For many, the only transcripts we are familiar with are ones with 2.0s plastered all over them. With the introduction of co-curricular transcripts in Fall 2005, the University of Calgary is leading Canadian universities by acknowledging post-secondary education is a holistic process taking place both inside and outside the classroom.
"The co-curricular transcript is an enhanced transcript," explained U of C Registrar David Johnston, who is responsible for the administration of student records. "It will be issued separately from existing grades transcripts,"
He believes participation in a variety of activities on campus, as well as recognition of this, is integral to improving the quality of students' academic experience.
"It's something we're very serious about," said Johnston."It is important for the university to recognize student contributions. This is a little thing we can do that can make a big difference to students."
Students' Union VP Academic Demetrios Nicolaides thinks it is a great idea and is optimistic co-curricular transcripts will be well-received by most students.
"Half the battle of school is getting your degree done, the other half is the way you're able to use that degree," said Nicolaides. "Through volunteer opportunities, students can get experience that will help them in real life situations."
While Johnston doesn't believe co-curricular transcripts will be used as part of admission requirements in post-graduate or professional programs yet, Liya Te, a first-year student in Psychology, is certain they'll be useful when she graduates.
"Certain jobs require you to have a portfolio--it's nice to have something official from the university that says what you've done," said Te.
While the university considered the introduction of these transcripts for some time, a winning proposal on co-curricular transcripts by Sarah Wilson and Alyson Kenward in last year's President's Challenge has generated momentum around its implementation. Wilson and Kenward advocate the implementation of these transcripts for a variety of reasons.
"If students not only earned a university degree, but also truly enjoyed their university experience and felt as though their time at the University of Calgary has been recognized, they would be more likely to show their appreciation to the institution," wrote the duo.
Wilson and Kenward also maintain the costs of introducing and providing these transcripts would be met by a transcript processing fee paid by students and would likely offset any additional costs incurred with offering them.
Co-curricular transcripts will include information like SU involvement, scholarships and bursaries received and involvement in athletic teams at the university. Johnston says the transcripts probably won't list involvement on intramural teams where someone who is registered might only show up for a single game. The transcripts will only include information that is completely verifiable.
It is expected this information will be electronically submitted by administrators across the university into a database managed by the Registrar's Office, which will provide the data for generation of the new transcript.