“We’ve been having the discussions for electronic transcripts now, I think, for at least a couple of years,” said Heather Duncan, assistant registrar.
Duncan said the old process could take up to a week, but starting Tuesday, most students can receive an electronic transcript in the form of a PDF in just a few minutes.
“Overall, the process is just more efficient and had added benefits to our students and alumni, which we’re also very pleased with,” she said.
Duncan said students and alumni will get multiple emails during the process — when the order is placed, when it is authorized, when it is processed and sent, and, with electronic transcripts, when it has been viewed by the recipient.
“When you place the order, students will be able to access when it actually goes out in the mail,” she said. “There’s a little more tracking capabilities with this.”
Duncan said the company that the registrar’s office is partnering with is Credentials, Inc.
“I talked to a number of schools, including the University of Wisconsin-Madison, University of Tennessee, East Carolina University and the University of Alabama,” said Christopher Derickson, assistant provost and university registrar, in an email. “Every single one of these schools was ecstatic with their decision to go with Credentials.”
Derickson said he is pleased that, on the first day of collaborating with Credentials, the University is already able to send electronic transcripts.
“I look forward to getting feedback from students on this new, transcript-ordering system, and we will continue to look for ways to provide better and better solutions for our students,” he said.
Duncan said the registrar’s office recruited Information Technology Services for the technology side of the project.
“One of the reasons we’re really happy about partnering with Credentials is that they have a very competitive processing fee for electronic transcripts and we knew that would be important to our students,” Duncan said.
The fee for an online transcript is $9.20. Students picking up a paper transcript on campus pay the same price.
Junior Melissa Swope said she’s glad UNC is beginning to offer PDF copies of transcripts.
“Everything in technology is growing so rapidly that it’s hard to keep up with it, but it seems to me that if they were available as PDFs all along, it seems like a quick email — you know, we’ve been sending emails for years — that seems like an easy fix,” she said.
Swope said there are other areas where the University needs to go digital.
“Sometimes the University sends us mail — physical mail in my mailbox,” Swope said. “I understand that if it was in my email I probably won’t read it either, but you’re just wasting paper and I’m still not reading it.”