Standards Make the World Go Round!
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Standards Make the World Go Round!. Tuesday May 8, 2007 Michael Sessa Executive Director. SHEEO/NCES Network Conference & IPEDS Workshop St. Petersburg, FL. Overview of PESC Current Activities Standards Forum for Education XML Registry & Repository for the Education Community

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Tuesday May 8, 2007 Michael Sessa Executive Director

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Standards Make the World Go Round!

Tuesday May 8, 2007

Michael Sessa

Executive Director

SHEEO/NCES Network Conference & IPEDS Workshop

St. Petersburg, FL

Overview of PESC

Current Activities

Standards Forum for Education

XML Registry & Repository for the Education Community

Future Activities



Established in 1997 and located in Washington, D.C., the Postsecondary Electronic Standards Council (PESC) is a non-profit, community-based, umbrella association of colleges and universities; professional and commercial organizations; data, software and service providers; and state and federal government agencies.

PESC’s mission is to lead the establishment and adoption of data exchange standards in education.

The goals of the mission are to enable the improvement of institutional performance and foster collaboration across educational communities in order to lower costs, improve service, and attain system interoperability.

Pete Nalli, Chair, Director of Architecture and Software Development, Datatel

Craig Cornell, Vice Chair, Director of Enrollment Services, Nelnet

Steve Biklen, Treasurer, President (retired), Citibank Student Loan Corp

Represents NASLA

David Moldoff, Secretary, President, AcademyOne, Inc.

Barbara Clements, Chief Standards Officer, National Transcript Center

Judith Flink, Executive Director of Student Financial Services, University of Illinois System

Brian Lecher, Executive Vice President of IT, AES/PHEAA

Michael Sessa, Executive Director, PESC

Rick Skeel, Director of Academic Records, University of Oklahoma

Represents AACRAO

Francisco Valines, Director of Financial Aid, Florida International University

Represents NASFAA

Andy Wood, Development Director, Oracle Corporation

Board of Directors

Adele Marsh, Chair, Vice President of Industry Initiatives, AES

Robert King,Vice Chair,Director of Strategic Development, Citibank

Paula Brower,Banner Student Product Manager, SunGard Higher Education

Holly Hyland,Management Analyst, Office of Federal Student Aid, US Department of Education

Adriana Farella,Executive Director, Strategy & Analytics, College Board

Bruce Marton,Associate Director, Student Information Systems, University of Texas at Austin

Eddie Upton,Systems Analyst Manager, University of Mississippi

Steering Committee


  • Members AACRAO*, AcademyOne, Inc., AES, Bowling Green State University, California Community College System, CBA, Central Connecticut State University, Citibank*, COHEAO*, College Board*, Columbia University, Community College of the Air Force, Dartmouth College, Datatel, EdFinancial Services, EFC*, ELM Resources, Florida State University, Georgetown University, George Washington University, Georgia Board of Regents, Iowa State University, Law School Admission Council*, Miami University-DARS, NASFAA*, NASLA, National Career Assessment Services, Inc. (NCASI), National Student Clearinghouse, National Transcript Center, NCHELP*, Nelnet, Northern Illinois University, Ohio Board of Regents, Ontario College Application Services (OCAS), Oracle, Purdue University, Sallie Mae*, SmartCatalog, SunGard Higher Education*, SLSA*, Texas A & M University, TG, University of Alaska System, University of Denver, University of Illinois at Chicago, University of Illinois Student Financial Services, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, University of Lethbridge, University of Maryland – University College, University of Minnesota, University of Mississippi, University of Northern Iowa, University of Oklahoma, University of Phoenix, University of South Florida, University of Texas at Austin, University of Virginia, USA Funds*, US Department of Education*, Vangent (formerly Pearson)*, Virginia Polytechnic Institute, Wachovia Education Finance, Xap

  • Affiliates Access Group, ACT*, ACE, California School Information Services, College Source, ConnectEdu, Docufide, Educause*, First Marblehead Education Resources, IDAPP, IMS Global Learning Consortium, Jenzabar, JP Chase Morgan Bank NA, JustIQ, Key Bank, Regent Education, SIFA, Triand

    * Founder


Board of Directors

Charlie Leonhardt, Georgetown


Steering Committee

EA2 Task Force

Change Control Board

Submission Advisory Board

Technical Advisory Board


Randy Mertens


Monique Snowden, Texas A & M


Steve Margenau, Great Lakes


Admission Application

Degree Audit Request/Response

Student Aid Inquiry

Course Inventory

Education Test Score Report


Data Transport

High School Transcript

Transcript Request/Response

Transcript Ackn. & Batch

Online Loan Counseling

Meeting Schedule

Key factors in higher education:




Data exchange along the student lifecycle

Secondary to Postsecondary

Postsecondary to Postsecondary

Elimination of redundancy

Reusability of data

Recycling of data

PESC Policy Supports

“Coopetition” – Cooperation among competitors for the greater common good

No single law, model, or mandate can standardize higher education

Agreement to not compete on data exchange, that the education network/super highway is a necessary commodity

Development and adoption is voluntary and consensus-based

Lessons learned from the ATM network and SEVIS

PESC – New Paradigms

Agreement to compete on price and service

Collaboration through PESC – our cornerstone principle, a neutral objective third party, levels the playing field and allows a trusting environment

PESC does not benefit from the national standards agreed upon by the community

Ability to rely on consistent, accurate data exchange frees you up to focus on the needs of students

PESC – New Paradigms

Industry Partners

  • AACRAO’s SPEEDE Committee

  • Data Quality Campaign

  • NASFAA’s Technology Initiatives Committee

  • NCHELP’s ESC Committee

  • SIFA

  • US Department of Education

    – Office of Federal Student Aid (FSA)

Reaching out to ensure usability and coordination



IMS Global Learning Consortium


Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) – UK



Open Source Student Services System

Office of Planning, Evaluation, and Policy Development



Organizational Growth

  • Milestone - 82 Members and Affiliates – 6 Partners

  • Board and Steering Committee Working in Harmony

  • Significant National and International Adoption

  • Formal Policies and Procedures for Development

  • 5 Standards ApprovedHigh School Transcript, College Transcript, Common Record: CommonLine (CRC), Data Transport Standard (DTS), Online Loan Counseling

  • 2 “Standards” SubmittedDegree Audit, Transcript Request and Response

  • 6 “Standards” in DevelopmentAdmission Application, Course Inventory, Education Test Score, Student Aid Inquiry, Taxonomy, Transcript Ack. & Batch

Paper Forms

Wet Signature

Common Forms and Common Applications

Online Applications and E-Sign

Proprietary Formats


eXtensible Markup Language - XML

Evolution of Data Exchange

Continuing to promote usage statistics and implementation as provided by the Internet Server at the University of Texas at Austin

Continuing to include appropriate EDI sessions at conferences and summits

Communicating that SPEEDE continues to serve as experts on the subject of EDI development and implementation

EDI embraced and used by admissions and registrar functions but not for financial aid

Support for ANSI EDI

Support for ANSI EDI

Support for ANSI EDI

Support for ANSI EDI

Support for ANSI EDI

Standards Forum for Education

  • Founded August 4, 2000

  • Serves as the operational and development arm of PESC

  • “Candidates” for standards are proposed, developed, and processed by the Standards Forum

  • Governed by a Steering Committee

  • Includes multiple Boards and Workgroups

Evolution of Data Exchange in Student Aid

$80 billion/year


CommonLine 4

Phases out CL95, CL96, CL3


CommonLine 5

Common Record

Phased out


Early Adopters



Phased out

Begin Migration ?

Direct Lending

Phased out



Begin Migration ??








Evolution of Data Exchange in Student Aid









Cure - Claim







799 - LARS



Life of the Loan

Standardizing simple data elements

Design approach: object-oriented, three-tier architecture

Populating “Core Main” data dictionary with all simple core components/elements

“Sector” libraries allow migration from where an organization or sector is today to national standards

A simple core component in a sector library, which still must be in Core Main, may have a slightly different definition

“Complex” core components/elements, the grouping of several simple core components/elements, follow the same methodology

Core Components

Policies and Procedures

  • Released to PESC Membership in October 2004 for comment period, to Education Community March 2005

  • Focus is on collaboration, submission, approval, and maintenance

  • Includes:

    • Process

    • PESC Guidelines for XML Architecture and Data Modeling

    • Users Guide for XML Registry and Repository for the Education Community

The Process

Step 2:

Workgroup Formed – Submission Development

Step 3:

Completed Candidate Proposed


Step 1:

Request Made – Letter of Intent

Review by

SAB & Steering



Workgroup Formed – Candidate Developed


Change Control Board Review


Returned for





Notification to



Returned with


Step 5:

PESC Membership Vote


Step 4: Public Comment


Membership vote


Returned with Explanation


Step 6:Ratification

A Single Registry & Repository

XML Registry and Repository for the Education Community

  • Developed and owned by FSA

  • Administered by PESC

  • Stores PESC approved standards

XML Registry and Repository for the Education Community

XML Registry and Repository for the Education Community

XML Registry and Repository for the Education Community

XML Registry and Repository for the Education Community

XML Registry and Repository for the Education Community

DTS – PESC Approved National Education Community Standard

A solution specifically for education

Other specifications not sufficient

Addresses .net & Java interoperability

Option to use free Internet Server at University of Texas at Austin

Data Transport Standard

Data Transport Standard

  • Standards

    • HTTP1.1, SSL2.0, SOAP1.1, XML, WSDL2.0, zLib (RFC 1950), Base64 (RFC 3548), UUID, X.509

  • SSL encryption of HTTP Streams

  • WS-Security / XML-DSIG – digital signature standards

    • Strong authentication with non-repudiation

    • X.509 encryption keys and certificate authorities

A business process solved with technical and business interoperability standards

Need to create an environment and network of trust

E-Authentication/E-Authorization (EA2) Task Force for a Common Authentication Framework

PESC commission including AACRAO, EAP, Educause, IMS, Internet2, GSA’s Federal E-Authentication Initiative, Liberty Alliance, NASFAA, NCHELP/Meteor, SHEEO, SIFA, US Department of Education


CRC and DTS being piloted in Student Aid.

Organizations are pairing the XML High School Transcript and the XML College Transcript together to handle all electronic transcript needs in:








Current Implementations

Certification Program

Data exchange along student life cycle

IPEDs XML Upload

“One” Standard for pk20

Future Development

Alignment and bridging of pk12 and higher education

Purpose is to establish one set of objects/core components across the entire student lifecycle

Migration away from silos and/or stovepipes

Realization and implementation will take years

“One” Standard for pK20

“One” Standard for pK20


pK12 higher education

SIFA – SIF Specification

PESC - Standards

Jointly Developed

SIFA Developed

PESC Developed

Compare and understand uses of e-Transcript and High School Transcript

Prove usability of e-Transcript in pk12 and High School Transcript in postsecondary

Identify and analyze overlapping core components/objects

Determine strategy on a case-by-case basis

Store core components/objects in a single repository

“One” Standard for pK20

The “Movement”

Free Code (Standards or Modules)

Allows Greater Control

Requires Resources and Maintenance

Alternative to Packaged Modules

Cost Differential is TBD

Open Source

Focus has been on external data exchange in higher education

Methodology has followed the lifecycle of a student

Strategic direction looks to move beyond student administrative standards to standardizing internal data exchange from one system/module to another

Long term goal is to standardize student authentication

Ability to re-use data provides costs savings

PESC Strategic Direction

10th Year Anniversary

Standards Make the Network! Campaign

  • Case Studies on the Value of Standards in Education

  • Connecting Kids to College

  • Improving Institutional Performance

  • Investing in the Future

Additional Info


  • The Standard – PESC’s monthly eNewsletter

  • Fall 2007 Summit

    October 15 - 16, 2007 at Ritz-Carlton Montreal

  • 5th Annual Conference on Technology & Standards

    April 28 – 30, 2008 Hyatt Capitol Hill

The Cost of Non-Standardization

Standards Make The World Go Round!

Michael Sessa

Executive Director


One Dupont Circle NW, Suite 520

Washington DC 20036


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