During March 2017 the InCommon Steward Program focused on engaging with service providers of interest to K-14. MCNC now has letters of intent (in the form of Memoranda of Understanding) from four service providers:
- The North American Network of Science Labs Online
- Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute
- NJEDge, for the Illumira service (formerly NJVid)
- Merit, for Merit Commons
Discussions are underway with another four service providers. In addition, four additional K-14 organizations are in the pipeline to join the Steward Program as Represented Constituents (there are already three K-14 organizations in the fold).
On the operational side, MCNC and InCommon are refining their documentation to smooth the process of onboarding new Represented Constituents.
InCommon and MCNC are developing goals for April and May, including creation of an “elevator talk” for discussions with other regionals potentially interested in the Steward Program, and starting to draft a final report on the proof of concept, which is scheduled to conclude at the end of June.
In November 2016, MCNC, the non-profit operator of the North Carolina Research and Education Network (NCREN), introduced a first-in-the-nation, proof of concept to extend InCommon Federated Identity Management (FIM) technologies beyond universities. Under this Steward Program, K-12 schools and community colleges in North Carolina would have the ability to use secure local credentials to safely access a wide array of online educational resources. MCNC acts as the Steward for North Carolina institutions in the program, managing and supporting organizational trust to facilitate participation in the national FIM system.