In nationwide surveys, employers state that new college graduates are missing certain skills beyond technical competence. UCO is now recording students’ growth in these areas, and students can share evidence of their transformations, both inside and outside the classroom, with potential employers.The University of Central Oklahoma received a grant from the U.S. Department of Education that will fund the Student Transformative Learning Record (STLR) through September 2019. We seek donations from corporations and individuals to continue these efforts beyond the grant. Here is why STLR is an exciting program through which you can make a difference in students’ lives:
- STLR is the first effort of its kind to track, assess and record highly-sought "soft skills" gathered both inside and outside the classroom;
- The Department of Education believed in this work so much, they awarded UCO $7.7 million dollars to carry it out over five years (2014-19);
- Further, they want to see it succeed so much, they are MATCHING donations up to $200,000 per year through September 2019;
- Fifty percent or more of the interest earned on donations will go directly back to students to pay them to undertake Transformative Learning Projects.
Read below for more details about this exciting new program and how you can partner with STLR.
What is STLR?
The Student Transformative Learning Record (STLR) acts like a second transcript. An academic transcript records students’ proficiencies in their field of study, also called their Discipline Knowledge. STLR records their growth across the five other tenets that UCO believes are most important for graduating students:
- Global & Cultural Competencies
- Health & Wellness
- Research, Creative & Scholarly Activities
- Service Learning & Civic Engagement
Faculty and staff intentionally create experiences that expand students’ perspectives of their relationships to self, others, their communities and their environments. These experiences could be course assignments, campus events, or paid, independent student projects. Then, supervisors assess students’ assignments or reflection papers to rank their level of transformation in one of the tenets listed above.
STLR displays these achievements on a web-based student dashboard, so that students can keep track of their growth at any time while attending UCO. From here, students can choose which experiences to push to their ePortfolios. These ePortfolios are self-built, online presentations, like a webpage, where they highlight their supervisor-certified transformations. The web address to these presentations can then be shared with potential employers, graduate schools, scholarship committees, and others so that UCO applicants have a competitive advantage.
STLR’s broader reach
- Part of the STLR process includes working closely with employers so the STLR portfolio and presentation of beyond-disciplinary skills is in a format useful for them.
- The STLR office will be analyzing the success of STLR graduates in their workplace, and using that information to strengthen the process here at UCO.
- UCO’s implementation of STLR will result in dissemination and scaling of the process so that what we do and learn is shared with other Higher Education institutions.
What does UCO need to implement this?
As required by the acceptance of the $7.7 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education, UCO seeks to raise $200,000 each year for five years. The U.S. Department of Education is offering 1:1 matches, up to $200,000 per year, on monies raised to support the STLR endowment fund.
We value your donation to help reach this goal and to continue providing transformative learning experiences for students beyond 2019.