What is the Iowa eTranscript Gateway?
The Iowa eTranscript Gateway is a standardized, electronic transcript system created for Iowa’s high schools through a unique partnership between the Iowa Department of Education, the Iowa Board of Regents, and Iowa State University. It enables Iowa high schools to send student transcripts electronically in a standardized format to any college, university, employer, or individual for free, with no IT configuration required.
How does it work?
The Iowa eTranscript Gateway interfaces with the systems that store data at Iowa high schools (called Student Information Systems, or SIS) to gather all the data needed to produce a transcript for a student. With just a few clicks, the high school can use the Gateway to electronically transmit official PDFs of their students’ transcripts to anywhere in the world. Because the eTranscript is standardized, the transcript’s format is the same for all participating high schools. This lessens the colleges’ burden of having to work with a unique transcript format for each Iowa high school.
In addition, a future development will allow colleges the option to receive the transcript as a data stream so that the data from the transcript can be automatically downloaded into the college’s SIS, dramatically decreasing the college’s processing time and costs. In short, the Gateway improves efficiency and reduces costs for both high schools and colleges.
How does the Iowa eTranscript Gateway system access our students’ academic information, and is the security of these academic records protected?
The statewide data infrastructure already created by the Iowa Department of Education through its Student Reporting in Iowa (SRI) initiative serves as the ‘plumbing’ through which the Iowa eTranscript Gateway produces students’ transcripts. Access to the system is secure, authenticated, and requires school administrator approval. The production and transmission of any transcript is initiated by the school’s authorized user. Just like SRI, the Iowa eTranscript Gateway follows the highest standards in data security.
What are the benefits of the Iowa eTranscript Gateway?
- Benefits for Iowa students:
- Provide postsecondary institutions with a complete and standardized record of academic performance, leading to more accurate course placement and greater student success.
- Reduce need for transcript processing fees.
- Deliver immediate transmission of transcript to intended recipients.
- Increase efficiency in Iowa college application process.
- Enable statewide research for improving student performance and pathways to postsecondary education.
- Benefits for Iowa high schools:
- Eliminate need for mailing hard copy transcripts or for outsourcing transcript services to commercial vendors.
- Reduce need for transcript processing fees.
- Enable students’ transcripts to reach their intended recipients instantly.
- Protect student transcript data by utilizing the latest data exchange technology.
- Benefits for colleges and universities:
- Receive transcripts much faster.
- Receive transcripts in a standardized format.
- Future feature: receive transcripts as a data stream rather than a PDF, allowing the transcript to be imported directly into the college’s SIS, significantly reducing processing time and costs.
What is the cost for Iowa high schools and colleges to utilize the Iowa eTranscript Gateway system?
The Iowa eTranscript Gateway system is available at no cost to Iowa’s high schools. In addition, those to whom a counselor or registrar sends the eTranscripts (e.g., colleges, universities, students, parents, employers, etc.) are not charged a fee.
What does the Iowa eTranscript look like?
Those Iowa eTranscripts that are sent as PDFs (rather than as data streams to participating colleges) will appear in the same standardized format (Example Transcript) for all participating high schools.
Can our school customize our Iowa eTranscript?
Although not available in the initial release, our plans are to dedicate a space on the Iowa eTranscript to allow high schools to add their own logo or graphics.
Will it be considered an official transcript?
Yes. The transcript information will still originate from the high school and be sent to the recipient using the latest data exchange security technology, so it will be an official transcript.
Are there unique features of the Iowa eTranscript?
Yes, some of the unique features include:
- No cost!
- The Iowa eTranscript Gateway system is available to Iowa high schools for free. In addition, recipients of the transcripts (e.g., colleges, students, parents, employers, etc.) are not charged a fee to receive the eTranscript.
- Standardized format
- The Iowa eTranscript utilizes a single standardized format for all participating high schools which will make processing easier for colleges.
- Standardized GPA
- The methods used to calculate students’ cumulative GPAs vary significantly across Iowa’s high schools. This makes it challenging for colleges and universities to equitably consider applicants from different high schools. As such, in addition to reporting the student’s Cumulative GPA from their high school, the Iowa eTranscript will also calculate and report a standardized unweighted GPA and a standardized weighted GPA for the student which uses the same methodology across all school districts.
- Method of delivery
- Similar to other commercial transcript vendors, the Iowa eTranscript Gateway delivers an official PDF transcript via secure email to the recipient. A future development will provide colleges the option to receive Iowa eTranscripts as a data stream. This will enable colleges to import the transcript data directly into their SIS, significantly decreasing colleges’ processing time and costs.
- SCED codes
- Every course listed on the Iowa eTranscript includes the School Codes for the Exchange of Data (SCED) code assigned by the school. The SCED code is a course classification system which makes it easier for secondary schools, colleges, and universities to understand the content, level, and sequencing of each course on a student’s transcript and make appropriate admissions and course placement decisions.
- Automatic admission information on Regent universities and community colleges
- While this feature will not appear in the initial release of the Iowa eTranscript, we are exploring the possibility of adding a special notation specifically for 12th grade students which would list the Iowa Regent universities and the nearest Iowa community college to which the student’s academic records qualify them for automatic admission, if they choose to apply.
Which Iowa high schools will be eligible to participate in the Iowa eTranscript Gateway?
Iowa high schools that report their data via Student Reporting in Iowa (SRI) are eligible to participate in the Iowa eTranscript Gateway.
What about high schools that use Standards-Based Grading (SBG)?
Because school districts that already transitioned (or are in the process of transitioning) to SBG have done so in their own unique way, discussions are currently underway with SBG representatives to determine how SBG can be reflected on the Iowa eTranscript.
What is the timeline for implementation?
Pilot testing with participating high schools is taking place during the 2023-24 school year. Once the pilot testing is complete the Iowa eTranscript Gateway will become fully functional allowing schools to begin sending their students’ eTranscripts to colleges, employers, and others through our secure online system. We cannot yet provide a solid timeline for when particular schools will begin piloting – it depends on too many factors (such as the length of the quality control process for schools in the pilot pipeline).
What should our district expect if we participate in the testing?
Important: There is no cost or commitment required for high schools to participate in the pilot testing phase. Any interested school may opt to try out the system. Usage of the Iowa eTranscript Gateway must begin with pilot testing, however; this step is necessary for quality control purposes. Note that during the pilot testing phase, schools must continue to use their current procedure to send students’ transcripts.
Here is what you can expect when it is your school’s turn to participate in testing.
- Your school will be contacted by a member of the Iowa eTranscript Gateway team. Because it may have been a while since your school registered for the pilot, we will ask you to reconfirm your interest in participating. At that time you may begin piloting, defer to a later date, or opt not to participate. If you decide not to participate, your district can always sign on in the future.
- Upon confirming your participation, your school will be asked to provide a list of your students representing various enrollment patterns, such as students taking college-level courses, transfer students, or students who repeated a course.
- The Iowa eTranscript Gateway will interface with your school’s SIS to generate an eTranscript for each of your sample students. No computer programming or software installation will be required on your part. Our system will do all the work.
- The eTranscript team will train the staff at your school who will be authorized users of the Gateway. Your school and our team will review the sample students’ eTranscripts. Additional transcripts will be reviewed on an iterative basis. Any issues or bugs will be resolved throughout this quality control phase.
- Once all data quality issues have been addressed your school may decide whether you wish to use the Iowa eTranscript Gateway to begin sending your students’ transcripts. Using the Iowa eTranscript Gateway does not prevent your school from using any other methods of generating transcripts.
I received an email about a transcript-related product or service from an organization other than the Department of Education, Board of Regents, or Iowa State University. Is this connected to the Iowa eTranscript Gateway?
No. Any communications regarding this project will come from one of these organizations.