When college students apply to graduate school directly after completing their undergraduate education, they must fill out detailed applications regarding their college experience. This process can take time without having all the details in front of them. However, what if they had a clear, comprehensive map that outlined that entire college experience, from internships to other types of co-curricular involvement? Wouldn’t this type of comprehensive data also be of great benefit to university graduate admissions offices and to employers looking to hire recent college grads? This is where the Co-Curricular Transcript, developed by Suitable, comes into play.
What is a Co-Curricular Transcript?
A Co-Curricular Transcript is a visual, comprehensive presentation of a student’s entire collegiate experience in digital form. This co-curricular transcript software presents students’ dynamic co-curricular records in real time, which is much more beneficial than simply seeing a list of one’s experiences and accolades.
Features of a Co-Curricular Transcript
The Co-Curricular Transcript from Suitable consists of several unique features that give students a measurable way to tell the story of their college experience. Today, higher education leaders and employers alike are aware that a college education is much more than the learning that takes place inside the classroom. Colleges and universities offer a wealth of experiential learning opportunities, from campus organizations to leadership opportunities to campus professional and networking events to internships, that provide students with a well-rounded undergraduate education. The Co-Curricular Transcript provides a way to share this information in one comprehensive digital record.
Five features of Suitable’s Co-Curricular Transcript include the following:
- The Experience Showcase
- The Co-Curricular Involvement Timeline
- The Digital Badge Backpack
- The Competency Map
- The ePortfolio
The Experience Showcase: Giving students a measurable way to tell their stories
The Experience Showcase includes a space for students to provide an introduction to their college experiences, which may include their major, GPA and a brief bio. It defines learning outcomes and categories and shows students’ development in real time. The Experience Showcase also enables students to track their progress towards skill acquisition and competency development either by experience or by time. Including each school’s seal and registrar’s signature makes it official.
The Co-Curricular Involvement Timeline: Breaking down students' co-curricular involvement
The Co-Curricular Involvement Timeline delivers a yearly view of students’ comprehensive learner record by automatically updating and maintaining the data in real-time, with no updates needed. The Involvement Timeline also presents advisors with a comprehensive view of student engagement, which can be used to help improve student outcomes.
The Digital Badge Backpack: Highlighting high-impact practices, achievements and milestones
With the Digital Badge Backpack, students are recognized with digital accolades as they reach new milestones and earn digital badges. It showcases the experiences that highly impact each student’s college experience and provides students a visual way to illustrate their various co-curricular experiences and demonstrate the milestones they've reached.
The Competency Map: Demonstrating how experiences translate to skills
The Competency Map presents a comprehensive picture of each student’s skill set based on their specific co-curricular record. Users can select from Suitable’s competency frameworks or customize their own. It helps students articulate their strengths in a format that both students and potential employers can more clearly understand.
The ePortfolio: Providing a comprehensive digital portfolio that includes co-curricular involvement
The Co-Curricular Transcript’s ePortfolio feature replaces outdated ePortfolio systems with a more unified experience for students by collecting relevant work, evidence and other portfolio items quickly and conveniently and presenting it alongside a student’s co-curricular record. The ePortfolio also maintains all standard file and media types, including pictures, videos, PDFs, spreadsheets and website links and provides students the ability to set ePortfolio items as public or private.
Why Your Students Need a Co-Curricular Transcript
As mentioned, higher education institutions offer a wealth of co-curricular opportunities that provide students with a well-rounded undergraduate education. However, without a clear, visual, digital documentation of such achievements, some of these learning opportunities and achievements can be easily lost – it’s not easy to keep a mental note of these efforts and achievements.
Say a college senior is putting together a resume for the first time. They likely would have difficulty remembering what they were involved in during their freshman and sophomore years, and this is important information – the skills gained during these years show relevant evidence of skill development that could be of interest to potential graduate school admissions officers or future employers.
College should not be thought of as high school, where one’s junior year is considered the most significant. An undergraduate education typically consists of four years, all years in which valuable skills can be developed through a plethora of co-curricular activities. By using the Co-Curricular Transcript, this data is captured automatically in real time without the need for regular updates – saving students a lot of time.
For those on the receiving end of an individual’s Co-Curricular Transcript, this dynamic digital presentation of skills and achievements can greatly simplify the admissions or hiring process by consolidating application information in a highly visual way.
How the Co-Curricular Transcript Benefited Florida A&M University
Florida A&M University is a public university in Tallahassee that offers nearly 100 different degrees and programs to approximately 9,000 students. Prior to implementing Suitable’s Co-Curricular Transcript application, the university had student engagement data scattered across different departments. The university’s one platform for student engagement required students to upload and update information manually. Additionally, the university was unable to track and measure student progress in co-curricular activities, as they had no way to track attendance at campus events or measure the strides students made toward their educational outcomes.
When the university implemented new programs to align with the state of Florida’s new educational initiatives, university leaders needed a solution which was easy to use, integrated with other systems and offered reporting capabilities.
In the summer of 2021, Florida A&M University implemented its new Rattler Ready program, consisting of a Career Action Plan – to prepare students for professional work following graduation – and Strike Forward program – to better prepare students to graduate in four years. By using Suitable’s Co-Curricular Transcript alongside micro-credentials and digital badges, the university was able to centralize these initiatives in one digital app. The university used NACE competencies and feedback from employers to build its micro-credentials. To build out its Career Readiness initiative year by year, Suitable’s Digital Badging system was crucial. The platform was similarly used to implement and measure the university’s new general education core competencies and those required for its new Strike Forward initiative.
After implementing Suitable’s Co-Curricular Transcript, the university was able to measure student engagement across the university. This led to improvements in student engagement and progress toward the university’s new career readiness initiatives almost immediately. As a result of these efforts, Florida A&M University plans to expand its use of the Co-Curricular Transcript to other curricular areas.
It’s clear that implementing an integrative digital solution helped Florida A&M University transform its student engagement and career readiness efforts. The university sees the benefits that the application can have in other areas as well, demonstrating that the sky is truly the limit when it comes to the potential uses for this comprehensive digital solution.