New Cocurricular Transcript Recognizes Student Extracurricular Activities
This fall’s incoming freshman class will be the first at AUC to graduate with a cocurricular transcript, a new initiative to officially document students’ extracurricular activities while at AUC. The transcript will keep an accurate log of each student’s activities, awards, and leadership positions, excluding those for which they receive credit. In conjunction with traditional course transcripts, the cocurricular transcript is intended to offer students and employers a more dynamic view of student development and achievement outside of the classroom.
The transcript itself is organized into nine categories: student clubs and organizations; athletics; community service activities through student clubs or community-based learning courses; honors and awards received for demonstrated excellence in a particular field; leadership training; noncurricular workshops and seminars; independent research conducted outside AUC’s academic curriculum; entrepreneurial activities; and innovative, creative work.
Following a soft opening of the project in May, the program will be expanded to include each incoming class until all students are included by the Fall 2019. New students will register their activities at the beginning of each semester during club registration. Toward the end of the semester, the enrollment lists will be verified and validated by student leaders, faculty and staff. Students can then request a transcript from the Office of the Registrar as needed.
Vice President of Student Affairs Khaled Dahawy, who is overseeing the implementation of this program, stresses the importance of extracurriculars in student life. “In essence, cocurricular activities are what differentiate AUC from other universities, as they allow the student the opportunity to engage in experiences that enhances his or her ability and skill set.” Dahawy believes that the cocurricular transcript, as an extension of these activities, is needed to formalize out-of-classroom learning at AUC.
Freshman Lina Issa agrees, saying that she thinks the new program is a good idea. Though still deciding which extracurriculars to join, she explained her choice to attend AUC. “It’s the best University in Egypt, and its way of educating is very professional. Extracurriculars are a big part of that.”
For those not already a part of campus life, the cocurricular transcript provides motivation to get more involved. “Perhaps in the beginning stages, it will be challenging to encourage all freshmen in a timely manner to participate in various activities and to record their involvement,” says Michael Gibson, advisor for the Peer Advising Leader Program that is helping implement the launch of the program. “But it's important for students to be able to document all the cocurricular activities in which they're involved and to encourage more engagement among students who are less active.”
Rather than view the transcript as a checklist, Gibson encourages students to engage passionately with their community, “The only drawback with this system that I can predict is that some might not fully engage as much as they could, seeing it only as a requirement they must fulfill. These types of students will not benefit as much nor fully reach their potential.”
Computer Science major and graduating senior Yehya Abo El-Naga affirmed that although some extracurriculars may not directly relate to a job in computer science, the skills he has developed outside of the classroom will serve him well in the workplace. For example, he explained how the International Peer Leaders program (IPL) developed his leadership skills and appreciation for diversity, “As an IPL, I’m responsible for mentoring all different types of people, and so I learned how to understand them; Europeans, Asians, everyone.”
Dahawy points out that the cocurricular transcript will also benefit job seekers. “I think that this is a win-win situation where students get a formal record of their achievements that can show their real caliber, distinguishing them from other applicants in the market and enhancing their employability opportunity. For the employers, the transcript offers documented information that they can trust, allowing them to make better hiring decisions."