National Student Clearinghouse Appoints Dave Pelham, Managing Director, Foundation Relations; and Michelle Blackwell, National Manager, Reverse Transfer Initiatives

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The National Student Clearinghouse announced today Dr. W. David Pelham as Managing Director, Foundation Relations, and Michelle Blackwell as National Manager, Reverse Transfer Initiatives.

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The National Student Clearinghouse announced today Dr. W. David Pelham as Managing Director, Foundation Relations, and Michelle Blackwell as National Manager, Reverse Transfer Initiatives. The appointments, effective May 16, will consolidate the Clearinghouse’s education foundation relationships, and will manage the scaling and implementation of the Clearinghouse’s national Reverse Transfer platform solution for awarding students reverse transfer degrees at an institutional and state level.

“Dave has developed strong relationships with the senior leadership of the major foundations that work in the education sector, and we want to strengthen those relationships as we pursue a strategy of helping all outreach organizations maximize the yield of their philanthropic dollars in education,” said Rick Torres, President and CEO of the Clearinghouse. “Dave will continue to enhance our approach for all foundations interacting with the Clearinghouse, and will manage the senior-level relationships with these grantors to the benefit of the students and institutions supported as grantees.”

“I am also excited about Michelle driving adoption of the Clearinghouse’s Reverse Transfer platform to help millions of student achieve their dreams,” said Torres. “A national reverse transfer leader, subject matter expert and speaker, Michelle serves in an advisory capacity to multiple states on the reverse transfer process. She brings line of scrimmage experience working with faculty, administrators, students and technical personnel to thread the needle that creates a generative reverse transfer system, taking into account technical limitations as well as privacy, security and transparency policy items.”

Ms. Blackwell served as the program director for the nationally recognized project, “Credit When It's Due,” between the University of North Carolina and North Carolina Community College System to minimize barriers to statewide postsecondary education and maximize student success. Her work led to 1,450 credentials awarded to students, increasing the transfer associate degrees attained for the state community colleges by more than eight percent in one year.

Prior to serving at the University of North Carolina, Ms. Blackwell was the Director of Transfer Student Services for Middle Tennessee State University. The university became the first campus in Tennessee to negotiate concurrent enrollment and reverse transfer agreements. Her work eventually inspired the creation of a statewide task force for reverse transfer.

Dr. Pelham has an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership from the University of North Florida. He also holds an M.A. in Communications from Morehead State University and a B.A. from Carson Newman College. Ms. Blackwell holds a B.A. in psychology and a M.S. in child and family studies from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville.

About the National Student Clearinghouse®

The National Student Clearinghouse, a nonprofit formed in 1993, is the trusted source for and leading provider of higher education verifications and electronic education record exchanges, handling more than 1.2 billion education record transactions annually.

The Clearinghouse serves as a single point of contact for the collection and timely exchange of accurate and comprehensive enrollment, degree, and certificate records on behalf of its more than 3,600 participating higher education institutions, which represent 98 percent of all students in public and private U.S. institutions. The Clearinghouse also provides thousands of high schools and districts with continuing collegiate enrollment, progression, and completion statistics on their alumni.

Through its verification, electronic exchange, and reporting services, the Clearinghouse saves the education community cumulatively over $750 million annually. Most Clearinghouse services are provided to colleges and universities at little or no charge, including enhanced transcript and research services, enabling institutions to redistribute limited staff and budget resources to more important student service efforts. Clearinghouse services are designed to facilitate an institution’s compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, The Higher Education Act, and other applicable laws. The Clearinghouse has signed the Student Privacy Pledge and is the first recipient of’s FERPA compliance badge, which was awarded to its StudentTracker for High Schools service.

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Todd Sedmak
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