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I'm working on producing a strategic plan (my first), and am on the step of surveying what's going on in our environment regarding recruiting, admissions, registration, degree audits, classroom scheduling, and transcript production. For example, FERPA is changing, the Common Application and Universal College Application are gaining acceptance by more schools, some schools don't require transcripts at application time, and some schools (including mine) produce electronic transcripts (digitally-signed PDFs). Can you think of something relevant to share in this discussion, or have any of you gone through this exercise and have something you're willing to share? Kevin Shalla ********** Participation and subscription information for this EDUCAUSE Constituent Group discussion list can be found at


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Hi Kevin, Improvement of admissions services at JMU has relied heavily on eliminating paper-handling. Applications are now collected online and loaded using TS189 loads. Transcripts will become paperfree (at least within Virginia) in 2013. Admissions counselors are freed up to focus on the student by using the consolidated data. Having looked at use of high school transcripts across the country recently, I have two observations related to using actual transcript data (as opposed to pdf's): 1. You are lucky if you are in a state like Virginia that has a state-wide project to support high schools in creating the ability to generating the data from their separate student systems. Few high schools or school divisions have the staff or funding to pull it off. Be sure the support structure for secondary and post-secondary participants is there. 2. You are wise to advocate for high schools to code courses in a way that allows you to compare strength of program among students regardless of what state they are from. We chose to use a nationally recognized course code--NCES SCED code--which, in 12 digits, conveys the course and its level of rigor, such as AP Calculus I. PESC standards now support this, in both XML and TS130 format (see the XML to TS130 mapping). If you want to talk to someone who can eloquently make the case for SCED course coding, I would be glad to refer you to Joe Manning at JMU! Best wishes with your project, Karen Karen Lee Information Systems James Madison University Harrisonburg, Virginia