Yachouh, Josh – Student Track Record for Innovative and Valuable Experiences (STRIVE): Investigating an Opportunity to Empower McMaster Students Through the Use of Co-Curricular Records

Increasingly, post-secondary institutions have been discussing the importance of recognizing activities that students are involved in both inside and outside of the classroom. This has resulted in institutions implementing mechanisms to track the experiences of students that extend beyond academic accomplishments such as grades and scholarships), these systems have been referred to as Co-Curricular Records (CCR). This report, grounded in a literature review, commented on the ability for McMaster University to accommodate such a system and the usefulness it would have on encouraging students to develop and reflect on the broad skills they have learned throughout their undergraduate careers. Initial obstacles the University may encounter may be: distinguishing between visible and invisible involvement opportunities, creating a shift in campus culture to engage with relevant programming, and keeping a record of the hundreds of volunteer and co-curricular opportunities on campus. These challenges can all be combatted through proper administrative support, cross-faculty communication, and newly created workshops to support intentional involvement. These obstacles and recommendations are further discussed in the article. Although extensive research presents employers as willing to review CCRs, student and faculty surveys are yet to be conducted on campus. Crucial next steps in this project are collecting campus voices to assess the culture surrounding this new system and then assess methods to most comfortably introduce CCRs to McMaster.