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Beyond the College Transcript: Innovative Strategies for Assessing and Documenting Student Learning

Student Success Assessment, Evaluation, and Research AVP or "Number Two" Faculty Graduate Mid-Level New Professional Senior Level VP for Student Affairs
February 14, 2020 Pam Bowers University of South Carolina

Beyond the College Transcript offers strategies for developing comprehensive student learning records in order to advance student success, achieve institutional objectives, and provide evidence of the benefits of a college degree.

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What do students learn in college?
How effective are higher education institutions in producing intended student learning outcomes?
How do student affairs and other cocurricular programs contribute to student learning and success?
How does the impact of college learning activities vary among student populations?

Beyond the College Transcript explores innovative practices for assessing and documenting student learning to help higher education leaders answer these questions. This timely publication examines the current state of student learning data, with chapters that discuss methods for improving data quality and availability to benefit both students and higher education institutions. Featuring profiles of new and innovative models for modifying education records and transcripts that include cocurricular engagement data, the book emphasizes a holistic view of student learning.

As public demands for proof of the value of higher education continue to grow, colleges and universities are seeking better ways to convey what students learn and to consider how educational experiences contribute to student learning, persistence to graduation, and postgraduation success. Beyond the College Transcript offers strategies for developing comprehensive student learning records in order to advance student success, achieve institutional objectives, and provide evidence of the benefits of a college degree.

Praise for Beyond the College Transcript

“Institutions of higher education have professed to prepare students for careers and life, and yet have not found a way to demonstrate attainment of this goal. Finally, Beyond the College Transcript provides the most comprehensive guide written, starting with why, providing historical and theoretical frameworks, and detailing successful and diverse practices for documenting the student experience with much greater depth and rigor than the current traditional transcript. Students across all types of institutions will benefit from their colleges developing a comprehensive student record, and this book is the place for practitioners to start.” —GAIL DISABATINO, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, University of Massachusetts Boston

“A must-read for university leaders and student affairs professionals seeking to improve how they document student learning more holistically—both inside and outside the classroom.” —JULIA MICHAELS, Executive Director, Center for Public University Transformation, Association of Public and Land-grant Universities

“Beyond the College Transcript provides clarity and practical examples of how the ecosystem of learning should be developed and how it should benefit students. This is yet another incredibly valuable contribution to the new era of learner-focused data, systems, and records.” —TOM GREEN, Associate Executive Director, American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers

“Embracing a holistic view of postsecondary education, Bowers presents a solid mix of theory, practice, emerging models, and promising new pathways designed to improve institutional effectiveness and student success. Beyond the College Transcript is essential reading for faculty members, student affairs professionals, and university leaders committed to making learning more transparent, intentional, transferable, and meaningful to all stakeholders while simultaneously strengthening evidenceinformed decision making in support of continuous improvement of programs and practices.” —LAURA A. WANKEL, Senior Advisor for Strategic Initiatives to the Senior Vice Chancellor for Educational Innovation, Northeastern University

“Beyond the College Transcript stresses the need to link improved assessment of student learning outcomes to universitywide strategic objectives. Via helpful case studies, the volume shares how leading institutions are working to achieve this important goal.” —STEVEN P. DANDANEAU, Executive Director, The Reinvention Collaborative; Associate Provost, Colorado State University

“In Beyond the College Transcript, author Pam Bowers challenges the entire higher education community to reevaluate the most fundamental measurement of student success: the transcript. Bowers imagines a future for educational achievement that provides a deeper demonstration of student learning than just a simple letter grade by capturing, organizing, and producing records of student learning outcomes. This book is a must-read for anyone who is looking for the deeper meaning behind student success.” —DOUG FOSTER, Vice President for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer, University of South Carolina