Multi-Vendor SIS Integration for Course Sharing

Why You Need Multi-Vendor SIS Integration for Course Sharing

We’ve all seen the data: less than half of college students graduate on time. And even after six years, fewer than 60% of 4-year college students have completed their Bachelor’s degree. The data, unfortunately, are even worse for community college students: less than 20% earn an associate’s degree or certificate.

There are many reasons why students fall off track. Nearly one-third of students transfer colleges, and many lose credits when they do so. Others are juggling work and school, making it difficult to take a full course load every semester. And still others find themselves struggling to find the courses they need – when they need them – in order to graduate on time.

To solve these challenges, many institutions are looking at course and program sharing as a way to expand access and opportunity to students, giving them more options to fulfill their degree requirements. But in order for course and program sharing to be successful, institutions must ensure they have the right technology and processes in place to make the experience easy for students and for staff. 

An important consideration when evaluating cross-registration platforms to support course and program sharing is the ability for the technology to easily integrate with your student information system (SIS). Integration with your SIS not only improves the experience for students, but it also reduces the burden on your administrative resources. But that’s not all.

Integrating your cross-registration platform with your SIS is a good first step. But you also want your cross-registration platform to support multiple-vendor SIS integration. Why? The answer is quite simple.

3 Benefits of Multi-Vendor SIS Integration for Course Sharing

Think about the institutions who you partner with – or who you would like to partner with – to share courses and programs. Do they use the same SIS as you? In some cases, the answer may be yes. But it’s more likely that they use a different SIS from a different vendor. And if they do, you’ll want to ensure that you can achieve the same level of integration so that the experience for students and staff is the same, regardless of the SIS technology. And there’s more.

  1. Transfer data in real-time: when your cross-registration technology integrates with multiple student information systems, you’re able to ensure students and staff have the latest information, right at their fingertips. Take course capacity as an example. When integrated, students and staff have access to live seat counts, enabling them to know if the course they want to take has room for them, without having to wait for a daily batch upload of data.
  2. Eliminate manual work: maintaining data between multiple institutions and multiple student information systems is manual and time-consuming. But when your cross-registration technology supports multi-vendor SIS integration, you eliminate manual work. Your administrators no longer need to maintain data in multiple places. Nor do they need to manage batch uploads for critical data such as seats counts, course inventory, or articulation. Not only do they save time, but they can also feel confident that the most up-to-date information is available within their cross-registration platform.
  3. Increase partnership opportunities: when your technology supports multi-vendor SIS integration, you can feel confident partnering with any institution, regardless of which SIS they use. And, you can rest assured that, as we point out in benefit #1, information regarding seat counts, course inventory, and articulation data is always up-to-date across campuses

Multi-Vendor SIS Integration With Quottly

Quottly’s cross-registration platform provides multi-vendor SIS integration, enabling our customers to easily share courses and programs with other institutions. In fact, in our experience, most Quottly implementations include a myriad of student information systems including solutions from Ellucian, Oracle, Jenzabar, Workday, Anthology, and others. Quottly’s cross-registration platform easily integrates with any SIS, including homegrown and highly-customized student solutions. And when available, we use vendor-provided integration tools such as Ellucian Ethos to ensure the integration aligns with vendor best practices.

Quottly’s  SIS integration is simple and doesn’t require institutions to deploy customizations or other middleware components. Our solutions also support single sign-on which provides students with a familiar log-on experience and administrators with control over student use. 

In addition, SIS integration in Quottly automates processes which reduces the time your administrators need to spend on manual data management. It also automates enrollment and registration records which means the data you use within your SIS is the same data used within Quottly, without the need for manual imports/exports of data. All of these features add up to a reduction of strain on resources when it comes to course and program sharing.

Is Multi-Vendor SIS Integration Secure?

The short answer is yes. We take security and compliance very seriously and follow multiple protocols to ensure that your SIS data remains secure. First and foremost, we do not store PII in our databases. 

Second, we regularly conduct third-party audits to ensure that our solutions abide by security best practices. We are SOC 2 Type II certified which means we adhere to best security practices related to data. This is an important certification, and if a vendor tells you they conduct third-party audits, be sure to ask them if they are SOC 2 Type II compliant. 

Lastly, while we are a SaaS provider, if an institution chooses, they can manage an integration layer within their own system if they prefer. 

Having a cross-registration platform that supports multi-vendor SIS integration not only reduces manual processes and strain on your resources but also provides you with greater flexibility and opportunity to share courses and programs with any institution.

To learn more about how Quottly can support course and program sharing at your institution and about our multi-vendor SIS integration, please contact us to schedule a demo.

About the Author


Quottly is the largest and most comprehensive course and program sharing platform in higher education, helping institutions accelerate and boost student pathways toward degree completion.

Tackling Transfer Practices Through Transparency and Technology

Tackling Transfer Practices Through Transparency and Technology

The challenges with transfer are well-documented and well-publicized across higher education. From lost credits to manual institutional processes to confusing admissions requirements, it’s not easy for students to move from one institution to another. And even if they are able to transfer institutions, it’s likely that they’ll lose some of their hard-earned credits – up to 13 units or 43% of their credits, according to the National Center for Education Studies (NCES).

But despite these challenges, 1.3 million students were classified as transfer students in Fall 2021, according to the latest data from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. And if the past predicts the future, we can only expect these numbers to grow. 

While it’s true that the current transfer process can be complex and confusing, there are also opportunities to improve it and simplify it – both for students and the institutions that serve them. The question is, where should we start?

Two Ways to Tackle Transfer

While there are many places where we could begin, we believe there are two areas that, if improved, would immediately make transfer practices better: transparency and technology. In fact, we believe they go hand-in-hand.

Improving Transfer Transparency

First let’s look at transparency. With transfer students losing over 40% of their credits, it’s clear that the process isn’t, well, clear. Too often, students don’t understand or misunderstand how the work they’ve done and the credits they’ve earned transfer from one institution to another. Institutional policies and practices are murky, leaving students uncertain how their prior work will be applied to the institution they want to attend. 

Instead, institutions should consider ways to make their transfer practices more transparent. Students need the ability to quickly determine if their existing credits transfer – or if they don’t. And if they do transfer, they need to be clear on which requirements they fulfill on their overall pathway to graduation. 

By making the transfer process more transparent, students will gain a clearer picture of what their new pathway looks like before they ever step foot on the campus they wish to attend. That way, they can ensure that they are spending their valuable time and money on the courses they need – not on courses they need to repeat.

Supporting Transfer Through Technology

Which brings us to our second point: technology. Having the right technology is key to increasing transparency. The right technology will not only smooth and simplify the transfer process, but it will also give students a way to access their pathway and see what steps they need to take next. As well, better technology will make the administrative side of transfer better, too, through automation.

When looking for technology to support and improve their transfer process, institutions should first look for solutions that provide an up-to-date and comprehensive transfer articulation database. Students need the ability to easily search this database so that they can see whether – and how – their existing coursework will transfer to the institution they wish to attend.  By searching for specific general education requirements and courses in their target major, students can gain a clear picture of what will – and will not – transfer. And this helps them to avoid credit loss or duplicative courses.

Second, institutions should embrace tools that allow students to map their educational pathway all the way to completion. By mapping agreed-upon pathways and giving students transparency through an individual dashboard for scheduling courses and tracking their progress towards a credential or degree, students can stay on track to transfer successfully.

Smoothing the Transfer Process With Quottly

The University System of Maryland (USM) is tackling their transfer challenges head-on, and their partnership with Quottly plays a critical role by giving students the ability to easily transfer credits and keep up with the status of those transfers at 36 Maryland institutions. Through ARTSYS powered by Quottly, USM will realize benefits ranging from thoughtful customer service and system support and customization options to better visibility into student pathways and an optimized system and process.

Quottly provides Cross Registration and Transfer Equivalency modules that simplify the transfer process and help students find the courses they need to successfully complete their degree or program. Our robust transfer equivalency database guides students with program and course transferability information. And our Transfer Equivalency module automates and streamlines course change evaluation and articulation approval, making the process easier and more efficient for students and institutions alike. 

Our Pathways module complements our Cross Registration and Transfer Equivalency modules by helping students find programs, campuses, and courses that best fit their interests. It provides course schedules as well as a dashboard to help students map and monitor their progress toward graduation.

Improving transfer is a tall task, and one that many institutions, organizations, and vendors are dedicated to supporting. But when you find ways to adopt the right technology and improve transparency, you’re taking two big steps in the right direction.

About the Author


Quottly is the largest and most comprehensive course and program sharing platform in higher education, helping institutions accelerate and boost student pathways toward degree completion.

Automating the Dual Enrollment Process

For many high school students, taking advanced placement or “AP” classes is common. In fact, over 80% of high schools nationally offer at least one AP course, with many offering, on average, eight of the 38 AP courses offered. As an example, I took 13 AP courses – and 6 additional international baccalaureate (IB) courses – in high school.

But taking AP classes is not the only way for high school students to earn college credit before they step foot on campus. Dual enrollment is another way that students can earn college credit while still in high school. While the policies surrounding dual enrollment vary state-by-state, 46 states have statewide policies governing at least one statewide dual enrollment program.

Why Dual Enrollment?

So why would a high school offer dual enrollment instead of AP courses? The reality is that it’s not a one or the other proposition. In fact, many schools offer both. For example, on top of my AP and IB course load, I also took a course via dual enrollment. And there are a number of advantages that dual enrollment provides that AP courses do not.

First, AP courses don’t give students a real college experience. Instead, they learn a college-level curriculum in a high school environment. The course is often taught by a high school teacher with high school-level support. And the other students in the class are also – you guessed it – in high school.

Dual enrollment, on the other hand, is a more immersive experience. Most of the students in class are college students. And the course is either taught on a local campus or online through the institution’s learning management system by a college professor. Students are exposed to the jargon, rigor, and structure of a college course. And the expectations are college-level as well.

Second, dual enrollment affords high schools the opportunity to offer a wider variety of college-level courses. AP courses focus primarily on general education requirements for four-year institutions. But not all students who want to take college credit are planning to attend a four-year school.

But with dual enrollment, high schools can expand their offerings beyond the 38 courses offered under the AP program. And this is a big plus for smaller school districts that have limited resources or limited numbers of students interested in college curriculum. For example, they could offer nursing, coding, or HVAC courses. And this opens up the opportunity to earn college credit to a larger number of students. And it helps the college or university increase their enrollment, too.

And that brings us to the last advantage. Dual enrollment boosts enrollment for colleges and universities, many of whom are struggling to meet enrollment goals. And, it helps to smooth the transition for students as they enter college, making it less likely that they will stop out or drop out. This is really important for first generation students who don’t have a parent with college experience to guide them through the ins and outs of adjusting to college. By experiencing college while still in high school, they have a support structure in place that will help them navigate the transition before they step foot on campus.

A Manual Headache for Students and Administrators

Currently, dual enrollment is a very manual process for both the students, the high school, and the college or university. It consists of paper forms, handwritten signatures, phone calls, faxes, and emails just to get a student enrolled in a course. It’s a headache for students – and an even bigger headache for administrators.

Here’s what it currently looks like:

  • The high school student meets with the guidance counselor to understand what courses are available
  • The student picks up a paper form to start the enrollment process
  • The student completes and asks their parent to sign it
  • The student returns the form to guidance, and the counselor signs it too
  • The counselor “sends” the form to the college, often via fax
  • The college Registrar’s office double checks the form by hand, removes any PII, and manually enters the student into their SIS
  • The Registrar’s office manually registers the high school student for the selected class

See what I mean by manual?

And then, if the student needs or wants to drop the class, the student or their guidance counselor must call the Registrar’s office to process the drop by hand. This type of manual work is not only tedious, but it’s also error prone and takes a lot of time. And during that time, classes fill up, which means the student needs to start the process all over again.

Automating the Dual Enrollment Process

But with Quottly’s online dual enrollment service, all of that changes. Quottly automates the manual processes of dual enrollment. Our dual enrollment service eliminates bottlenecks, saves costs, and allows both high schools and colleges to refocus resources on more critical tasks.

Here’s what the dual enrollment process looks like in Quottly:

  • The high school student meets with the guidance counselor to understand what courses are available
  • The student logs into the college using their high school account
  • They explore which courses are approved for them to take and how many seats are left in each course
  • The student selects a class
  • An email or text message goes out to the parent and high school guidance counselor asking them to approve the selection
  • The parent and guidance counselor approve and the student’s enrollment is processed automatically

Not only does Quottly eliminate the paper forms and faxes, but it also reduces the likelihood of error. It also reduces the time to enroll from days to minutes, ensuring that the student can secure a spot in the course. And, it frees up resources in the Registrar’s office to focus on more meaningful work rather than manually registering students.

So as you can see, there are many advantages to dual enrollment for both the student and the institution. But manual processes restrict both the student’s and the institution’s ability to easily offer these types of programs. Using Quottly, colleges and universities can automate the process, making it easy for high school students to enroll and stay one step ahead in their educational journey.

If you’re interested in learning more about Quottly’s online dual enrollment service, please contact us to schedule a call.

About the Author

James Gibson

Co-founder and CTO at Quottly.

A Collaborative Approach to Student and Institutional Success

Having just returned from attending the 2021 EDUCAUSE Annual Conference in Philadelphia, there is one conversation that I am still thinking about. I met with a colleague who was not attending the conference but lives close enough to come to Philly for lunch. She is a senior Academic Affairs executive for a university system. She asked me about the conference and made a comment that this wasn’t a conference for “people like her.” Her assumption was that the EDUCAUSE conference was a technology event and wouldn’t address the topics that she cared about the most.

This is a not-uncommon perception in higher education. People who describe themselves as non-techies see a great divide between themselves and those of us whose job titles and descriptions evoke technological expertise and focus.

But my experience over a multi-decade career in education and technology has been one of both revolutionary change and evolution. While there have been many technological changes that have impacted higher education (WiFi is a great example), the evolution that has taken place has been even more impactful.  That evolution is reflected in the ways that higher education has shifted its IT/technological focus from productivity (such as ERP, office apps, and registration) to student success.  The CIO and IT team are not only supporting student success through implementing technology, but they are also now actively working to help find good technology solutions that will increase student success.

Looking at EDUCAUSE’s recently-released report on the Top 10 IT issues, you can see that the report focuses on ways technology “is helping to make the higher education we deserve.” And it’s no surprise that EDUCAUSE predicts that institutions who will be most successful in realizing this vision will be the ones who equate student success to institutional success. I couldn’t agree more.

So how do campus leaders, IT and non-IT alike, come together to realize this vision? To start, they can explore how to address two of the Top 10 IT issues EDUCAUSE highlighted in their report.

Let’s first look at IT issue #4: Learning from COVID-19 to build a better future.

EDUCAUSE advises campus leaders to use “digitization and digital transformation to produce technology systems that are more student-centric and equity-minded.” These are two core goals in delivering the education that students “deserve”. Efforts at being more aware and focused on equity have recently been at the forefront of many institutions’ efforts to improve student outcomes. Over the course of the pandemic, individual institutions and systems of higher education have both realized that too many students suffer inequitable access. Whether they live in a remote location with limited course and program options or are balancing work, family, and education all at the same time, many of these students find themselves falling behind. Why? Because their institution couldn’t offer access to the courses or sections they needed – when they needed them – in order to stay on track.

The Montana University System struggled with this issue, as many of their students are placebound. And the challenge became more acute during the pandemic. Through system-wide collaboration, they were able to expand course and program offerings for students, giving them choices and access that they didn’t have before. And, they were able to close the access and equity gap, helping more students stay on track to reaching their goals.

Next, let’s look at IT issue #10: Radical creativity.

This issue focuses on “helping students prepare for the future by giving them tools and learning spaces that foster creative practices and collaboration.” Collaboration is a critical skill for students to learn as they prepare to enter the modern workplace. But this concept can go one step further to include collaboration among colleges and universities.

My colleague, Jeff Jones, calls this the “Age of Collaboration”. It is a time when colleges and universities are coming together to implement new solutions to age-old challenges, such as boosting student success. One of these collaborative solutions is course and program sharing. At its core, course and program sharing is all about student success. It’s about expanding reach. And it’s about giving students the access they need to stay on track to on-time completion.

This creative way of collaborating changes the way institutional leaders think about putting student success first. Instead of looking for solutions within the walls of their campus, they’re evolving their approach to include solutions that cross institutional boundaries. They are giving students the ability to fulfill a graduation requirement by taking a transferable course from another institution. And they are filling empty seats in their own classrooms with students from other institutions.

This new way of thinking requires technology support from IT and policy, curricular, and programmatic support from Academic Affairs and Student Services. By joining forces, they can affect change and improve student – and institutional – success.

If these past 20+ months have taught us anything, it’s that change is constant. And, that the institutions that will succeed are the ones who embrace change. These are the ones who realize that there is no such thing as a “return to normal.” Instead, they see change as an opportunity to redefine higher education and to create for students, as EDUCAUSE says, “the higher education we deserve.”

About the Author

Jay Field

Senior Vice President of Institutional Partnerships at Quottly

Course and Program Sharing

Course and Program Sharing: A New Way to Increase Access and Boost Student Success

Quottly recently sat down with leaders from the California Virtual Campus, the Idaho State Board of Education, and Montana University System to hear how they are using course and program sharing, a new kind of collaboration that helps them expand their reach, increase access, and improve completion for their students.

What is course and program sharing?

Course sharing enables colleges and universities to join together in a collaborative effort to share courses and programs across their institutions. It provides many benefits, including the ability for institutions to fill empty seats. And, it helps support changing workforce needs and boosts completion rates for students.

A journey to course and program sharing

During our conversation, our panelists shared their system’s journey with course sharing. They highlighted the challenges facing their institutions. And, they also discussed the needs they are working to fulfill and the outcomes they are achieving. Finally, they shared advice and best practices they learned along the way.

The panelists also provided their perspective and answered questions on important topics such as:

  • Overcoming policy hurdles
  • Ensuring course quality and equivalency
  • Addressing revenue sharing and the cost of courses
  • Managing learning management system environments

Watch the on-demand webinar to learn more about how course sharing is offering new ways to solve student and institutional challenges.

You can also read this blog post by Dr. Jonathan Lashley and Joe Thiel. In it, they share the “must-haves” for institutions looking to create effective online transfer collaborations.

About the Author


Quottly is the largest and most comprehensive course and program sharing platform in higher education, helping institutions accelerate and boost student pathways toward degree completion.

collaborative course sharing

Taking Flight: An Analogy in Collaborative Course Sharing Using Airline Alliances

Why should colleges and universities consider course sharing?

Especially when one of the most common objections we hear is “wouldn’t an institution want their students to NOT attend other colleges?

Not wanting your students to attend another institution is a reasonable initial thought, but collaborative course sharing can help colleges and students achieve their strategic and academic goals. Here’s an analogy.

In many ways, airline tickets are much like seats in a college or university class in that they are perishable. Once the plane takes off, the ‘inventory’ of tickets are gone. After all, you can’t sell an unsold seat when the plane is in-flight. The same is true with a college or university class. Once the add/drop deadline passes, you can’t fill that seat with a new student.

Similarly, both are largely driven by fixed costs. The cost of operating a 747 is different from a regional jet just like the cost of offering a 25 student class taught by an adjunct may be different from the cost of teaching a 300 student lecture by an endowed chair. But the cost of offering the flight (for an airline) or section (for an institution) isn’t highly dependent on the number of people in seats. A 747 flying half-full will cost pretty much the same amount as when it is full. Similarly, the cost of offering a section with 10 filled seats and 10 empty seats is about the same as with all 20 seats full.

Breadth of offering is also important. If an airline doesn’t offer a flight on the route you need at a time that works for you, then you can’t take that flight. The same is true for students. If the section of the course they need isn’t available at a time that fits their schedule, then they are unable to fulfill the requirement. And, in most cases, they will inevitably fall off track.


Finally, the same objection applies: Delta wouldn’t want you flying on Air France, right?

Well, as it turns out, Delta is part of Sky Team, a collaborative alliance of airlines to “codeshare” flights. You can buy a ticket from Aeromexico and end up on a Delta flight. You can be on a flight that you thought was run by Delta and end up on an Air France plane instead. This isn’t unusual, and by now, it probably doesn’t even phase you because it’s happening all across the airline industry. American is part of One World Alliance, and United is part of Star Alliance.

So why should colleges and universities explore collaborative course sharing?

There are many benefits to this new type of collaboration. Here are just a few.

Increase On-time Completion

Students finishing their degrees or certificates on time is a key metric for many institutions. And in some cases, improvements (or declines) in completion rates drive funding. We all know some students will end up not being able to take a course they need at the time it’s offered. For example, the only available times may conflict with their schedule, or the student may need to repeat a course, or the student may even need to take a semester off.

But unless your institution is offering a section of every course, every semester – and at every time of day – there’s a good chance that at least some of your students are graduating late or not at all because of these conflicts.

Of course, offering a ‘full’ inventory of even one section of every course every term is cost-prohibitive for even the largest colleges and universities. There just aren’t enough students that need Genetics in Late-Start summer.

But with collaborative course sharing via the Quottly network, your institution can tap into tens of thousands of sections at other colleges and universities to provide this flexibility, without hiring more faculty or building new buildings.

Increase your Utilization Ratio

Since we’ve established that the cost of offering a section of a course is not dependent on how full the section is, ideally, in order to keep costs down for students, every section would be run at full capacity. That is, at a high utilization ratio.

However, uncertainty in demand and the need to offer multiple sections of courses for scheduling flexibility makes running at a high utilization ratio difficult for many colleges and universities.

Let’s say you generally offer four, 25-student sections of Stats 1 at four different times of day, and generally have 60 registrations between them. For that class, you have a 60% utilization ratio. Sixty percent is not ideal, but you’re not willing to only offer three sections because you know there are a handful of students who need each of your four sections because of scheduling conflicts. So if you close any one of them, you’ll leave some students in a lurch.

Now let’s say you decide to explore course sharing. With course sharing, you could offer three, 25-student sections and a course-shared online section through a peer institution at the fourth time. You may end up with 55 students across your 75 seats – a 73% utilization ratio – and five taking your course-shared course.


Course Sections Offered Seats Used Ratio
Stat 1 4 60/100 60%


Course Sections Offered Seats Used Ratio
Stat 1 3 55/75 (-5 shared) 73%

In this example, your college reduced your cost of instruction by 25% while only reducing credits taught by 8%. This is a huge win for your bottom line!

And this scenario is not even taking into account our next reason for course sharing.

Fill Empty Seats

In the previous example, a college can increase their utilization ratio by closing a section of Stat 1, going from 60/100 seats filled to 55/75, with five students taking credit elsewhere.

However, it is a mistake to think that course sharing means fewer credits taught.

Your peer colleges with whom you are course sharing are also looking to offer courses they can’t teach at a specific time, or can’t teach economically. Just as you are sending five students to their institution, they might be sending five (or more!) students to you.

In this example, perhaps the college in question offers an online section of Stat 2 and an in-person section of the same class. And, the college typically fills 30 of the 50 seats, again for a 60% utilization ratio. The college chooses to continue offering both sections.

But while College A sends five students away to their peer college for Stat 1, their peer college sends them five students for Stat 2.

So, taking this into account, the college has the following benefits:


Course Sections Offered Seats Used Ratio
Stat 1 4 60/100 60%
Stat 2 2 30/50 60%


Course Sections Offered Seats Used Ratio
Stat 1 3 55/75 (-5 shared) 73%
Stat 2 2 35/50 (+5 shared) 70%

College A is able to reduce their instruction cost between these two classes by 16.7% (six sections to five). And they can do this while keeping credits taught constant!

College B experiences the same benefit, but in reverse. This process can repeat across the hundreds or thousands of courses offered by each institution.

With collaborative course sharing, institutions can fill empty seats and increase their overall efficiency. And this leads to better student outcomes at a lower cost. When properly implemented, everybody wins.

Expand the Breadth of Courses

Your college might love to offer a full suite of, say, Ancient Greek, in order to offer a traditional classics education. But perhaps there are only a handful of students interested in that subject – and certainly not enough to hire a faculty member. Referring back to our airline analogy, it’s similar to how Delta might love to offer a flight to Marseille, not just Paris, but just can’t see enough demand to add a route themselves.

With course sharing, you can offer courses to your students as elective, enrichment, or specialization opportunities that you would not otherwise be able to afford to offer. It’s just like how Delta can offer flights through their partners to more than 10,000 destinations, while only flying about 2,000 routes themselves. In both cases, neither your institution nor the airline needs to hire more staff.

Maintain Control

Some administrators worry about making this a ‘free for all.’ But with course sharing, the college or university can remain in control of what opportunities are offered to their students in order to maximize the benefit for both the institution and the student.

Your institution can implement rules like “the student is not allowed to take a shared course unless a section at the home college is unavailable.” It’s just like how Delta will only offer you a ticket on Air France if they don’t have a similar flight with an empty seat.

You can enforce these rules automatically, without causing additional administrative overhead.

So as you can see, course sharing offers numerous benefits to your institution – and to your students. By expanding access through collaborative course sharing, you can improve student completion rates by helping students find the course they need, when they need it, while simultaneously improving operational efficiency. The result? More students stay on track and finish their degree on-time, without more spending.

About the Author

James Gibson

Co-founder and CTO at Quottly.

Transfer Process

Simplifying the Transfer Process

Ask any student who transferred from one college or university to another if the process was easy and you’re likely to hear an adamant “NO!” But just because transferring has been a complicated and difficult-to-navigate process in the past doesn’t mean it can’t get better. We can make the transfer process an easier and more seamless experience for students.

Many students experience “credit-loss” when transferring. In this case, a student’s credits typically count as electives instead of counting as a general education requirement or as a course within their planned major area of study.  In fact, according to the National Center for Education Studies (NCES), students lose an average of 13 units or 43% of their credits, which adds up to a staggering 186,000 years of college credit loss by the nation’s 342,860 transfer students*. But a study by Monaghan & Attewell in 2014 concluded that when 50% or more of a student’s credits successfully transfer into general education requirements or their major, graduation rates increase two and a half times.

A new research report by The National Student Clearinghouse Research Center (NSCRC) shows a 7.9% decline in undergraduate transfer enrollment in Spring 2021. In the community college sector, the decline was 15.2%. The pandemic and its related effects appear to worsen the situation for students who want to transfer. And as the pandemic rages on, it’s unlikely to improve any time soon.

“Fixing” transfer continues to be a complex issue.  Many factors come into play, including how colleges position transfer and what resources, such as counselors and transfer centers, are available to students. Take community college students as an example. These students comprise 50% of the transfers to 4-year colleges with 80% saying that they want to complete a bachelor’s degree. Yet, only 13% actually do so. (source)

However, there are two technology-based tools that can help simplify and improve the transfer experience.  One is an up-to-date and comprehensive transfer database of articulations.  To be of real service to students, transfer articulation data needs to be searchable in ways that students can use effectively.  Students need to be able to see whether – and how – a course will transfer to the institution that they wish to attend.  Searching by specific general education requirements and by courses in their target major are two ways that students can avoid credit loss. The California Virtual Campus – Online Education Initiative ( and Maryland’s new ARTSYS are two examples of such systems that give students a powerful tool to find courses and ensure that the courses they take will transfer appropriately.

The other tool allows students to map their pathway through their education.  By mapping agreed-upon pathways (e.g., California’s Associate Degree for Transfer for community college students to transfer to the California State University system) and providing students with an individual dashboard for scheduling courses and tracking their progress towards a credential or degree, students can stay on track to transfer successfully.  Additional tools such as a mechanism to compare a student’s completed coursework to the requirements for transfer provide an easy, ongoing way for students to stay on top of their progress.

Quottly provides the tools institutions need to simplify the transfer process and help students find the courses they need to successfully complete their degree or program.

The process to help students prepare for and eventually transfer can be a more student-centered and productive experience for both the student and the institution.  If we can do that, students will not only save valuable time and money, but they will also be more likely to graduate.  And as we all know, graduating with a college degree brings many added benefits such as increased earning potential, greater job satisfaction, and even better health.

* National Student Clearinghouse yearly estimate – Published in the Hechinger Report, Nov. 22, 2016

About the Author

Jay Field

Senior Vice President of Institutional Partnerships at Quottly


The Age of Collaboration in Higher Education: An Evolution

We’re entering a new era in higher education: the Age of Collaboration.

A time where colleges and universities are collaborating in new ways. And bringing forward new solutions to age-old challenges. A time when more students will graduate on time. And the dial on student success will (finally!) start to move in a meaningful way.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Before we talk about where we’re going, let’s step back and look at where we’ve been

The Age of Construction

At the end of World War II, higher education experienced a surge in students like nothing ever seen before. Veterans, returning from the front lines, were seeking out degrees under the GI Bill. Others who stayed home to support the war effort also provided a seemingly unlimited new market for higher education. Simply put, the ability to attend college became an option for more people. As a result, enrollment numbers began to climb. Traditional college and university campuses were filled to capacity with eager learners. And as colleges and universities across the country struggled to find space to accommodate this increase in demand, local high schools often became makeshift lecture halls.

Quickly, institutions realized that they needed to expand. And so began the Age of Construction. During this time, many state universities began to build satellite campuses, located in regional centers throughout their state. Now, students could experience college life closer to home, while institutions expanded the number of courses and degrees they could offer.

And these regional institutions opened their doors just in time.

The Age of Constriction

As the newly-educated started families of their own, parents began to expect their children to follow in their footsteps and seek a higher education degree. Students applied to college in record numbers, forcing admissions officers to become gatekeepers. Their job? To determine who was worthy of attending their institution.

Because filling seats wasn’t an issue, finding the room to accommodate the demand became the new challenge. So instead of building more campuses as they had in the past, institutions became more selective. And they chose to admit only the best and brightest students from their pool of applicants.

But as so often happens, after the feast comes the famine.

The Age of Competition

As the number of traditional college students began its decline, institutions were no longer turning qualified, prospective students away. Instead, they were competing with each to fill their incoming freshman class. Admissions officers were looking for new ways to meet their enrollment goals. They began looking beyond the traditional applicant pools to engage with international students. They added online programs to appeal to the changing demographics of students. And they began creating sophisticated marketing programs to tout the benefits of their college or university and woo students to their campus.

While many institutions faced significant declines in the traditional college age population and in enrollment overall, they wondered how they could survive.

The Age of Collaboration

Meeting enrollment goals is only one part of the challenge. Once the students arrive on campus, the challenge shifts to helping those students succeed. And graduate, of course, preferably on-time and on-budget. One of the biggest barriers to students successfully completing their degree on schedule is course availability. Many times, students simply don’t have access to the courses they need to graduate on time. It may be that the course isn’t offered the term they need it. Or their institution may offer the course, but the timing conflicts with something else in their schedule. Balancing the need to provide a variety of courses and schedule options with the demand for increased utilization is a challenge for institutions. And for many, offering more classes or more sections simply isn’t a financially-viable option.

That’s where collaboration – and course sharing more specifically – comes into play. At its core, course sharing is a collaborative effort among colleges and universities to share courses and programs across their institutions. This collaboration expands reach, access, and completion for students. It means that institutions can offer their students more choice. And that gives them a better chance of finding the courses they need to stay on track and complete their degree on time.

While the value of collaboration to support student success is clear, there are other financial benefits as well. Course sharing helps colleges and universities fill seats in empty sections and increase instructor utilization. They can offer a more diverse roster of courses. And, they can provide more schedule options, without having to open new sections or hire more instructors.

A recent report by EY Parthenon entitled Why Collaboration is Key to the Future of HIgher Education states it well:

“Collaboration in this new era involves colleges and universities coming together as seemingly one institution to change their future direction.”

I firmly believe that collaboration is not just an option but a necessity for colleges and universities today. And Quottly is leading the way by providing the technology and expertise needed to help institutions navigate course sharing. By rethinking the traditional paradigm of when and where students access the courses they need, institutions today can take big steps forward in their efforts to improve on-time, on-budget completion rates.

So what do you think? Are you ready to join the collaboration movement?

About the Author

Jeff Jones, PhD

Vice President, Institutional Partnerships at Quottly