UMUC's Automated Transfer Credit and Degree Audit System Wins Leadership Recognition Award from IMS Global

System links Hershey Systems' Singularity Suite and Oracle's PeopleSoft to dramatically expedite credit transfer evaluations, decreasing time from more than a month to less than two days.


By Nick Kelly (nkelly@mghus.com) |   May 24, 2010

ADELPHI, MD (May 24, 2010)—UMUC today announced that it received a Leadership Recognition Award for its automated transfer credit and degree audit system (TCDAS) at the prestigious IMS Global Learning Consortium's 4th Annual Learning Impact Awards showcase in Long Beach, California, May 20, 2010. The Learning Impact Awards were established by the IMS Global Learning Consortium "to recognize the highly impactful use of technology worldwide on improving access, affordability, and quality—the world's most significant educational challenges. "Projects were evaluated by an international panel of experts as well as the participants of the conference.

Jim McGlothlin, vice president for Strategic Programs, Oracle Higher Education commented: "Oracle is proud to be a partner to UMUC and Hershey in this accomplishment. UMUC has demonstrated the academic advising and admissions features within Oracle's PeopleSoft Enterprise Campus Solutions at an unmatched scale. This project holds much potential for a higher level of service and career success for the 'swirling students' of this new decade." UMUC's TCDAS represents an innovative merger of two different software technologies—Hershey Systems' Singularity Suite and Oracle's PeopleSoft—that together work to streamline and accelerate credit evaluations. The integrated system receives both paper and electronic transcripts, converts them to a common format, and moves them quickly through a series of evaluation steps—some automated, some manual—to ensure that students get a timely and accurate road map of what courses they need to take to complete a degree. Since UMUC implemented TCDAS two years ago, the amount of time it takes the university to evaluate student transfer credits has dropped from more than a month to less than two days, while overall costs have declined.

"The leadership role that UMUC has played in deploying Hershey Systems' Singularity transfer credit evaluation system with Oracle's PeopleSoft has helped the university better serve its current and future students," said Douglas Norton, vice president education for Hershey Systems, Inc. "The efficiencies achieved to date in processing transfer credit requests for these students have a measurable impact on cost, time-to-degree and personal achievement for the student."

UMUC's TCDAS represents an innovative merger of two different software technologies—Hershey Systems' Singularity Suite and Oracle's PeopleSoft—that together work to streamline and accelerate credit evaluations. The integrated system receives both paper and electronic transcripts, converts them to a common format, and moves them quickly through a series of evaluation steps—some automated, some manual—to ensure that students get a timely and accurate road map of what courses they need to take to complete a degree. Since UMUC implemented TCDAS two years ago, the amount of time it takes the university to evaluate student transfer credits has dropped from more than a month to less than two days, while overall costs have declined.

"The leadership role that UMUC has played in deploying Hershey Systems' Singularity transfer credit evaluation system with Oracle's PeopleSoft has helped the university better serve its current and future students," said Douglas Norton, vice president education for Hershey Systems, Inc. "The efficiencies achieved to date in processing transfer credit requests for these students have a measurable impact on cost, time-to-degree and personal achievement for the student."

Nicholas Allen, UMUC's provost emeritus, and Norton, of Hershey Systems, accepted the award from Rob Abel, CEO of IMS Global Learning Consortium. Said Allen, "This award recognizes what can happen when an education institution and a technology company collaborate to solve a problem that directly impacts students. It confirms again the power of technology when leveraged wisely and systemically to address the challenges we face as we strive to increase student access to quality education while controlling cost."

Today, the TCDAS serves more than 90,000 students in the United States, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and downrange in Iraq and Afghanistan. When the system was deployed, it represented the largest implementation of the PeopleSoft integrated student information system ever. The TCDAS has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as an innovative student services solution and, in July 2008, UMUC was invited to demonstrate its capabilities at Secretary Margaret Spellings' Chicago Conference on Higher Education Innovation.

"We are tremendously proud of this award and everything it represents," said UMUC President Susan C. Aldridge, in summary. "Through creative partnerships with innovative companies like Hershey Systems and Oracle, and equally creative uses of technology, we have managed to save time and university resources while greatly enhancing the quality of our student services."