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Montana To Build Statewide Data Warehouse to Connect K-12, Postsecondary Student Data

The Montana Office of Public Instruction has partnered with IBM and ConnectEDU to develop a statewide data warehouse that will store electronic student transcripts for K-12 students and connect them with postsecondary data for Montana high school students who go on to postsecondary education in the state.

The system integrates IBM's Data Warehouse and Reporting tools and ConnectEDU's Connect platform. The OPI will use the system to collect high school transcript data through a web portal. From there, the data will move to ConnectEDU's transcript management system, which will handle student transcript requests from Montana universities and colleges. According to information from ConnectEDU, the OPI will use the data "to inform policy decisions at the state level, support college and career planning, as well as facilitate the transition for K-12 students to college."

Participation in the program is optional for school districts, but the OPI is looking for all districts to participate because it will let Montana high school students submit their transcripts to the state's postsecondary schools at no cost to the requestor or school district. "This program will help make the college application process easier for students and families," said Madalyn Quinlan, chief of staff for the OPI, in a prepared statement.

In addition to handling student transcript requests, the system is intended to help educators and school administrators make informed policy decisions, track student success and provide personalized instruction, according to information from ConnectEDU.

"Today's challenge is to make sense of the vast amount of data that surrounds the education industry; to be successful we must harness its insights through analytics for better decision making by educators and ultimately better performance for students," said Michael King, vice president of Global Education Industry at IBM in a prepared statement.

About the Author

Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at leilameyer@gmail.com.

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