Growing & Supporting CLR/LER

September 19, 2022
  • Comprehensive Record
  • clr
  • Comprehensive Learner Record
  • Learning and Employment Record
  • ler
Illustration of comprehensive learning.

AACRAO continues efforts to build awareness, communicate key trends and activities, and ensure the needs of our members are well represented in the many external conversations related to the CLR/LER (Comprehensive Learner Record / Learning and Employment Record). We are also pursuing on-the-ground opportunities to facilitate the adoption of these tools in higher education institutions. With support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, AACRAO is currently partnering with the Tennessee Board of Regents as well as the Alabama Community College System (ACCS) to finalize each state’s CLR/LER strategic initiative. Our goal is to support their CLR/LER implementations while simultaneously working to develop best practices, tools, and strategies for all AACRAO members and the larger higher education community.

CLR/LER in Action

Uniquely, the Alabama Community College System (ACCS) CLR/LER is an important component of the Alabama College and Career Exploration Tool (ACCET) initiative through which every Alabama resident will eventually have access to their learner record to include digital credentials through digital wallets. The ACCS schools being served are traditionally gateway institutions for enrollment from the K-12 system and transfer to four-year universities. The ACCS schools also have the most direct link to the employment community where the understanding and transfer of skills-based learning can be achieved with the CLR/LER and its related credentials. Additionally, this work serves a student body that includes high numbers of low-income, first-generation, and students of color. While this work is focused on transfer credit for traditional-age students (16-24 year-olds), it will also have significant benefits for working adults who are also enrolled in Alabama’s community colleges. 

AACRAO’s work with the Tennessee Board of Regents system has been a longstanding partnership. TBR was one of the first systems in the country to pursue CLR/LER efforts, supported by AACRAO in the previous Lumina Grant phase. The TN Comprehensive Learner Record Planning Group, supported by AACRAO, is equally focused on common transfer among Tennessee public institutions. This group has developed a recommended framework for the collection of high-impact student experiences and achievements tied to employability skills, including:

  1. Career essential skills and abilities
  2. Leadership
  3. Technical Certificates and Awards. 

These project scopes widely seek to increase opportunities for improving school-to-school credit mobility to foster the effective transfer of credit toward degree requirements. AACRAO’s role encompasses various aspects of CLR/LER adoption in these state systems, such as:

  • Guidance on what constitutes a quality digital credential
  • Serving as a neutral voice in the selection of tools & technology
  • Expertise to guide choices toward short and long-term interoperability within the credential ecosystem
  • Facilitation and support for CLR/LER integration between and among colleges and universities
  • Socialization of the CLR/LER to facilitate scaling of these systems
  • Advancing the inclusion of non-credit skills-based learning in the CLR/LER

Expected outcomes of these partnered projects include the development of a guide for considering CLR/LER technologies with a rubric framework for evaluating technology providers. Additionally, the experiences will be central to informing the forthcoming addition of CLR/LER guidance to AACRAO’s consulting services, which are currently in the pilot phase. 

Get Involved

AACRAO is excited to usher this work forward and continue leading the CLR/LER conversation and encourages members to join the associated community of practice to stay up to date on efforts and peer learning opportunities. Interested members are also encouraged to register for an upcoming webinar exploring the role that the CLR/LER plays in an institution’s strategic enrollment management efforts. The concepts surrounding digital credentials and the implications of these awards in practice will be the topic of discussion in this webinar.