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Today’s edition of Insider Higher Ed devotes a column to Matt Pittinsky’s vision for a PAR (Postsecondary Achievement Report), an extended transcript that more fully reflects the impact of higher education and documents learning outcomes.
Our current system of credentialing is being challenged, both within and outside higher education. Employers charge that a college diploma is insufficient to predict success on the job. Scholars believe the academic transcript doesn’t go far enough to reflect how the college experience prepares students to thrive in a dynamic career landscape. We all agree we need a better education credential.
In his essay, Matt describes in detail how the PAR could bring together three initiatives already underway— competency-based transcripts, co-curricular transcripts and data-enabled transcripts—and create a new generation of academic credentialing that would make student learning outcomes more easily understood and actionable.
The PAR presents a consistent document structure and data standard and creates a common understanding of both course-based and campus-based achievements. It harnesses the innovation in content and substance of co-curricular and competency-based transcripts, and delivers information electronically to enable machine-readable data and analytics.
It’s time to extend the transcript, capture and validate the significant value gained during the postsecondary journey and set the stage for lifelong learning. A PAR would be a major step to empower learners and help them turn credentials into opportunities.