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Hobsons Acquires National Transcript Center from Pearson

Education technology behemoth Pearson has sold its electronic student record and transcript business, the National Transcript Center (NTC), to Hobsons, another company in the education space. NTC serves 137,000 institutions representing 14 million students. K-12 schools use NTC to exchange student records and provide student transcripts, colleges and universities use the service to receive transcripts of student applicants, and students and parents use it to order transcripts online. In each scenario, the process is handled digitally and without the exchange of paper forms.

Hobsons, which provides student lifecycle management services, is already in the document exchange business. The company's Naviance e-documents service delivers transcripts, just like NTC does, as well as other electronic forms, including applications, recommendations, and other secondary school information. According to Hobsons, it has 1,800 colleges and universities participating in that service.

The acquisition expands Hobson's paperless transcript exchange business and also strengthens its position in student data acquisition. According to a statement put out by the company, the e-transcript and record exchange between K-12 institutions and higher education represents "one of the most critical points of data collection in the student lifecycle."

"K-12 and higher education institutions demand better ways to evaluate student progression through the learning lifecycle," said CEO Craig Heldman. "NTC helps us expand our role in helping educators operate more efficiently and better serve students as they transition among academic institutions."

The company hinted that it expects to collaborate with other organizations in developing a new standard for operating transcript exchange networks. One obvious candidate for that collaboration is the National Student Clearinghouse, which acts as a low-cost service provider to colleges and universities in multiple areas, including academic verification. That organization has reach into 137,000 academic institutions, employers, licensing agencies, and scholarship organizations.

"This acquisition is a welcome addition to the movement to electronic delivery underway in K-20," said Rick Torres, National Student Clearinghouse president and CEO. "We look forward to working with Hobsons to provide a free, open, and standards-based network through which institutions around the globe will be able to securely exchange electronic student academic records."

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.

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