Michigan State University — Goal 1 Initiative Cocurricular Record (My Spartan Story)
"Going to college" is more than just the aggregate of a student's experience in the classroom, and therefore official academic transcript records are an incomplete record of achievement. At Michigan State University, the co-curricular record is designed to allow students to share their college experiences and accomplishments with future employers, positioning students to compete for meaningful and rewarding jobs.
Lacking an authoritative record of students' activities and accomplishments, future employers rely on anecdotal explanations of a student's experience, which offers at best an incomplete, inequitable, and incommensurate record by which to evaluate job candidates. Moreover, less-advantaged students may not be as equipped as their better-resourced peers in expressing the value of the co-curricular and extra-curricular activities in which they engaged in college.
Standardizing and structuring a record for co-curricular and extra-curricular activities will empower all students–but especially less advantaged students–to better demonstrate the value of their college experiences. At Michigan State University, this sort of co-curricular record is designed to allow students to share their college experiences with future employers and help empower all students to better demonstrate the breadth and depth of their experience.
Transcripts have long been the primary representation of a students’ college experience. Transcripts are not particularly informative about students’ overall potential, postgraduate abilities or their holistic college experience. Cocurricular records resolve these shortcomings, empower students, promote equity, and provide future employers with more tools to identify and promote graduates into the workplace.
Key Interventions and Milestones
The cocurricular record includes validated student participation experiences, which are connected to established learning outcomes and, added to the academic transcript,
area as a record of achievement. These can include community engagement, internships, leadership roles, campus involvement, and research & advocacy, among others. There are companies with which MSU can partner to implement the technical solutions necessary for a nationwide adoption of the cocurricular record.
By partnering with companies and institutions, Michigan State aims to increase the number of institutions adopting cocurricular records and the number of students engaging with the platforms. With more students and institutions taking advantage of the cocurricular record, the hope is that students will be able to more fully and accurately depict the value of their college experiences and their relevant skills for future employers. Ultimate success will come when universities and employers use cocurricular records with the frequency that curricular transcripts are currently used.