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How CLRs Can Track Skills to Benefit Students and Universities |

Designed to capture all aspects of learning activities in school and in life, Comprehensive Learner Records provide employers with comprehensive skills and competency-based transcripts.

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Kiko Suarez

The United States is currently seeing many job vacancies, with more than 11 million vacancies. Millions of young people struggle to find a job that matches their skills and knowledge. American employers are struggling to fill jobs as many Americans are quitting in droves. The Labor Department said quits jumped to 4.3 million in August 2021, the highest record in December 2000, and up from 4 million in July 2021.

Although part of this crisis is a direct result of the Covid-19 pandemic, there are many underlying issues in determining the qualifications of candidates for employment. Most employers rely on graduate resumes and transcripts as proof of their qualifications, but those two things only tell half of a candidate’s story.

The recruitment revolution

The American education system emphasizes the GPA of students, especially in high school. Many students can show up to class, do their work, and receive good grades.

But when entering the workforce, individuals must present more than grades to prove they can be an asset to employers. We are currently seeing, and will continue to see in the future, a trend where recruiters focus less on grades and more on the skills a candidate will bring to a company.

With the ongoing labor shortage and the abundance of job openings, employers are looking to hire candidates who are experts in their field, but are also considering several other factors. They may have 20 candidates with college degrees, but that alone doesn’t determine their fit with the company culture, their reliability, their communication skills, or their ability to work with others.

Many graduates enter the job market without knowing how to quantify or verify the skills they have acquired during their university career. Most have no way of keeping track of these skills; in other cases, no awareness that taking courses can provide more than just a letter grade built into their GPA.

Use digital tools to help students track their skills and achievements

Throughout a student’s academic journey, they will develop various skills inside and outside the classroom. Almost every experience a student has throughout their college career shapes them to become future professionals.

We need to give students a way to track their skills and learning experiences to enter the job market with concrete evidence of their acquired skills. This can be done through a Comprehensive Learner Record (CLR), which has become one of the most valuable resources we can provide to students to guide them through their academic journey and beyond. of the. Universities and colleges are seeing the impact skills tracking can have on their students’ success after graduation. Morgan State University seized the opportunity last year and will begin tracking student skills this fall.

Designed to capture all aspects of learning activities in school and in life, CLRs provide comprehensive skills and competency-based transcripts. CLRs can help students determine the skills they have acquired – skills that a student themselves might not know they have. Having a CLR in a portable, blockchain-secured digital wallet allows learners additional socio-economic mobility and institutions to better understand how graduates put their skills to work for society.

For example, a liberal arts student needs to take a science course and may not understand why or how that course will benefit them. By using a CLR to track skills, they can understand how the system has helped them develop their problem-solving, teamwork, and time-management skills while learning about photosynthesis.

Other advantages arise from making this type of digital tool available to students. For students entering college who don’t know what to specialize in, this tool can offer them and their academic advisors information about careers that may match their skills. Similarly, students who have chosen their degree and are unsure can use a CLR to present other options based on the skills and knowledge they have already learned.

CLRs, also known as Learning and Employment Records (LERs), help learners looking to continue their education or people already in the workforce looking for new opportunities. Having CLR/LER on secure blockchain digital wallets provides the opportunity to connect the entire ecosystem, from educational institutions to employers, in a more transparent and fair way.

Demonstrate the return on investment of a university degree

Employers and people looking to enter the labor market are not the only ones currently facing a crisis. Higher education institutions are experiencing a significant drop in undergraduate enrollment. Fall 2021 Undergraduate Enrollment fell 3.1%, i.e. by 465,300 students, compared to a year earlier. Going to college for many families is still prohibitively expensive, and they are considering multiple learning options in their “go to market” strategy.

Colleges and universities need to provide students with a higher level of mastery of the skills and competencies they learn to better represent themselves when seeking employment. Higher education institutions also understand that their system must be more “porous” to allow their students to acquire skills and competences inside and outside the walls of the institution, virtual or not.

With the return on investment of a college degree in question, institutions are scrambling to attract prospective students and retain current students. Data on how students fare when they graduate is essential. When a university can say, “X% of our students received a job offer in their field in X time,” it can provide a compelling argument to students considering enrolling.

Implementing employer-accepted CLRs and digital portfolios can help institutions demonstrate their value to the success and success of their students. The positive results produced by a CLR platform that seamlessly connects to any LMS and issues blockchain-secured wearable wallets provide a persuasive element to assure students that everything they experience during their college journey will be well worth their investment.

Dr. Suarez is an expert in innovation, leadership and change in education. An author and TED speaker, he is Vice President of Higher Education and Workforce Development at Territorium, Chairman of the Board of Prontopia, and a member of the Board of Governors of Antioch University.

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