Friday, June 12, 2009

Setting the Standard

June 12, 2009- This morning I was organizing a stack of business cards from a recent meeting. I was trying to stack each 2” x 3.5” card uniformly when an out-of-place 3" x 3” card prevented my perfect pile. I pulled it out and took a second look. It then occurred to me that it was someone I was supposed to contact. Interesting how not following the standard format had benefits – albeit to the name on the card, not to my attempt at organization.

But when does a standard make life easier? Think plumbing, especially when you’re anything but a plumber. Case in point, this weekend I was replacing a standard shower head in our guest bath. I just picked out one off the shelf, having no clue that the standard for a shower pipe is 1/2” IPS. I screwed off the old one and screwed on the new one. Voila. No hassle, no measuring, no hack saw. More often than not, having a standard size is a good thing.

At ConnectEDU, we believe in standards, especially when it comes to data. That’s why we are members and supporters of the Postsecondary Electronic Standards Council (PESC). As do others in our industry, we follow PESC guidelines as we develop our product enhancements. Recently, our Product Manager Jeff Alderson was named to the PESC Board of Directors to help shepherd the implementation of the organization’s standards, as well as develop new ones for the technologies of the future. ConnectEDU is proud to be part of a forward-thinking organization designed to streamline processes that have previously been fragmented in the marketplace.

We know first-hand how PESC has made great strides in setting standards based on our work delivering electronic transcripts. ConnectEDU developed our e-transcript solutions based on PESC standards allowing for a more universal and scalable solution. We are currently participating in the development of standards for electronic college applications as well, an initiative recently taken on by PESC. As we develop our electronic application technology, we will move forward with standards that allow for as many students as possible to benefit from this technology.

Plus, it’s no secret that standards for data and reporting will continue to become a focus in the education space as accountability becomes increasingly more important on a national level. Last week, USA Today announced, “Dismayed that students are slipping further behind their international peers, 46 states have agreed in principle to develop a set of rigorous criteria — the Common Core State Standards Initiative — designed to prepare high school graduates for college and the workforce.” In developing these new standards, new guidelines will follow, as well as new technologies for reporting the data to ensure students are meeting them. This is a time when education intersects innovation and companies like ConnectEDU are positioned to help.

As education moves to more universal academic standards, more centralized reporting, and more data driven decision-making, technologies like the ones we develop at ConnectEDU will help set the standard for a changing world.

No comments: