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Kern Community College District Rolls Out Digital Access to Academic and Employment Data

The Kern Community College District (KCCD), which comprises Bakersfield, Cerro Corso, and Porterville colleges, has partnered with anti-fraud and data security company Certree to give students, alumni, faculty, and staff their own private, secure vault accounts with lifetime access to their academic and employment data.

With permission from individual records owners, these institutions can now provide secure digital credentials for employment, income, graduation, transcripts, microcredentials, and certificates, housed in an individual vault accessible only by the data's owner. This provides "unprecedented transparency, control, privacy, and data security" to vault owners, the company said in a release.

Key benefits of this service include:

  • Speed in sharing accurate data with trusted verifiers 24/7 from any location;
  • Control of how much data is shared with lenders, background check companies, and others;
  • Central storage of data about employment, income, and educational history;
  • Identity theft protection;
  • Data privacy, with no "middlemen" or "brokers" able to share or sell data for their own purposes.

"Data self-sovereignty empowers users to have control and transparency over significant life changes, such as applying for a new job or enrolling in a graduate program," the company release said.

"The credentials issued to each individual's vault can be reused by our students and employees in their future academic and career pursuits," said Michelle Smith, executive director of enrollment systems and integrated support at Bakersfield College. "In addition, Certree eliminated a lot of manual work by offering us one digital platform for issuing all credentials to our constituents, all through user self-service."

Launched in 2021, Certree has been adopted by 30,000 organizations. Thousands of verifiers such as government entities, banks, lenders, and education institutions verify authentic documents shared directly by data owners through Certree, the company said. Visit the Certree for Education page to learn more.

KCCD serves 45,000 students through its three community colleges, and is part of the California Community Colleges. Governed by a locally elected Board of Trustees, the district's colleges offer programs and services that develop student potential and create opportunities for its citizens.

About the Author

Kate Lucariello is a former newspaper editor, EAST Lab high school teacher and college English teacher.

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