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SAIT Class of 2019 holds key to digital transformation

Idea for digitizing credentials at SAIT originates with students

Entire graduating class to also receive credentials via blockchain technology

This week, graduands of the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) will be a part of digital transformation history as they cross the stage at the Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium June 11-13 for convocation.

Not only will the entire class of 2019, more than 4,800 students in all, receive their parchments, they will also receive those same credentials via blockchain technology.

“SAIT graduates are well-positioned for success in today’s rapidly changing digital landscape,” said Dr. David Ross, SAIT President and CEO. “Also by making SAIT credentials accessible through blockchain, our graduates and employers will continue to benefit from this innovative technology that is responsive, authentic and widely accessible.”

Successful Pilot

In December, SAIT launched a pilot project to issue credentials digitally through the use of blockchain technology. Twenty-five graduates of the Pre-Employment Automotive Service Technician program were the first graduating class from a Canadian post-secondary institution to receive their credentials with a blockchain key. This enables them to digitally carry and share their certificate with prospective employers in a valid and secure way.

Once a graduate accesses their secure certificate through the blockchain, they retain ownership and can easily forward it to employers or other institutions immediately and without additional fees.

The benefits to a blockchain-secured credential extend beyond convenience for graduates — employers can easily verify the credibility of a potential employee’s certificate and hire with confidence.

Partners in digital transformation

A partnership with ODEM, an international On-Demand Education Marketplace built on the Ethereum blockchain, helped power this breakthrough in digital deliverables.

"We're delighted to play a role in empowering SAIT graduates to own their education and become part of the ODEM ecosystem," said ODEM CEO Richard Maaghul. "By working together, we've only just begun to explore how blockchain technology can make education more accessible, affordable, transferable, and verifiable."

Academic certificates issued on a blockchain generate a tamper-proof digital signature. The signature can be cross-referenced with the issuing institution’s digital signature, allowing students to control their records and also provide real-time cryptographic proof of validity.

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