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Credit Transfer

Ithaka S+R Launching New Universal Credit Explorer Website

Higher education research, guidance, and project design organization Ithaka S+R has announced in a release that it is working on a "new, public, nonprofit, national credit mobility website" to launch later in 2024 in collaboration with several higher education institutions across Connecticut, South Carolina, and Washington.

The website will be free to use and is being designed to show how educational credits earned from multiple sources may transfer and apply toward degree or certificate programs at participating institutions, a unique feature among services of this kind, the organization said.

Given that educational credits can come from so many different sources — free tuition "promise" programs at community colleges, dual enrollment high school/college courses, exams taken for credit, certificate courses, work experience, and military service training — the goal of the website is to make this information transparent and investigate whether these credits can transfer to specific institutions.

The website, being designed and built by JSTOR Labs, is patterned on the CUNY Transfer Explorer site created by CUNY and Ithaka S+R. Each participating institution will establish its own automated data feed with updated "course and prior learning equivalencies, course catalog information, and program requirements from student information systems, degree audit software, and/or other relevant source systems," Ithaka S+R said. "The institutions need only maintain their own source systems, and updates will be automatically and regularly reflected on the universal credit transfer explorer website."

The data integration process uses the open source CampusAPI services and Enterprise Integration Framework from the nonprofit DXtera Institute.

Ithaka S+R said that once the website is launched, it will continually add new features and functions. The addition of more institutions within each of the three states, and beyond, will continue throughout 2024 and 2025, the organization said.

"I've witnessed firsthand the challenges students face in transferring credits," said Alex Tadio, Washington State University Everett’s director of admissions. "This initiative represents a collective effort to streamline the credit transfer process, making higher education more accessible and efficient for students."

Visit Ithaka S+R's blog post to learn more about the project.

About the Author

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

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