Over the past two years the Office of Student Life has worked to create a Co-Curricular Record, an official document that will record students’ campus involvement in a similar but separate manner to an academic transcript. On Friday, February 1 they took the next step: presenting the idea in a town hall meeting.

In 2010, the Council of Student Experience, a committee chaired by the Vice-Provost, met with students across U of T for input on how to improve the campus experience. Their focus groups discovered a desire for official documentation of involvement in campus clubs and student governments. Many colleges and universities across Canada already offer such a record.

Since 2011, an advisory committee made up of representatives from the Student Life Office, different academic faculties, and each of the residential colleges has collaborated with students and staff in working groups to outline what activities will be included in the CCR, the process for having activities recognized, and what information to include on the record.

Kimberly Elias, program director for the CCR, was somewhat disappointed by the turnout at Friday’s meeting. She told the newspaper, “We heavily publicized the town hall through listservs, digital signage, posters, websites, newspapers, and social media. … In the end, there were about fifty individuals who attended the town hall.”

However, students have been part of each step of the development process, from sitting in the working groups to testing the proposed systems for usability. Friday’s town hall was one of three, held on each of U of T’s campuses.

The feedback from the fifty who attended will also be used in the development process. Elias explained, “At the town hall, there were some valuable questions that were raised about validation process. We will take these questions and comments, and use it when we conduct further consultation with students over the upcoming months.” Past student contributions have led to the inclusion of information on the time and financial costs for participation in different activities.

Another contribution came from commuter students; in the focus groups they described the difficulty of getting involved based on the time constraints of a commuting lifestyle. The working groups incorporated these concerns into the plans, as Elias said, “Students will have more information on the opportunities available to them, and find activities that fit with their commuting lifestyle. For instance, students will be able to find opportunities during the daytime/evening, weekday/weekend, months, level of time commitment, cost, and activities that offer compensation.”

The CCR website explains that integrating an improved search database for activities and an official record of engagement will help students make contacts and friendships, learn skills helpful in future careers or for graduate school, and augment a future resume. Starting September 2013, all students can show where they have shined.

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  • Subtitle: Part resume, part transcript, co-curricular record gets students involved
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