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New Global Competency distinction on TRU transcripts

Astute grads get stamp of approval.

BY JEANNE ARMSTRONG | SEP 13 2010

For a university graduate, the official academic transcript is a crucial document that can open the door to graduate school or mark the first step in a rewarding career path. Now, graduates of Thompson Rivers University may get a little more mileage from the transcript, using it to demonstrate they are “globally minded” citizens.

TRU’s new Global Competency distinction means that a student who has travelled abroad on a university exchange or learned another language can have these experiences recognized. The Global Competency note goes directly on the student’s university transcript, and prospective employers or graduate schools can verify it.

“The goal is to recognize international and intercultural learning experiences of our students in a concrete manner,” says Vera Wojna, interim associate vice-president with the school’s international division, TRU World. The fact that students can now quantify their international experience “will be something that employers will value,” she says.

The program, open to all students, operates through a point system: knowing a second language would earn five points, while a month-long volunteer trip would be worth two.  To be recognized as globally competent, a student needs 12 points.

The global competency distinction may so far be unique to TRU, but it isn’t the only moniker to be finding its way onto the transcript. Some universities have started using a “co-curricular transcript” to recognize experience students gained through activities like serving on student council or volunteer work.

Recognizing students as globally minded is the way of the future, asserts Ms. Wojna. “We now live in an interconnected world in all our fields. It complements the direction we’re going in.”

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