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AACRAO and Clearinghouse Leaders Meet to Discuss Technology, Compliance Reporting, Veterans, Comprehensive Learner Record and FERPA

by NSC Blog | Mar 14, 2019 | Transcript & Data Exchange Services |

By V. Shelby Stanfield, Director of the Clearinghouse’s Service Innovation Networks

AACRAO and the National Student Clearinghouse have long been important partners in helping institutions comply with federal regulations and other significant higher education initiatives.

So, when the executive teams of both organizations met to discuss issues of shared concern, the agenda quickly grew in breadth and depth. Earlier this year, leaders from the two organizations held a strategic meeting addressing a wide range of topics and projects in various stages of ideation and execution. Below are a few highlights of the meeting.

SIS Initiative

One area of common interest surfaces around enrollment reporting compliance and student information system (SIS) platforms.

As we experienced recently, when the Department of Education changed reporting requirements, we worked with AACRAO membership on enacting those changes.

Additionally, some systems used within higher education do not easily account for rapidly changing education models, such as evolving education delivery and learning consumption modes, integrated degree programs (i.e., coterminous bachelor and master’s programs), and consortium agreements where a learner is attending multiple institutions at once.

This educational experimentation must be managed in enrollment because it affects how registrars record learning and how compliance reporting feeds into full- and part-time classifications. The way learner records end up being stored in the SIS may not align with how learners are actually engaged with their education.

For this initiative, institutions experiencing challenges along these lines will be invited to a future forum to examine the issues holistically, identify opportunities for short-term improvements, and proactively create roadmaps for how we may best prepare for future compliance reporting requirements in light of teaching and learning innovation.

We will look for ways the Clearinghouse can continue to assist institutions with challenges faced with enrollment reporting and compliance regulations. We will also watch for opportunities where common needs can be presented with a collective voice to software providers as proposed enhancements to their platforms, and to establish proven practices that can be shared among institutions. Going forward, we will have structures in place to identify, assess, and roll out future enhancements should there be other types of changes down the line.


AACRAO and Clearinghouse attendees discussed the progress of the AACRAO Veterans Workgroup, an important area on ongoing joint efforts. Learn more and sign up here for updates.

FERPA and HR 3774

The Clearinghouse is a strong supporter of reverse transfer of credit for purposes of recognizing learner achievements and in AACRAO’s efforts to guide reverse transfer legislation and advocate for making reverse transfer credit exchange a permitted use under FERPA (H.R. 3774). Learn more here.

Comprehensive Learner Record

The Clearinghouse and AACRAO continue to be strong supporters of the Comprehensive Learner Record. The Clearinghouse is developing a learner academic portal, called Myhub, as a platform to support institutions’ comprehensive learner records. Myhub provides the learner with access to an aggregated view of their academic records and educational achievements. Learn more about AACRAO’s Comprehensive Learner Record initiative. If you’re going to the 2019 AACRAO annual meeting, stop by and visit the Clearinghouse in booth #113 for a Myhub demo and don’t miss our sessions and sponsorships.

XML/EDI Format Converter

Electronic transcript exchange has hit a “plateau,” because of the incompatibility of two of the most common data formats: XML and EDI. As it is now, you must receive electronic documents in the same format in which they are sent.

The goal is to develop a solution that can convert an electronic document from one format to another, so institutions can send electronic documents in their preferred format and independently receive electronic documents their preferred format — XML, EDI, or any future format. Creating this independence between sending and receiving formats will provide greater flexibility in the adoption of electronic data processing and reignite interest in investing in such automation. The Clearinghouse is currently doing a technical feasibility study on considerations when building the infrastructure, and has asked for the expertise of AACRAO’s SPEEDE Committee.


The Clearinghouse is working with AACRAO and others in the higher education community to develop a coherent, collective response to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

The Clearinghouse’s Service Innovation Networks

My colleagues and I collaborate with the higher education community in the following ways:

  • identify and evaluate new education service opportunities;
  • aid in needs analysis and requirements determination;
  • assist with developing communication and adoption strategies, as well as issue identification and resolution;
  • advance the development, adoption, and support for services, such as
    • the Clearinghouse Reverse Transfer course/grade/credit exchange service;
    • the academic portal, Myhub;
    • new compliance reporting opportunities, such as Veterans Benefits;
    • as well as Data Exchange Services, such as SPEEDE, ETX, and USA-Connect; and
  • participate in initiatives to study, assess, and evaluate the feasibility, desirability, and applicability of new and emerging technologies aimed at supporting education and workforce communities and lifelong learners.

Looking to the Future

The Clearinghouse has long been a proud sponsor of many AACRAO initiatives and meetings, including several events at the upcoming 2019 AACRAO Annual Meeting in Los Angeles. The Clearinghouse staff and I look forward to meeting many of you at the conference! Please join us for our sessions and sponsorships, and visit us in booth #113 for demos of and to learn more about our solutions.

“We will look for ways the Clearinghouse can continue to assist institutions with challenges faced with enrollment reporting and compliance regulations.”

V. Shelby Stanfield
Director of the Clearinghouse’s Service Innovation Networks