EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY

Identity Automation Partners with Grassroots Community of Experts in the Pathfinder Program to Drive Educational Transformation via Digital Identities

Identity Automation | November 19, 2021

Identity Automation, the digital identity platform for education, today announced that the company is partnering with a community of thought leaders in the education IT space to drive transformation, using the concept of digital identities as the cornerstone to achieve change. The Pathfinder Program is a network of experts who are passionate about education and committed to achieving change that focuses on learners, educators and education communities.

The Identity Automation team connected with Pathfinder Program members at this year's EDUCAUSE Annual Conference, which focuses on higher education IT. The company was a sponsor at the event and showcased its flagship RapidIdentity IAM platform and credential monitoring service called SafeID (powered by SpyCloud). Credential monitoring is a crucial capability that helps education institutions counter the growing threat of ransomware, data breaches and rising insurance costs.

The Pathfinder Program aims to raise awareness of digital identities and inspire educational change by building broad consensus with everyone involved, including IT experts, curriculum leaders and other vendors. Pathfinders believe that digital learning environments should be secure, immediately available and free from technology-related friction. Focusing on digital identity as the core, the Pathfinder Program facilitates collaboration and action on critical issues like:
  • Interoperability
  • Personalized learning
  • Digital Equity
  • Cybersecurity
  • Regulatory compliance and governance

"My favorite part about connecting with people at events is the sense of community we all share. They know education is changing, and they're committed to helping learners, teachers and staff make the transition successfully. They're curious about what other organizations are doing, and that's what makes the Pathfinder Program so valuable — it's a forum where people can share ideas and find solutions."

Brandon Levine, Director of Sales Development, Identity Automation

"Identity Automation's mission to empower educators and students with a safe and secure place to learn aligns perfectly with the digital citizenship message to help students stay safe, solve problems, and become a force for good both on and offline," shared Pathfinder Dr. Marialice Curran.

The Pathfinder Program includes people with diverse skillsets, including internationally recognized thought leaders who are frequently tapped as Keynote speakers on the topic of education IT. They share a passion for empowering learners, strengthening digital security and promoting digital citizenship.

"Everyone involved in the education system will have to pull together to achieve the level of digital transformation we need to serve learning communities," said Identity Automation CEO Jim Harold. "Any disconnect resulting from vendors working at cross-purposes hurts students and educators. We're better when we work together, and that's why we're so excited about the Pathfinder Program, which is already generating new ideas about how we can focus on what we do best to benefit students."

About Identity Automation
Identity Automation provides identity and access management (IAM) solutions for K-12 and higher education. Its flagship platform, RapidIdentity, safeguards learning environments, maximizes instructional time, and minimizes the load on Information & Educational Technology teams. Technology leaders turn to RapidIdentity for its best-in-class security capabilities, time-saving automation, and flexible approach to managing digital identities. Headquartered in Houston, Texas, Identity Automation is trusted by Chicago Public Schools, Public Schools of North Carolina, University of Rochester, Houston Community College, and hundreds of other institutions. 

Spotlight

Distance learning has come a long way over the past 150 years. From the initial days of text based correspondence courses by mail to the immediate learning powered by the internet and online courses, distance learning is a much more interactive and engaging learning experience in 2019. The third generation of distance education, online learning, has delivered powerful learning models and frameworks, like Community of Inquiry and Adolescent Community of Engagement. These models and frameworks help educators create meaningful teacher to student interactions.

Spotlight

Distance learning has come a long way over the past 150 years. From the initial days of text based correspondence courses by mail to the immediate learning powered by the internet and online courses, distance learning is a much more interactive and engaging learning experience in 2019. The third generation of distance education, online learning, has delivered powerful learning models and frameworks, like Community of Inquiry and Adolescent Community of Engagement. These models and frameworks help educators create meaningful teacher to student interactions.

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EDUCATION TECHNOLOGY

Flywire Announces Acquisition of Cohort Go to Accelerate Growth with International Education Agents

Flywire | July 14, 2022

Today, Flywire Corporation , a global payments enablement and software company, announced that it has completed the acquisition of Cohort Go, an international education payments provider that brings additional students, agents and essential student services to Flywire. The acquisition will build on Flywire’s existing education business to accelerate the growth of its agent focus and team, deepen its commitment to product and payment innovation, and further invest in Asia-Pacific (APAC), a key geographic focus for Flywire. Cohort Go’s core focus is on providing international students with the ability to make cross-border tuition payments through international agents. Cohort Go’s agent platform is expected to bolster Flywire’s existing agent solutions to deliver even greater value to educational institutions, agents, and students. Additionally, with partner relationships in almost 40 geographies, Cohort Go’s global footprint and penetration in APAC and Latin America also present new growth and expansion opportunities for Flywire. “Recruiting agencies play a critical role in the international student journey by assisting students in finding placements in higher educational and other institutions. “Cohort Go has been prominent in this space, with a network of over 1,000 agent partnerships, including some of the most prestigious student recruitment agencies in the world.” Mike Massaro, CEO of Flywire Massaro continued: “As we continue to invest in our Flywire Advantage – the combination of our next-gen payments platform, proprietary global payment network and industry-specific software – we seek opportunities to embed deeper into the workflows of our clients, agents and payers, with the goal of driving more value for them. Cohort Go’s successful agent platform, global footprint and adjacent services complement our existing capabilities and will help us power the higher education ecosystem into the future.” Growth in international student recruitment indicates strong secular trend Recent research suggests that the international education industry is poised for significant growth. According to new data from the market intelligence firm HolonIQ, 8 million international students will be enrolled with foreign higher education institutions by 2030 – 3 million more than were abroad in 2019 – and that their total spending will amount to more than double what it was before the pandemic. As the demand for higher education accelerates, education agents are expected to play a critical role in international recruitment. Estimates from the international education consultancy, ICEF, suggest that more than 1 million students are placed through agents around the world, and rising. According to a 2021 report from the American International Recruitment Council and the National Association for College Admission Counseling, nearly half (49%) of U.S. colleges who responded were partnered with education agents, which is up from 36% of U.S. in 2017-2018. Agent growth is also on the rise in other popular higher education destination markets like Canada, whose international student population has grown sixfold over the past two decades. Cohort Go was founded in 2012 by industry experts Mark Fletcher and Paul Jones, who combined their respective expertise in banking and commercial software to enable students to pay for their international education using their local currency, saving on fees and transfer rates. Grounded in their aligned vision to deliver value to the broader education ecosystems, the founders continually sought ways to work with education agents, institutions and students alike, and evolved their single solution into an online platform that offers a tailored experience, with capabilities to reduce costs, increase choice and improve productivity. Today, Cohort Go partners with more than 1,000 agents globally. Students from more than 180 countries have leveraged Cohort Go, which services more than 60 currencies with local specialists all over the world. The integration of Cohort Go into Flywire’s existing agent platform will enable Flywire to provide even more value to agents, payers, and educational institutions. Combination of software and payments powers future vertical ecosystems Cohort Go’s strong regional focus in APAC, global agent relationships, and its existing payment infrastructure will help Flywire bolster its global payment network. Cohort Go’s relationships with payment partners all over the world will add to Flywire’s network of partners, further supporting Flywire’s clients and payers across all vertical industries. Additionally, the acquisition of Cohort Go also enhances Flywire’s ability to accelerate Flywire’s roadmap to enable a broader suite of financial services targeted to international students and other payers. Already, Cohort Go is improving the way students pay for and save on health insurance, which augments Flywire’s focus on adding more value through its payer services. “Working with our clients on delivering high-stakes, high-value tuition payments, we’ve continued to discover pain points in the education ecosystem that we believe we’re uniquely positioned to solve,” Massaro continued. “Cohort Go gives us an opportunity to accelerate the investment we have been making to further extend our value proposition to international students. With our Flywire Advantage, we can apply our existing framework of using software to drive value in payments to solve very specific use cases.” Complements strong organic growth The acquisition of Cohort Go is a continuation of Flywire’s long-term plan to supplement its strong organic growth and continually expand across all business lines. The acquisition is expected to be modestly accretive to revenue and Adjusted EBITDA. More details will be shared on the upcoming earnings call scheduled for August 9, 2022. About Flywire Flywire is a global payments enablement and software company. We combine our proprietary global payments network, next-gen payments platform and vertical-specific software to deliver the most important and complex payments for our clients and their customers. Flywire leverages its vertical-specific software and payments technology to deeply embed within the existing A/R workflows for its clients across the education, healthcare and travel vertical markets, as well as in key B2B industries. Flywire also integrates with leading ERP systems, such as NetSuite, so organizations can optimize the payment experience for their customers while eliminating operational challenges.

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CONTINUING EDUCATION

Smartria® and Kitces.com Partner to Offer Investment Adviser Representative Continuing Education (IAR CE) Under New NASAA Model Rule

Smartria and Kitces.com | August 09, 2022

Smartria®, a powerful, easy-to-use cloud-based software solution designed to meet the specialized compliance management needs of investment advisors, compliance teams, operations teams, consultants, and attorneys, has announced a partnership with Kitces.com to provide online education content for CE credits through the Smartria platform to address the North American Securities Administrators Association’s (NASAA) Investment Adviser Representative Continuing Education (IAR CE) Model Rule. Kitces.com is home to the Nerd’s Eye View financial planning industry blog published by Michael Kitces, and a leading provider of advanced education for financial advisors. “Smartria is proud to partner with Michael Kitces and Kitces.com, the preeminent industry thought leader in advisor education, We were very deliberate in our selection—we wanted to work with a partner who shared our vision of software as a partnership and was committed to helping us deliver a solution that meets our clients’ needs at scale. Smartria’s partnership with Kitces.com is a natural fit as we continue to innovate our compliance platform with new and distinctive offerings.” -Mac Bartine, CEO of Smartria Under the partnership, investment advisers who activate Smartria’s new IAR CE feature will gain instant access directly from the Smartria dashboard to all of the Continuing Education content provided by the Kitces.com Members Section, including not only the Nerd’s Eye View blog content, but Kitces white papers and webinars as well, which can fulfill both their new IAR CE obligation, as well as crossover CE credit for CFP certification, CPA licensees, Enrolled Agents, and advisors with advanced designations from the Investments and Wealth Institute and the American College. Future integrations under the partnership will facilitate automated firm-wide tracking and reporting in Smartria of all an investment adviser’s Kitces-earned IAR CE credits for all of their team members, to ensure annual compliance as additional states pass the NASAA Model Rule and implement their own IAR CE obligations in the coming years. As financial advisors, we’re already subject to a myriad of overlapping rules and regulations, and overlapping Continuing Education obligations, and so as soon as the NASAA Model Rule was finalized last year, we began the process to qualify our Kitces.com educational content for IAR CE in addition to all of the other financial advisor licenses and designations we already covered, With CE demands continuing to rise, we’ve been developing our own systems to be able to better integrate with existing advisor platforms to facilitate multi-designation CE, and we’re thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Mac and the rapidly growing Smartria team to power their IAR CE solution, as our first CE integration partner,said Michael Kitces, Chief Financial Planning Nerd at Kitces.com. NASAA’s Model Rule was announced on November 30, 2020. Under the rule, an investment adviser representative is required to complete 12 CE credits annually to maintain their IAR registration. The rule applies to all registered IARs of both state-registered and federal covered investment advisers. Compliance begins with existing IARs and newly registered IARs in states that have adopted the model rule as of Jan. 1, 2022, which currently include Maryland, Mississippi, and Vermont. About Smartria Smartria is a leading compliance software platform for RIAs, hybrid RIAs and RIA networks. The firm’s software excels at making the complex and often frustrating world of regulatory compliance simple to manage and easy to understand. Smartria’s unique roles for compliance consultants and distributed management of large corporations make its solution able to handle any compliance problem for any sized company. For more information, please visit www.Smartria.com. About Kitces.com Kitces.com publishes the #1 financial planning industry blog, Nerd’s Eye View, and provides a wide range of advanced educational content for financial advisors through both nerdy long-from educational articles, research white papers, in-person and virtual live events, on-demand and livestream webinars, and online courses. The Kitces.com Members Section provides continuing education credits for a wide range of financial advisor licenses and advanced professional designations, including CFP certification designations from the Investments & Wealth Institute and American College, CPE for CPAs and Enrolled Agents, investment adviser representative (IAR) CE obligations, and more.

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CORPORATE LEARNING SYSTEMS

ACI Learning Named to Inc. 5000 List of Fastest Growing Companies in 2022

ACI Learning, | August 20, 2022

ACI Learning, a leading provider of audit, cybersecurity and IT certification and professional development training that empowers individuals to start and advance their careers, is proud to be ranked among the top 5,000 fastest growing private companies in the U.S. on the 2022 Inc. 5000 list. Since 2018, ACI Learning has increased the company headcount to 300+ employees globally, and achieved 345% revenue growth. ACI Learning’s unique training and SaaS platform supports professionals and enterprises along the full career lifecycle by leveraging deep domain content through multi-modal delivery, providing high value for must-have audit, Cybersecurity and IT training. Whether someone is looking to make a career change, prepare for a certification exam, advance in their career, or provide comprehensive training for their team, ACI Learning’s training and SaaS platform covers the latest technologies, trends and real-world applications needed to grow and succeed. “The ACI Learning team is incredibly proud to be included on the Inc. 5000 list. Our continued growth is a direct reflection of our team’s dedication to providing engaging and relevant training content for enterprise and channel partners as well as our users. We aim to support professionals at any point in their IT career,. “Every day, we set out to ‘do well by doing good’, and I look forward to bringing this mantra to life as ACI Learning continues to grow and lead the IT certification and online training market for audit, IT and cybersecurity learners.” Brett Shively, CEO, ACI Learning Over the last 12 months, ACI Learning has been engaged with the community through speaking at industry events such as the 2022 RSA Conference and the 2022 Learning Technologies Conference, supporting U.S. veterans through financial contributions to the Wounded Warrior Project as well as joining the Department of Defense’s SkillBridge program as a participant, and will soon be launching over 30 free hours of hands-on learning to help close the digital skills gap. Most recently, ACI Learning announced that Practice Labs has achieved the milestone of helping one million learners start or improve their IT career. In addition to ACI Learning’s recognition on the Inc. 5000 list, ITProTV, ACI Learning’s ‘binge-worthy’ video training, certification prep and virtual lab experience, recently won multiple industry awards. ITProTV was recognized by the 2022 Cyber Defense Magazine Global InfoSec Awards as a Market Leader in the Cybersecurity Training category, and Next Gen in the Security Training category. Additionally, ITProTV’s impressive library of courses with over 6,000 hours of up-to-date content earned a spot on the Training Industry Awards’ 2022 Company Watch List for Online Learning Libraries. About ACI Learning ACI Learning trains professionals and leaders in Cybersecurity, Audit, and Information Technology. Whether they’re starting their career, mastering their profession, or developing their team, ACI Learning is with them every step of the way. ACI Learning believes that training is not a transaction, but an ongoing essential of life-long learning and career growth. The company helps professionals choose which learning path suits them best, delivers personalized training in the way they want it, and helps them to find the right career opportunity.

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