Student success outside of the classroom

Following in the footsteps of other top Canadian universities, staff at the University of Saskatchewan have begun to develop a system for students to receive recognition for their involvement in certain non-academic university-facilitated activities.

According to Russ Isinger, university registrar, recognition will be in the form of a co-curricular record, an official document that is similar to, but separate from, an academic transcript.

“A co-curricular record at the University of Saskatchewan will help students to find opportunities for learning outside of the classroom and then will capture those activities, and the learning outcomes derived from them, on an official document that the student can then use in furthering their employment and educational goals,” said Isinger. “Co-curricular records are quickly becoming best practice at North American colleges and universities and we are pleased to be embarking on this project to bring such a record to our students.”

Isinger said the U of S launched the co-curricular record as a pilot project for students in the College of Education in early March. Prior to the launch, the college added a select number of college-specific activities and student leadership positions to the system.

According to Isinger, a co-curricular activity must:

  • have a clear attachment to the university with a recognized faculty or staff member to validate participation;
  • have validation requirements (for example: criteria students must complete in order to have their position validated);
  • be connected to intentional learning outcomes grounded in the U of S Learning Charter Core Learning Goals: discovery, knowledge, integrity, skills, and citizenship;
  • provide an opportunity for students to be actively engaged (positions or activities in which a student holds a title, but has no duties, will not qualify for validation).

Dawn Wallin, associate dean of undergraduate programs, partnerships and research in the College of Education, said she wants to ensure that students receive formal acknowledgement of the scholarly and professional opportunities that go above and beyond what is noted in their academic transcripts.

“Being a student at the College of Education is so much more than engagement in a collection of courses that leads to a degree,” said Wallin. “Our college offers a holistic combination of coursework, field experiences, and professional, scholarly, and cultural activities that supports the professional growth of stellar educators who work in a variety of educational settings in Saskatchewan and beyond. We are proud of the quality of our students and of the opportunities they are provided that develop their strengths as learners, teachers and public intellectuals.”

College of Education students Kevin Bode (right) and Cian Bannerman (left) were masters of ceremonies during the college’s graduation banquet in early March, a role that will be noted on their co-curricular record. Bode and Bannerman are on the Education Students’ Society.
College of Education students Kevin Bode (right) and Cian Bannerman (left) were masters of ceremonies during the college’s graduation banquet in early March, a role that will be noted on their co-curricular record. Bode and Bannerman are on the Education Students’ Society.

Wallin said the college has incorporated a co-curricular record that students can tailor to their own needs.

“This opportunity will provide a fuller description of the professional initiative that students have taken to foster their own learning and professional growth. It is our hope that the CCR will benefit our students wherever their careers lead them, and that they leave our college knowing that we have appreciated all that they have contributed to our college.”

Kevin Bode is a student in the College of Education and an executive member on the Education Students’ Society. He said his experience so far with the co-curricular record has been positive.

“I love the co-curricular record,” said Bode. “It’s awesome to be recognized for all the extra-curricular work that I do around the university. I also really like the ability to submit my own requests to be recognized.”

Currently, only U of S undergraduate and graduate students in the College of Education are able to access their co-curricular record.

In the upcoming academic year, Isinger anticipates other colleges will start to collect information on activities that may be added to the database, allowing more students to access their records.

Learn more about the co-curricular record.

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