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Extracurricular transcript system expands on pilot project

After the creation of myInvolvement—a website that aims to track students involvement in extracurricular activities—and its merging with Student Services, the program is now expanding its scope to include activities in student clubs. The co-curricular record (CCR) provided by myInvolvement is a personalized transcript that can be customized for specific needs and can be attached to one’s academic transcript and resume.

Lina Di Genova, who is responsible for the program at McGill Student Services, says that the expansion will continue throughout the current academic year.

“Later this semester, we will be running information sessions and myInvolvement training [for the students and clubs], and students will be able to access their unofficial co-curricular record  online within the myInvolvement portal,” Di Genova said. “Next semester, students will be able to request an official electronic copy of their co-curricular record.”

Darlene Hnatchuck, director of the Career Planning Service, is confident in the program’s ability to convert extracurricular hours into job opportunities.

“Students who have developed transferable skills and can articulate them clearly to an employer have an edge in their search for employment opportunities,” Hnatchuck said. “Using the CCR, students will be better able to identify and articulate the skills they developed through [their] activities.”

Currently, over 48 student organizations have joined myInvolvement.

“Our list of student organizations is growing on a daily basis,” Di Genova said. “Since September, over 3,000 new students have logged into the myInvolvement portal and over 7,000 students have active accounts.”

The software is not without its criticisms. According to SSMU Vice-President Club and Services Stephan Fong, the program has not been specifically adapted to the Canadian educational system. 

“It is very much an American program,” Fong said. “[In the United States] student societies have very little power and life is run by the University itself. All the clubs are under the university, so it makes sense for the university to purchase the program and use it to manage their clubs. The problem in Canada is that societies are constructed completely differently.”

Fong also voiced concerns over the shared platform between the university and SSMU.

“We are not necessarily comfortable with letting the university administer our clubs through their program,” Fong explained, elaborating on the caveats of SSMU purchasing the program through. “These programs are often off-the-shelves programs, hence not as customizable as we would want [them to be].  It is a one-size-fits-all program and what I’ve learned by looking across Canada is that none of us  [are] one size consistent.” 

Fong made it clear that the initiative remains a pilot project and must be improved. 

“I want students to look at it themselves and tell us what they want out of the system: Does the system deliver what they want?” Fong said. “I know that all the students would like to have their extracurricular activities recognized. My goal is, by the end of this semester, [to] collect a lot of feedback and bring it to Council or [the] General Assembly to see what people think of the system.”

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