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ACE Transcript Changes: More Updates

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Some of you are following closely the transition happening at ACE regarding how transcripts are managed. Here’s the latest news and my thoughts moving forward.

ACE Working Transcripts

If you’ve completed and passed a course or exam that carries ACE recommendations, and your provider has not begun issuing Digital Credentials through Acclaim, then you are eligible to order an official transcript through November 2020 that can be sent securely to an institution of your choice. The ACE transcript verifies your credential for a college or employer, and includes information on the learning outcomes, competencies, credit recommendations, and other details about the course you passed. Recipients can use it to grant you college credit, satisfy degree requirements, or verify skills required for a job opportunity. If you have taken training at your workplace or an examination for a professional certification or license which has not been evaluated by ACE’s College Credit Recommendation Service (CRE​DIT®​), the training would not be included on the ACE transcript. However, many colleges and universities have transfer policies and prior learning assessment programs that provide opportunities for you to submit those learning experiences for potential college credit.

Big Questions…

I have the same questions you have:

  1. What will happen to our ACE account after the change? Will it be closed?
  2. Where will our ACE credit “go” if the company doesn’t join Acclaim? (ex. ALEKS)
  3. Will Acclaim be the only centralized transcript option?
  4. Will this change result in losing any of my college credit?
  5. During the transfer, who do I contact if I encounter errors?

The honest answer at this point is that I simply don’t have all the information available to offer anything beyond what ACE is sharing. I have attempted to phone ACE numerous times with no luck, and my emails are not yet answered. So, I’m being patient.

Bigger Questions…

How will this impact my family?

There are some aspects of this that will have zero impact. For instance, CLEP and Advanced Placement products are both worth college credit because they are ACE evaluated, but they already generate their own “score report” or “official transcript” to send to colleges. It feels like we’re headed in this direction for everyone.

Early ACE courses were “bonus” opportunities for people who did workplace learning that happen to also be worth college credit. Example, the McDonald’s Corporation Management Courses have been worth college credit since the 1980’s, but at that time, it was rare to find a college that accepted the college credit in transfer. The burden was on McDonald’s to intentionally find colleges and form these partnerships.

As such, if you’ve followed Homeschooling for College Credit from the beginning, you’ll know that I didn’t used to recommend ACE courses. It wasn’t until the formulation of extensive partnerships did these courses, in my opinion, serve enough people to be worthwhile. Partnerships changed everything.

Only in the past 10 years have we seen a surge in companies whose whole business model is exclusively developing and selling courses for college credit. Only in the past 5 years have we observed aggressive partnerships forming between these businesses and colleges. You really can look at 2015- current as the GOLDEN ERA of ACE CREDIT because people can (and have) earned 95% of a degree using cheap or free ACE credit.

ACE has always had an edge over NCCRS (the other third-party credit evaluator) because they provided a centralized transcript service. No matter how many different companies you used to accumulate college credit, it was all held in one place- your ACE transcript. This made it easy to collect and hold enormous amounts of college credit. Later, you’d simply send 1 transcript to a college for evaluation. NCCRS, in contrast, doesn’t store credit, so if you earn NCCRS credit, it’s on you to make sure it lands at your target college. Easy enough to do if you’re enrolled- not so easy if you’re earning credit now to use in a few years.

Interestingly, in the past year, we’ve seen ACE direct credit partnership relationships tighten, and we’ve even seen cases of ACE–evaluated courses being downgraded (reclassified as lower level credit when previously classified as upper level) and in some cases entire brands/companies have been dropped entirely – and this is from colleges that were *always* willing to award credit for ACE courses.

Now that ACE is getting out of transcript business, there are some new challenges we’ll all face.

(1) Parents will no longer create ACE accounts for their teens- it appears as if having an account through Acclaim will serve as the substitute. There are a lot of unanswered questions around this process and how to move forward.

(2) Parents who use ACE-evaluated courses in their homeschool may have to manage multiple transcripts and accounts. It is unclear where credit is “held” if the company isn’t switching to the new program.

(3) ACE has served as our middle man for holding college credit. Without ACE’s transcript service, using ACE in high school may not make sense like it used to. Stay tuned.

ACE Transcript Changes – Happening NOW

ACE put out a press release early 2020 about a shift toward free electronic transcripts! We love free, and this shift moves their transcript service to an outside company. Updates will continue as new information is learned about this new program and process.

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