After more than two years of planning and development, Conestoga has become one of only 10 colleges in Canada to provide students with a Co-Curricular Record (CCR) that will document and authenticate their participation in voluntary activities that contribute to learning.
Initiated by Student Life, the CCR is designed to provide value for students through a resource that is centrally located, easy to navigate and allows for as many learning outcome-based opportunities as possible, according to Matthew Maguire, manager of Learning Commons and Student Life.
Stakeholders from all across the Conestoga community participated in creating a plan to guide the CCR process and ensuring there were meaningful and transformational opportunities for students. A student advisory committee helped to shape the look and feel of the online system that acts like a search engine for students seeking particular learning outcomes tailored to their needs.
The CCR is an official transcript of students’ voluntary campus activities. The program helps students develop and demonstrate skills beyond those they acquire in the classroom. The transcript serves as a complement to the traditional arsenal of résumés and portfolios that students use when applying and interviewing for jobs.
The CCR also contributes to student engagement and retention. Students who participate in co-curricular activities have many opportunities to meet like-minded people with similar interests, to exchange ideas and foster friendships.
The implementation of the CCR demonstrates Conestoga’s commitment to developing the whole student. The program is expected to facilitate the growth of even more on-campus opportunities for students as faculty, staff and departments collaborate to provide additional learning outcomes.
Since its launch in September, the CCR already has 1,100 users, and the platform is evolving as interest grows. “It’s a very big animal that’s accessible to all students. We’re learning as we go, and the response is overwhelmingly positive,” Maguire said.
Student Life is currently tracking student engagement on the site and will be able to provide valuable statistics about participation within a few months. Once each semester, the office will print and authenticate CCRs. Students can access unsigned PDFs of their transcripts at any time online. As employers continue to look for graduates who demonstrate a willingness to go “above and beyond” traditional job readiness, the CCR is another tangible way to illustrate the competitive advantage of Conestoga students.