What Should Be on Your Transcript?

In Inside Higher Education today, an idea for revising the university transcript.  For a century, transcripts have been a listing of classes with a GPA and the university’s name.  A university degree, especially at the graduate level, is much more than what the transcript captures though.

The article suggests inclusion of the following in a transcript:

  • A Developmental RecordTo ensure well-rounded development, recognition is awarded on the transcript to students who have taken part in a series of community service and enrichment activities, including lectures, concerts, and artistic performances.

  • A 21st Century Literacy RecordTo recognize the acquisition of such 21st century literacies – including cross-cultural competence, critical and contextual thinking, advanced communication skills, and sensemaking – digital badges would be displayed on the transcript.

  • A Co-curricular TranscriptTo acknowledge the skills and knowledge that students acquire in co-curricular activities – such as internships, externships, study abroad, service learning – these would be included on the transcript.

  • A Competency-based Transcript Alongside grades, a competency-based transcript would specify the abilities, aptitudes, and skills that a student had demonstrated and mastered. There is an ongoing debate about how granular and standardized the competencies should be.

  • A Universal TranscriptA universal transcript would consolidate all of a student’s learning – academic and non-academic.  Such a universal transcript might help individuals receive academic credit for military and corporate training.

What do you want to see on a transcript?  What do employers, doctoral institutions, and the public need to see?  How can we provide that information?


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