearinghouse Advisory Committee, which is comprised of leaders from several institutions of higher education. In addition, the Clearinghouse is a long-time member of the Postsecondary Electronic Standards Council (PESC), helping to develop communications standards to enable secure electronic data exchange by institutions.
"We are honored that UT Austin has chosen to partner with the Clearinghouse and to trust us to continue its work developing this important national educational resource. As a trusted and neutral nonprofit organization with a proven commitment to and track record of serving higher education in facilitating the secure exchange of student information, the Clearinghouse is uniquely positioned to help evolve and expand SPEEDE to meet the growing needs of institutions," said President and CEO of the Clearinghouse Rick Torres. "Our goal is to continue to provide the SPEEDE service to colleges and universities for free, just as we have most of our services for the past 20 years.
"In addition, our commitment to safeguarding data and information, in tandem with the Clearinghouse's unique role in higher education, will allow the University of Texas and SPEEDE users to evolve their use of the platform to incorporate new services, such as the future establishment of an education record repository at the Clearinghouse," Torres said. "This repository will enable greater research capabilities and, therefore, will facilitate greater understanding of enrollment trends and performance in line with the Clearinghouse's mission."
The University of Texas at Austin has been a leader in developing national standards for the secure and efficient electronic transfer of educational records, including student transcripts, admission applications and test scores through the SPEEDE Initiative. The American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO), a nonprofit professional organization of more than 11,000 higher education admissions and registration professionals, will continue to have an active leadership role in SPEEDE throughout the transition.