The Southern Alberta Institute of Technology announced last week it is claiming to be the first Canadian institution to use the technology to deliver secure credentials. According to the institute, Twenty-five graduates from the Pre-Employment Automotive Service Technician program received a digital credential through blockchain as part of a pilot project. This is in addition to the traditional paper credential they will receive at convocation in June 2019.
The group is also claimed to be the first graduating class from a Canadian post-secondary institution to benefit from this innovative technology. A partnership with ODEM, which is an international On-Demand Education Marketplace built on the Ethereum blockchain, has reportedly helped power this breakthrough in digital deliverables. Richard Maaghul, ODEM’s CEO, stated:
“I’m very excited for SAIT, its students, faculty and staff whose passion it is to shape a new world as entrepreneurs and leaders. What a great way to fulfill their mission by becoming the first Canadian school to securely store and share its students’ accomplishments with the world.”
George Chase, an instructor in the School of Information and Communications Technologies, also commented
“Last year we had some particularly keen and strong students on our team and they wanted to do something cool. I introduced them to the idea of blockchain and they decided to create a system where the Office of the Registrar could issue a digital diploma.”
The school then noted that the students were given the opportunity to present their project to SAIT leadership and the idea was expanded to create a full-scale solution. The result is a system allowing graduates to own their information. Once a graduate accesses their secure certificate through blockchain, they retain ownership and can easily forward it to employers or other institutions without additional fees or the hassle of physical mail. Chase added:
“I think what it will do is add even more value to getting a SAIT credential. It highlight’s SAIT as a progressive institution — on the cutting edge of not only teaching the technology, but actually using the technology.”