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.
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. The Gateway can then securely transmit data electronically to anywhere in the world, either in the form of a PDF or, for those colleges and universities who prefer this option, in the form of a data stream that can be imported directly into the college admissions office's SIS. The eTranscript is standardized, meaning the same pieces of information are included for every student regardless of their school’s SIS or grading system.
The Gateway improves efficiency on both sides; the process of pulling and sending data is reduced to a few clicks for the sender, and time-consuming manual data entry is eliminated for colleges that choose to receive the transcript information as a data stream.
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.
- Option to receive transcripts as a data stream rather than a PDF, allowing the transcript to be imported directly into the college’s SIS, significantly increasing processing efficiency and cost savings.
What is the cost for Iowa high schools and colleges to utilize the Iowa eTranscript Gateway system?
The Iowa eTranscript Gateway system is available to Iowa high schools, colleges, and universities at no cost.
Will all Iowa high schools and colleges be required to participate in the Iowa eTranscript Gateway?
Not at this time.
What does the Iowa eTranscript look like?
All PDF transcripts appear in the same standardized format regardless of the student’s high school. The transcript recipient may choose to receive the transcript in a PDF format or as a data stream.
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:
- Method of delivery
- Colleges and universities will have the option to receive Iowa eTranscripts as a data stream. This will enable the colleges to import the transcript data directly into their SIS, significantly increasing their processing efficiencies and cost savings.
- 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 compare high school courses across school districts.
- 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 Local Cumulative GPA, the Iowa eTranscript will calculate and report a standardized unweighted GPA and a standardized weighted GPA for the student which uses the same methodology across all school districts.
- 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 eTranscript could include a notation indicating 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. As such, the current eTranscript PDF shows this area as under development. Although this SBG section will not appear in the initial release of the eTranscript, we expect to add this section in an updated version.
What is the timeline for implementation?
Internal testing of the Iowa eTranscript Gateway is currently underway as of the spring of 2023, so we expect to begin pilot testing with participating high schools near the beginning of the 2023-24 academic 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.
What should our district expect if we participate in the testing?
There are three different Student Information System (SIS) vendors which Iowa high schools utilize: Infinite Campus, JMC, and PowerSchool. Because the computer programming behind each of these three SIS vendors is unique, we must categorize the volunteer pilot schools by vendor. Within each of these three categories, schools will be brought into the pilot one by one based upon the date they volunteered.
This pilot testing phase will involve the Iowa eTranscript Gateway system retrieving transcript data from your school’s SIS, creating an eTranscript, and sending it back to you in a PDF. We will collaborate with you to verify the accuracy of the transcript for a sample of your students. Once we have verified the accuracy of this data exchange and worked out any bugs, we will move onto the next volunteer school district. It is important to note that during this pilot testing phase, your school must use your current procedure to send your students’ transcripts out.
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 and contain the Iowa eTranscript Gateway logo and branding.