AcademyOne serves Governing Education Agencies (like Boards of Regents, Commissions on Education, Departments of Education), the institutions they govern, and the students attending the schools, colleges, and universities in their region. They specifically address what they call the “transfer tax” or the cost of transitioning from one institution or program of study to another in pursuit of a postsecondary credential. By offering sharable, cloud-based infrastructures and database mapping comparability by pathway, AcademyOne addresses how prospective learners are guided and how institutions can support the transitions across boundaries with greater transparency and improved support.
AcademyOne was launched as a digital utility focused on sharing data, workflow, and enterprise integration between institutions in 2005. Pennsylvania was their first statewide implementation in 2006. Then came South Carolina in 2008, Tennessee in 2010, Utah, Ohio, Alaska, Florida, and Wyoming followed. “We have developed a family of integrated applications with single sign-on authentication, real-time data importing, and automated assessment. Users can avoid having to compile their academic history manually by using our open and secure course work import” says David K. Moldoff, Founder and CEO of AcademyOne.
AcademyOne is dedicated to delivering high-impact products that simplify processes, build strong relationships through teamwork, and better engage on-the-move 21st century learners by providing the means to devise stronger academic plans. “Our focus has been to improve the user experience. Our applications and portals offer seamless steps that eliminate redundancy,” says David. “We have found that building trust is the key to reducing duplicative effort and processes. Likewise, collaborative and shared services are pivotal as we address the proprietary, decentralized, and disparate data systems that have been implemented over decades. Our software helps a learner see how their course work spans requirements comparatively across participating institutions.”
AcademyOne’s niche serving education governance and policy is unique. From their marketing position, they promote methods built on collaborative technology. Their technology solutions are configured and localized to serve the autonomy institutions seek, while they help guide learners as they cross pathways and areas of study. It is a balance though – to serve what institutions desire (differentiation), what learners want (portability) and what governance desires (best outcomes for the money).
They work hard every day to create and implement innovative digitally driven solutions and methodologies that are guaranteed to improve both the institution and learner experience. “Our strength comes from the focus on helping institutions utilize technology to bridge and guide learners with transparency and greater efficiency,” says David. “We help the institutions work together, build trust and respect for
both their differences – and what is common between them.” ArticulatED is their statewide, shared platform that enables institutions to serve prospective learners by leveraging their existing technology and data management practices. They synchronize with their authoritative data systems and integrate in real-time using secure web services. Learners can self-assess progress toward pathway requirements and work with advisors to take the right courses or learning opportunities.
Building the Future
According to David, most states (and countries) have a diverse population spread geographically. Industry and commerce are also varied across the landscape. Thus, the educational institutions and their programs of study vary and address regional needs from agricultural studies to zoology. There are thousands of concentrations covered by hundreds of thousands of courses offered. Faculty, drawn to research, teach and learn with varying levels of autonomy and comparability. Yet, given the decentralized nature of education, the duplication and overlap hold a huge cost burden buried in budgets. In Pennsylvania and South Carolina, they have helped develop the tools to build and promote curriculum that help smooth transferability across the first one or two years of studies, reducing the loss of credit in the event a student transitions with transfer. Transfer between institutions also incorporates change of major or program of study. In Utah and Tennessee, for example, they manage degree requirements proactively taking the load off the institutional resources. Students can run prospective transfer degree audits and check their course work against requirements at the institutions they wish to attend.
As the company continues to make progress implementing statewide portals and their shared infrastructure, AcademyOne is enhancing their suite of application services that states and institutions can leverage. Their single sign-on, for instance, enables a group of institutions to share identity management across a wide range of applications and services. “This will lead to increased trust in the work flows and data sharing supported by AcademyOne,” says David. “We intend to replace or augment the paper-based and manual work flows that exist behind the scenes of transfer – incorporating access and exchange methods that would further reduce the costs of handling transfer transitions.” Today, what truly differentiates AcademyOne, is how they are working with governance organizations and institutions over the long haul. “Our platforms and solutions reveal and align differences where possible, highlight incompatibilities, and underscore how by working together student success can be improved across boundaries, policies, and requirements,” adds David.