By Rita Peaster University Registrar at Oklahoma State University
In their “Inside the Latest Research on Comprehensive Learner Records and Employment” session on Monday, Alexander Taylor and Jordan Binkowitz from Elon University shared details about their institution’s groundbreaking Experiences Transcript. In addition, they provided insights on two studies related to the influence that comprehensive learner records (CLR) have on employment.
Elon began its research on innovative credentialing in 2016 and replicated surveys with students and employers in 2017 after Elon was selected as a pilot institution in AACRAO/NASPA’s Comprehensive Learner Record initiative.
Taylor, Sr. Assistant Registrar at Elon, said, “It’s one thing to self-assert your competencies, but It’s something else if your university can validate your learning experiences.”
One study aimed to obtain employers’ perspectives on the value CLRs could add to their recruitment processes and new employee success. They found that employers seek information on students’ skills, competencies, and learning outcomes from academic credentials. Employers’ feedback on their perception of the CLR indicated they would likely help in their new hire decisions and would like universities to continue to develop CLRs.
A second qualitative study considered CLRs from the student lens to capture how they articulate their experiential learning to employers. They asked undergraduate seniors and recent graduates about sharing their co-curricular/experiential learning with potential employers. Surveyed students indicated they would only mention their experiential learning opportunities to employers if they felt the experience would directly relate to their prospective job. They found that students could benefit by becoming more familiar with the Experiences Transcript earlier in their academic careers. Binkowitz, Research Assistant at Elon, said, “it’s extremely important to educate first-years on when and how to utilize these documents.”
The presenters encouraged participants to engage stakeholders in developing their CLRs to ensure that they will find value in it. Likewise, they recommended that universities strategically consider how they can develop their CLR to reflect the institution’s unique mission, goals, and values.
Interested in learning more about CLR practices, guidance, and policy? Visit AACRAO's Signature Initiative on Comprehensive Learner Records.