CommIT is the first project launched under the InCommon/PESC Strategic Partnership. First proposed at the PESC Electronic Authentication and Authorization (EA2) Task Force meeting at the PESC Spring 2011 Data Summit, CommIT intends to:
- Ease the process for high school students preparing their college applications
- Assist higher education IT departments, Admissions Officers, and Registrars in accepting applications from and provisioning resources to prospects
- Improve the offerings of the participating vendors
- Improve the quality of prospect credentials
These improvements will be provided by establishing a 3rd party federated Identity Provider that works in conjunction with existing identity management systems at participating vendor sites, provides a globally unique identifier to every student that participates, and hold data about identity vetting done by participating vendors.
For an overview of the CommIT vision and major components, refer to our NSTIC grant proposal.
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What CommIT Offers
CommIT will offer the opportunity for students to use a single set of credentials across every participating vendor to access test scores, financial aid information, letters of reference, high school transcripts, and any other product offered by participating vendors. Behind the scenes, students benefit from the globally unique student identifier that will be issued to each student, which will allow immediate and secure transfer of all application related materials from the vendor that holds this data to the institutions of higher education the student wants to apply to.
By offering a unique identifier and high quality identity proofed credentials to every student who touches the system, CommIT allows vendors to offer a higher quality product to higher education. Vendors will be able to offer fee based transactions to students who want to customize the selection of data that is immediately, securely, and electronically transmitted to schools. Confidence that a vendor's product exactly matches the student will increase the value of the product.
CommIT resolves three major problems encountered by higher education. Schools will be able to accurately and automatically match the flood of scores, grades, letters of recommendation, and financial aid packages to the correct student, instantly creating a picture of each applicant that now must be created through manual matching. Institutions will have the option to automatically provision credentials and access for prospects to leverage branded email addresses, access to customized prospect-only content, and other communications and recruiting tools. The credentials that arrive at institutions will have been identity proofed by one or more vendors, increasing the confidence that the student arriving is the student who applied and were accepted.