Students, Employers Need “Green Light” for Success on Career Highways

Many of us remember the days when we, as students, called or sent a letter to request a transcript in order to apply for a job or pursue an advanced degree. The transcript came in a sealed envelope – for security purposes – which we then delivered to a prospective employer to prove that we had earned the credentials necessary to qualify for the job.

Fast-forward to today’s digital era. No more snail mail. No more faxes. Instead, we need to provide our students with a secure, digital space where they can place all of their credentials in an electronic file and share them with other educational institutions and prospective employers. That process saves time, money and human resources. It helps employers fill jobs quickly and keeps the economy moving forward.

That’s why the Dallas County Community College District is investing in a process that is student-centric – a green light to success through a secure digital ledger developed, not surprisingly, by GreenLight LLC.

One key element of DCCCD’s integrated higher education, student-centric network is to align career pathways in high school and college with the workforce needs of businesses. That means linking students who have the credentials and skills to jobs that often go unfilled today in the Dallas area.

Doing that more quickly and efficiently is critical to success and growth. The challenge is verifying students’ records in a digital world.

By creating a digital identity for students, we are giving them a tool to use that enables them to safely store, share and control their lifelong learning credentials and educational records. It also enables educational institutions and employers to issue verifiable credentials and accomplishment badges.

Those students, as job seekers, also can learn what employers are looking for, related specifically to employment opportunities and needed skills which are posted through this same secure, digital ledger. It gives them the green light to explore, apply, verify and get hired.

Here’s how it works: Records in the ledgers are secured by cryptography; transcripts which are stored on the ledger are instantly verifiable. The ledger is a private, permissioned blockchain network – in other words, it provides an additional layer of safety because participants are known and have permission to be engaged on the network.

As a result, GreenLight becomes the information highway for both students and employers through shared records that are useful to both. It’s a win-win situation.

Using digital identities will benefit high school students applying for college, transfer students, academic institutions, employers/employees and governmental agencies. And businesses save money, too, spending less employee time on verifying credentials and hiring viable job candidates.

We are pleased to have education partners – the Dallas Independent School District and the University of North Texas at Dallas – as well as GreenLight LLC, IBM, Salesforce.com and Salesforce.org involved in this effort.

DCCCD’s integrated higher education, student-centric network solves problems in partnership with community organizations, businesses and other education providers. It removes barriers to help students succeed. By giving them the green light – a protected, digital identity – we are solving problems collaboratively and benefiting students, employers and communities.

Joe May
Chancellor, Dallas County Community College District

Alex Page