New Co-curricular Transcript Helps Students Track Activity

Ramapo students are now being offered the opportunity to create an online profile using OrgSync and build a co-curricular transcript (CCT) showing what they have been involved in on campus. 

OrgSync is the Web site where all organizations and clubs on campus can communicate with one another. The co-curricular transcript is a new feature that chronicles students' campus participation.

"It graphs out all of the events you are participating in throughout all of the different months to kind of show how active you are and shows what kind of learning outcomes you have accomplished," said Patrick Chang,  Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and one of the coordinators of the CCT.

These outcomes are listed by category such as academic, personal and social.

The new system works by allowing students to swipe into events using their Ramapo ID, responding to events on OrgSync and getting verification that they attend meetings and are involved in certain clubs or organizations. All of this data is collected and students are able to see their involvement on the website. 

When a user asks OrgSync to turn their involvement into a CCT, it generates a report. 

"You can create a printed version of this or use the electronic version and upload this into what is known as an electronic portfolio," Chang said. 

Chang describes this as an electronic binder that you can take to an employer or graduate school admissions office to show what you have done during your college career and include samples of your work.

The idea of Ramapo students being able to have a CCT was developed in the mid-90s. 

"We felt that in order for Ramapo students to really be successful, they needed to be engaged," Chang said. 

Although the idea is not brand new, there was a short timeline since the beginning of this summer to get the e-portfolio and online CCT up and running.

A few kinks are being worked out, but overall the process has presented few problems, Chang said. 

During Welcome Week, Student Affairs was hoping that students would be able to swipe into events with their Ramapo IDs and that their attendance would automatically register on each OrgSync account. However, the system did not synchronize as planned, and Student Affairs is now manually back-loading all of the attendees' swipes onto their personal profiles.

There was also a glitch with the single sign-on feature for Ramapo students. The new feature allows students to sign in to OrgSync with their Ramapo usernames and passwords instead of going through a registration process to get an OrgSync profile. Despite an initial technical issue, the single sign-on feature is now running smoothly.

Chang said that overall the feedback from students has been overwhelmingly positive and students see this as a great benefit since they cannot always remember every event they attended. 

"The biggest question has been 'Are we only going to track big events?,'" Chang said.

The events that award involvement points are not limited to major events on campus. However, for designated events that Student Affairs feels that every student should attend, there are wings on the CCT logo. 

Ramapo freshman Cassie Martin said she has seen huge signs advertising the "earn your wings" campaign in the residence halls. 

Freshmen have been the target of the marketing and advertising campaign for the CCT since they were exposed to OrgSync at orientations this summer. Because freshmen and sophomore students are the focus of the campaign, some upperclassmen feel that the CCT is not working to their advantage.

A senior at Ramapo, Ariella Brunkhorst, applauds the idea and says that it will add more competitiveness to her application for graduate school.

"But because it is so new, graduate schools wouldn't start looking at it until maybe a year from now," Brunkhorst said. 

Brunkhorst said she also worries that since she is approaching graduation, she will not be able to remember all of the events she attended at Ramapo because it wasn't tracked for her. Chang said that upperclassmen can back track and manually insert their involvement, but they will need a reference for verification. 

The freshmen sentiment is quite different. 

"This makes life easier," Martin said. "I don't have to remember everything. I remember applying for college I didn't remember what I did since freshman year. Now you have proof."