Transforming the Transcript

Flipping the Script: Making sure all learning counts.

“I was worried I would not be able to find a job due to my lack of experience, inadequate resume and now, time away from the workforce. I continued to apply for work. To my dismay, my resume did not demonstrate that I was a strong enough candidate for the positions I desired.”

Azeez Alimi, student at Borough of Manhattan Community College

Hiring is Changing. This issue has become more and more common as students are attempting to gain good jobs, but lack a way to effectively communicate what they know and can do. This is due to the fact that employers are engaging in skills-based hiring and using new technology find candidates in a digital world.

For instance, social media and digital tools are replacing standard resumes as the dominant mechanism to express qualifications in the job hiring marketplace. Employers are now sourcing talent pools for job openings using these technologies to search for and seek out candidates for skill sets rather than accepting resumes. Some sectors have also moved to a “gig economy” where individuals use digital tools to make their knowledge and skills known and can be matched with projects at multiple companies at a time. As these changes are taking place, validated knowledge and skills are becoming more valuable than personal claims made on resumes or LinkedIn.

Capturing Knowledge and Skills in New Ways

Courses today now have learning outcomes that are assessed, yet the evidence of achievement does not make it on to the learner transcript.  Furthermore, it is widely acknowledged today that learning occurs both within and outside the classroom. Many quality learning experiences that lead to skills in high demand by employers can be found outside the classroom in internships, leadership experiences, service, work, and many other co-curricular experiences. However, the traditional transcript does not include any of the competencies learned in these experiences.

In addition, as most Americans are employed and millions working in the military, these organizations are also making sure the education and training they provide are based on defined competencies that can be validated for the individual. Employers and the military are also exploring ways to make sure these competencies can be used by the learner for advancement and further learning.

While these learning opportunities are valuable to individuals and their economic and social mobility, it is also true that there are too many lost opportunities for individuals to get jobs and prove the value of their experiences to potential employers.

Comprehensive Learner Records Pave the Way

Today’s technology is helping hundreds of education and training providers to capture all learning. Colleges and universities are creating Comprehensive Learner Records to meet the changing nature of learning and hiring. Employers are assessing learning and issuing records, as well as working with organizations like American Council on Education to translate work-based learning into a record. Community based organizations like Goodwill using badges to help low-income adults transition college level competencies into a pathway to degree pathways. Digital credentials are not just about issuing the traditional transcript in a digital format. These new records seek to capture, record, and communicate learning when and where it happens throughout a learner’s journey.

The most powerful aspect of these new records is that it puts learning in the hands of the individual. When the learner can see, in real time, what they are learning and how it is connected to earning a credential they can better manage their experience and stay on track to completion. When a competency is validated, the learner can share their achievements with employers, other education providers, and in their social media profiles with ease. This ensures access to the digitally driven job market and hiring practices.

How did the Comprehensive Learner Record help Azeez?

Azeez experienced firsthand the ability for these records to change his employment journey.

“The Co-Curricular Transcript (CCT) was a great tool for me to utilize to convey the skills I had been acquiring during my time as a student. Without this complement to my resume, I would have been a less competitive candidate for employment opportunities. This document has done a great job in filling the voids in my resume. It reflected the things my resume could not. It clearly depicted how my time was utilized outside the classroom, showing that I was more than a student. I was a student, leader, organizer, and so much more. With my CCT, I have been able to advance my candidacy for fellowships, on-campus job opportunities and my campus social work program. The CCT has helped me in so many ways I didn’t know were possible.

Give yourself every opportunity to be seen as a whole student. While the academic transcript proves what we accomplished in the classroom, the CCT gives us credit serving our campus and developing as leaders and professionals. It’s an official record of our activities and our growth outside the classroom.”

Azeez Alimi

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