The college experience is a jam-packed four years that can fly by in a flash. Between making the grade, working jobs or internships, and embarking on various educational experiences, it's difficult to properly document the depth and quality of many of these experiences.
Enter the Experiential and Applied Learning Record -- or the Record, for short.
The Record is a unique downloadable document for students that provides evidence of experiences they had at IUPUI that are not reflected on their academic transcript. Their Record includes the type of experience, its name and the learning outcomes associated with it. Hours are counted for certain experiences where relevant. More than 200 experiences have been approved for inclusion in the Record, and more are added each month.
"The Record could help a potential employer decide to hire a student," said Tom Hahn, director of assessment in the Institute for Engaged Learning. "The downloaded PDF is visually appealing and easy to understand. I like to also think of the Record as sort of a recognition of the student's accomplishment. Many of these experiences have a direct societal benefit."
Luan Brits, a Class of 2021 psychology major, has seen firsthand the benefits of using the Record. His resume is dotted with volunteer opportunities, on-campus jobs and various other experiences. The Record has tied everything together.
"I've had great cocurricular experiences at IUPUI that would otherwise not be displayed on my college transcript," Brits said. "When I have applied for jobs off campus, I have been able to show employers in a concrete way the experiences I have had. Using the Record has not only helped me showcase my on-campus experience, but it has also given me a way to talk about the skills and knowledge that I have gained here at IUPUI."
At times, it can seem difficult for students to truly prove to employers that they have really had all the experiences they claim. Charity Bishop, a lecturer and program director in the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences in the Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health, has heard from students who felt that potential employers didn't believe them when they related how many service hours they had completed. With the Record, those potential doubts are erased.
"I have had students comment that they feel better having the Record because it validates all of their claims in their resumes," Bishop said. "Many students have a lot of engaged work throughout their college careers but have never had a way to prove they have had all of the involvement until the Record."
The experiences piece of the Record also complements IUPUI's Profiles of Learning for Undergraduate Success, which were introduced in 2018. Kristina Horn Sheeler, executive associate dean in the Honors College, believes the two strengthen one another.
"This alignment with the Record bolsters the importance that we place on each of these areas of learning and also shows a real effort to be student facing," Horn Sheeler said. "We want this learning to make sense to students and give them an edge in order to talk about their learning at IUPUI and how they've developed as communicators, problem solvers, innovators, and community contributors because of experiences like what's on the Record. It's not just empty words, but real knowledge, skills, and understanding that connect to things that a student can understand and value."
Students, faculty and staff interested in the Record can learn more by visiting the Institute for Engaged Learning online. If you have participated in an experience such as an internship, study abroad or service learning that you believe merits inclusion in the Record, contact the institute at firstname.lastname@example.org with the name and description of the experience and name of the professor or supervisor who oversees the experience.