Involvement: students can now get it on the record

student Volunteering for the student alumni organization

student Volunteering for the student alumni organizationStarting today, York University is offering a new service for students that will document their involvement in activities outside the classroom.

In addition to learning inside the classroom, which is documented on a University transcript, York University students can now obtain a Co-Curricular Record of their involvement in campus clubs, organizations and other activities outside the classroom.

Volunteering for the student alumni organization yorkisU can now be included on the Co-Curricular Record

Similar to an academic transcript, the Co-Curricular Record details a student’s active contributions to the University community and the essential and valuable skills they’ve gained from this involvement. Initiated by the Centre for Student Community & Leadership Development, the Co-Curricular Record is available to current York students through the YU Connect portal.

Students interested in learning more about how to get their record started should drop by the Red Zone information kiosk in Vari Hall anytime between 10am and 4pm today, where Student Community & Leadership Development staff and peer mentors will be handing out information about the Co-Curricular Record and providing demonstrations using laptops on how to use the Co-Curricular Record and YU Connect portal.

“The Co-Curricular Record is a terrific opportunity that is being offered by York University to its students,” says Ian Crookshank, assistant director of Student Community in the Centre for Student Community & Leadership Development. “The Co-Curricular Record is an important document because it can be used by students to augment their graduate or professional school applications and for building their résumés. The record details their involvement in clubs or organizations and offers a record of the skills they’ve gained through this involvement.”

YUconnect web pageYork University offers a myriad of ways for students to get involved in activities outside the classroom. Crookshank says there are some 400 registered and active student clubs and organizations on the Keele and Glendon campuses. More than 11,000 students have signed onto YU Connect, which is the University’s hub for information about student clubs and co-curricular activities.

Why is the Co-Curricular Record of these activities outside the classroom important? “If a student is a club treasurer, the skills they gain from that role may be different from the academic skills they have gained in the classroom. Similarly, the Co-Curricular Record offers students a way to document their leadership development skills that they may have gained through their involvement in student government or by running a club or organization,” says Crookshank. “Many of these extra skills have high value with potential employers or postgraduate schools.”

In the past, says Crookshank, it has been difficult for students to document in a meaningful or official way their outside the classroom learning and activities. The document produced by the Co-Curricular Record system is organized in a way that resembles a resume. The club or organization is listed, along with the length of time the student has been involved and their role. As well, the student can also write a reflection about what they have learned from the experience with the club or organization. A future iteration of the Co-Curricular Record planned for launch in September 2012 will enable students to select specific learning outcomes they have achieved during a given experience.

Experience as a volunteer can now be recognized through the Co-Curricular Record

Experience as a volunteer can now be recognized through the Co-Curricular Record

“It is rewarding for students to see their involvement in clubs given recognition,” says Crookshank. “It is very important to recognize the learning and development that takes place both inside and outside the classroom.”

The Co-Curricular Record is available to current students. All of the co-curricular involvement is verified by the signing authority for the club or organization. For 2011 grads, the Co-Curricular record is available, but due to logistics, can only document their involvement for their final year of study (up to one year). “This is because all of the information has to be verified,” says Crookshank.

Activities that are recognized in the Co-Curricular Record will include peer mentoring, student clubs or associations, varsity sports, representation on the Board of Governors, student ambassadors and volunteers, residence dons, student and college government, leadership workshops, training, conference involvement and more.

Activities that are not documented in the Co-Curricular Record include student involvement in fraternities and sororities, or clubs and organizations that are not officially recognized by the University.

To learn more about how to have your experience recognized, drop by Vari Hall today or log onto YU Connect through Passport York to access the Co-Curricular Record system.

By Jenny Pitt-Clark, YFile editor