Students looking to have extracurricular activities formally recognized, get ready: Dal’s co-curricular record (CCR) is just up around the bend.
The CCR is an official document from Dalhousie that recognizes a student’s accomplishments and learning experiences outside the classroom: campus life, community engagement, volunteer activities, course-related service learning projects, campus employment and so-forth. It’s a tool that Student Services, the DSU and other partners have been working to bring to campus for some time now.
With a dedicated team of staff and students busily populating its database with information, the CCR program will be ready to launch early in the winter semester.
“This is going to be great for students,” says Max Ma, president of the Dalhousie Arts and Social Sciences Society and student representative on Dal’s Board of Governors. He’s been working on the CCR project as part of its steering committee, helping set the guidelines for how student life experiences are considered for inclusion on the document.
He compares the CCR to an academic transcript, in that the latter provides official recognition for classroom learning. The CCR extends that same idea to out-of-classroom learning experiences.
“It gives a more complete picture of what students do in university,” he says. “They don’t just go to class and then go back home again. This is a venue to recognize and celebrate those other campus engagements – and encourage students to get more involved.”
What makes a CCR different from a transcript is that students build it themselves. The interface will be housed as part of MyCareer, Dal’s career and co-op portal located within MyDal. When students log in, they’ll be able to browse through positions that have already been documented by the CCR team, with descriptions and learning outcomes listed. Students then select the role or positions they’ve held, and the CCR team then validates this with a confirmed representative of that office, unit or society.
If a particular activity is not yet listed in the CCR system, students can request it, and the team will go about tracking down the description, learning outcomes and university validator they need to have it officially recognized. The end result is an official document that students can download or print and share in job interviews, grad school applications and so-forth.
Chris Glover, manager of the student co-curricular record, says that while his team is working hard to have as many positions as possible in the system for launch, they expect their directory to grow exponentially once students are able to start requesting ones to be added.
“We’ve looked at a lot of other universities with CCR programs, and some that started 200 positions were up to a few thousand within a few years,” he says. “We have over 200 student societies at Dal, not to mention campus jobs, organizations like residence life, food services...it’s a lot to capture, but we’re excited about letting our community demonstrate the breadth of opportunities on campus.”
Credit and recognition
Ben Armishaw is one of the student staff who’s helping review and validate positions in the CCR system. A third-year commerce student and senior RA in mini res, he’s thrilled about what the CCR will mean for student life on campus.
“It’s really exciting to me because it provides me with a concrete validation of all the work I’ve done at Dal,” he says. “Plus, students will be able to quickly see a broad survey of all the ways to be active on campus, and they know that they’ll receive credit and recognition for what they contribute.”
The CCR does have some limitations. Because positions have to be validated, only roles directly related to the university can be included on the document at this time, and it won’t contain positions prior to this academic year (2011/12). Mr. Glover explains that while they might be able to find validators for some past roles, there’s many where that wouldn’t be possible, and they’re determined to make the CCR system as fair and equitable to everyone as possible.
He says that he hopes students are able to use the system to their benefit.
“For students who are already engaged, this will hopefully add some extra validation to the valuable work they do. But it’s also about encouraging student involvement, promoting opportunities for students who aren’t engaged to find ways to get involved in the Dalhousie community.”
Students can expect to see a lot more information about CCR—including posters, videos and web content—when it launches early next year. For now, read more on the basics of how CCR works either in MyCareer (login through MyDal) or at dal.ca/ccr.
While the CCR will launch with a submission process, staff or students who have projects or positions they’d like to see considered for the CCR program can also contact Chris Glover at firstname.lastname@example.org or 494-8022.
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