Central New Mexico Community College

On the leading edge of Higher Education

Launched

December 2017

Sector

Education

Partner

Office of the President

Educational Achievement

In December 2017, CNM became the first community college in the United States to issue digital diplomas, securely anchored to the blockchain, giving students the power to manage their own credentials using the free Blockcerts mobile app.

“We are very excited to begin adopting this technology that’s going to provide more value, independence and convenience to our students throughout their lives,” CNM President Katharine Winograd said. “Students put forth tremendous effort to earn their higher education credentials and we’re going to start empowering more students with stewardship over their own educational achievements.”

“We’ve seen the vulnerabilities of the internet, and Blockchain is definitely the future because the data that lives there is not only verified, but also immutable and totally trustworthy.”

Bill Halverson
Senior Technology Advisor to CNM Ingenuity

The diplomas issued to students within CNM’s Ingenuity programs use the BTC blockchain, which means they can never be tampered with and can easily be verified by any potential employer. As of the Summer Term, Ingenuity had issued about 300 total diplomas.

CNM has continued to expand the use of digital credentials in phases across all programs at the college. Starting August 30th, all graduates across CNM were granted the option to receive digital diploma, with the first batch being issued September 18th 2018. More details were recently shared in an interview with E-Campus News:

“We thought it was going to be a slow adoption curve among employers, and we’re actually getting quite a bit more use than we anticipated.”

— Tobe Phelps, Senior Director CNM

The long-term goal is to connect these digital diplomas with CNM’s open badge initiatives that communicate measurable skills along an education path, and then unlocking more summative academic records. Often referred to as “stackable certificates” they contain the history of previous accomplishments which preserves the learning pathway.

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