This Goes On Your Permanent Record: GreenLight Credentials Uses Blockchain for Students’ ‘Life Transcript’

GreenLight Credentials connects students, educators, and businesses by making records secure and shareable. The startup's tech expands beyond grades to certifications, job experiences, and verified skills.

UT Southwestern has taken notice of the North Texas company's tech and is partnering with GreenLight to launch software tools to identify depression, anxiety, and other mental illnesses in primary care settings.

Credential Connector

Manoj Kutty

GreenLight Credentials CEO Manoj Kutty and his team are using blockchain technology to make records secure and shareable. The applications of the tech is two-fold: to connect students, academic institutions, and businesses by providing real-time access to lifelong learning achievements, and also to advance the treatment of mental illness in primary care settings.

Kutty compares the tech for academic data to a verified LinkedIn: From transcripts to recommendation letters, records are written into a student’s “electronic locker” by the institution that awarded the credentials. Kutty calls it the “economic mobility platform of the future”—no in-person visits or tedious, expensive processes required.

More than 50,000 Texas students have used GreenLight. Currently, the team is replicating its model to scale nationwide for the American Council of Education.

Making the application process ‘simpler, faster, better, and fairer’

Kutty believes GreenLight has the power to flip the script for students applying to colleges and grads applying for jobs.

“Instead of waiting for an application from a student, a college, scholarship provider, or employer can now find the right candidates and issue invitations. This certainly gives students a wider range of choices, maybe even a better fit,” Kutty told Dallas Innovates. “In the future, we believe there won’t be a traditional application process. The new process will make the whole college and employment application process simpler, faster, better, and fairer.”

The new permanent record: A ‘life transcript’

GreenLight’s “life transcript” can expand beyond grades to certifications, job experiences, verified skills, and more. According to Forbes, GreenLight is one of a handful of companies helping students find better opportunities through blockchain records.

Last fall, the Texas College Bridge, in partnership with the Texas Education Agency, selected GreenLight to provide its blockchain records program to students to help them become college ready.

“GreenLight is the economic mobility platform of the future,”  Kutty previously told Dallas Innovates. “By enabling students to get 24-7-365 access to all of their verified academic records—transcripts, recommendation letters, certificates, badges, medical immunization shots—they can securely and instantly share their credentials with colleges, scholarships, employers or lenders.”

Texas high school seniors will be able to take college ready courses via GreenLight. The Texas College Bridge will provide more than 6,000 students with a GreenLight eLocker that hosts Math and English courses needed to demonstrate college readiness. Students can then add certificates of completion to their lockers and share them electronically with colleges.

In early 2021, National University in San Diego announced a pilot program with GreenLight to provide 300 students instant access to their digital transcripts.

David Andrews, president of National University, said in a statement, “This work is about unlocking greater value from our programs for lifelong learning and making our students and their credentials more discoverable to prospective employers.”

Making mental health screening a key vital sign

GreenLight Credentials is also partnering with UT Southwestern to provide an easy-to-use suite of software tools to identify depression, anxiety, and other mental illnesses in primary care settings. The web-based application is called VitalSign6, making depression screening the sixth vital sign taken on routine visits after body temperature, pulse rate, blood pressure, respiration rate, and pain.

This app works through a iPad administering a patient health questionnaire and enables measurement-based care for mental illness by primary care clinicians.

“The only way to reduce the prevalence of mental illness in our communities is to leverage our primary health care systems,” Phil Ritter, CEO of GreenLight’s VitalSign6, said in a statement. “VitalSign6 enables measurement-based care for mental illness and supports primary care clinicians in the treatment of these diseases. Research and data prove that better patient outcomes and lower overall health care costs are the results.”

GreenLight links the clinically validated screening tools with its blockchain technology that secures personal information and allows users to share it with other health providers. The program also has full interoperability with electronic medical records of health systems, which enables billing and clinic performance measurements.

Kutty notes mental health challenges have been on the rise during the pandemic, and the VitalSign6 platform also will allow students with GreenLight accounts to take the assessment at home.

“We believe early detection and support can significantly address mental health problems and support the post COVID recovery of our community,” he said.

Meet the founder

Manoj Kutty was featured in Dallas Innovates’ Future 50 in Dallas-Fort Worth in the 2021 edition of our annual magazine. We talked with Kutty about what GreenLight Credentials does, why it matters, and how the company is handling the pandemic and its impact on students. Here’s a takeaway:

On the blockchain tech behind GreenLight Credentials:

GreenLight is a state-of-the-art platform connecting students, academic institutions, and businesses by providing real-time access to a student’s life-long learning and related records. Students can instantly share verified academic records, such as transcripts, recommendation letters, certificates, achievement badges, and other important records securely to gain college admission, scholarships, or employment.

Over 50,000 Texas students have used GreenLight’s platform to share their records with over 1,000 colleges and universities nationwide. GreenLight’s success in North Texas caught the eye of the US Department of Education and the American Council of Education (ACE) in DC. ACE issued a challenge grant to replicate what we have built in North Texas around the country, so this is now an enduring movement pioneered by Dallas ISD, Dallas College and UNT-D.

We are on a mission to change and improve application processes. GreenLight is a verified platform for students to control and share their important digital credentials. Students can open doors for education, scholarship and employment opportunities without today’s inefficient and somewhat random search process. For example, when a student considers applying to college, he or she researches schools and/or scholarships and completes an application. In the near future, colleges, scholarship providers and employers could be instantly matched to candidates based on what students, colleges and businesses are looking for.

On how GreenLight helps solve pandemic-related challenges:

Borrowing from Nelson Mandela who said, “Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world,” GreenLight is opening the door for social and economic mobility by removing the friction around getting into college and employment by giving a student the ability to assemble, store and securely share their verified life-long learning credentials. Using GreenLight, a student does not need to visit his or her school or registrar’s office to get records, or make an in-person visit to prove his or her identity. The student’s GreenLight Locker contains all of that information and it can be instantly and securely shared with a college, scholarship opportunity, or employment. Best of all the recipient can instantly verify the record. So, GreenLight solves for COVID issues and is at the epicenter for student advancement.

On how GreenLight perseveres as a team:

We share a common vision, and we talk amongst ourselves almost daily, often on a video call. Hearing stories of students who have successfully used GreenLight to advance their career and find new opportunities inspire all of us to build and deliver better products for our community.

On what’s next for GreenLight:

We recognize that mental health is a big challenge for everyone impacted by COVID. We have partnered with UTSW to launch a universal mental health screening tool that GreenLight users can take in the privacy of their homes, as often as they want, and securely share their records with their physicians. We believe early detection and support can significantly address mental health problems and support the post COVID recovery of our community.

A version of this story was originally published in Dallas Innovates 2021: The Resilience Issue.

Read it online

Our fourth annual magazine, Dallas Innovates 2021: The Resilience Issue, highlights Dallas-Fort Worth as a hub for innovation. The collective strength of the innovation ecosystem and intellectual capital in Dallas-Fort Worth is a force to be reckoned with.

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