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OpenEAI Software Releases Open Source Academic History Web Service

OpenEAI Project and AcademyOne Initiate Student Data Interchange Collaboration for Higher Education

The OpenEAI Software Foundation, a non-profit corporation organized to develop and promote open source enterprise application integration, today announced new open source web services that enable the secure exchange of student data between student applications systems and applications on the web. The first of these web services is available immediately and called the Academic History Web Service. This web service can be deployed by colleges and universities to allow authenticated student users of web applications to import their complete academic history from these institutions.

The Academic History Web Service is being developed and released as part of the OpenEAI Project to achieve the maximum participation and collaboration with the academic institutions deploying the web services. The web services are free to download and the source code is available under open source licenses. The services can be improved and extended by the deploying institutions, and enhancements can be contributed back to the OpenEAI community to the benefit of subsequent adopters.

The web services are designed modularly to accelerate user adoption and facilitate easy implementation. The core function of the service, authenticating students and retrieving their academic histories, is the same for all institutions. However, institutions will have different student information systems and different methods for authenticating students. Pluggable modules were designed to enable the authentication operation and the function of building a standard academic history from the student information systems. This design allows every institution to deploy the same web service, but configure it for their preferred student authentication method and the student information system they actually use. It also allows institutions to develop custom authentication and academic history provider modules when needed.

The first application of the Academic History Web Service will be Course Transfer and Articulation Tools used by students and advisors such as AcademyOne's Student Passport(TM) and AcademyOne's Transfer Credit Evaluation System (TCES). Students can use the Student Passport to create and save a curriculum vitae spanning multiple institutions, and then manage it and share it with advisors and others as they evaluate their enrollment options. The Student Passport is a launch point to access transition services offered by institutions including course history import, course comparability maps, and personalized 'what if' scenarios to help visualize the impact on course and transfer decisions before they transfer. Advisors and administrators use the Transfer Credit Evaluation System (TCES) to evaluate prospective student's prior learning, track evaluations, and provide a systematic and standard assessment to prospective students. TCES offers a virtual workspace to receive and evaluate prior learning between schools without the long delays introduced by paper transcripts disconnected from the information systems and the complexity of consuming or duplicating the content contained within them.

"AcademyOne is thrilled to sponsor OpenEAI in its work developing this important technology for the higher education market. The Academic History Web Service enables the secure and efficient access of a student's academic history from a single institution. As a standard web service deployed by many institutions, it allows software tools such as AcademyOne's CollegeTransfer.Net's Student Passport to call one or more institutions running independent Student Management Systems and return a consistent reply. Student Passport users can accumulate and assess prior learning without waiting for official transcripts. The acceptability and applicability of prior learning can be viewed against curriculum requirements to determine where one stands proactively," offered David K. Moldoff, founder and CEO of AcademyOne and Co-Chair of the Postsecondary Electronic Standards Council (PESC) Academic Progress Workgroup. "Institutions and students in South Carolina and Pennsylvania are already beginning to benefit from the OpenEAI web services as AcademyOne deploys them. Hopefully other states and institutions will take advantage of this open source implementation and offer these services freely as part of their baseline Student Management Systems giving students access to their data."

"The Academic History Web Service specification is one of the first deliverables of the PESC Academic Progress Workgroup efforts. OpenEAI's implementation of the draft specification proves that a bridge can be built across different Student Management Systems deployed by institutions and answers the call from states seeking to develop data interchange between institutions," added Michael D. Sessa, Executive Director of PESC. PESC, based in Washington, DC. (www.pesc.org), is focused on developing industry data exchange specifications and standards through a diverse community of stakeholders. More information on the PESC Academic Progress Workgroup can be found at http://academicprogress.blogspot.com and http://www.pesc.org.

To download the web services, track the status of the project, or sign up to participate and contribute, visit the project collaboration space at http://wiki.openeai.org:8081/display/participants/Academic History Web Service Collaboration.

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