Coming soon: Career Link, comprehensive student records

Brandman University’s newest student-centered tool, Career Link, adds a career component to two other university innovations: the comprehensive student record and digital badges. New Career Link software is going through its final testing phase and should launch during Spring 2, according to Katy Curameng, director of Career Services.

Career Link provides a one-stop location for the comprehensive student record (CSR), including information about degrees earned, academic programs (majors and minors), student-submitted documents verified by the appropriate university official about internships and organization memberships and student-submitted portfolios, professional and military work citations, civic and volunteer activities and non-university certifications.

For students in Brandman MyPath, the competency-based, self-paced bachelor’s degree program, Career Link will also include the university-certified digital badges that show potential employers what students have had to demonstrate mastery of to complete their courses.

The link to careers

Katy Curameng listens to students and alumni during a Career Roundtable event in 2016.

The information in Career Link, which can include student-created resumes and LinkedIn profiles, can be made available to potential employers at the student’s discretion. Once Career Services has the student portion of the program well populated, potential employers will be able to view whatever the individual student gives them access to view.

“We see this as a site available to students beginning at admission and continuing through the alumni lifecycle. Within Career Link, students have access to career and professional development resources, including workshops, career coaching, mentorships and career opportunities. It’s all tied together with the need to prepare for, document and articulate career readiness,” said Curameng.

Creating a comprehensive student record

Brandman University is one of 12 universities participating in the CSR project, which is funded by the Lumina Foundation and conducted jointly by the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO) and Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education (NASPA). Its goal is to accelerate the creation of a student record that documents and distributes information about student learning and competencies that go beyond the traditional transcript.

Information about Brandman’s Career Services can be found at https://www.brandman.edu/career-services. The expanded section includes advice on career planning, management, job search strategies and career preparation through education.
Others at Brandman critical to the development of the CSR are Vice Chancellor Laurie Dodge (Assessment/Planning), Associate Vice Chancellor John Snodgrass (Student Services), Sara Zaker (instructional design), Associate Vice Chancellor Lee Johnston (CBE Technology), Daniel Ellingson (university registrar), Dean Nancy Salzman (School of Extended Education), Assistant Director Tara Besack (Student Resources) and Assistant Director Adam Evans (Student Records).

“There is increasingly a desire from multiple stakeholders, including employers, to look beyond the courses and grades that appear on a transcript, to also know about a student’s learning outcomes, competencies and learning outside the classroom,” said Dodge.

Adding digital badges

For Brandman MyPath students, Career Link and the CSR includes an additional component that will help potential employers understand exactly what a student can do. The university began exploring a badging system for MyPath when designing the program.

For the first phase, badges tied to learning outcomes were created for:

  • applied learning
  • innovation and creativity
  • civic engagement
  • global cultures
  • integrated learning

“Creating a badging ecosystem is a complex undertaking that requires cross-departmental resources,” said Salzman. “The ultimate goal was to provide a verifiable, transparent and universally understood record of student learning and achievement that could be replicated by other institutions.” Associate Dean Diane Singer (Competency-based Curriculum and Assessment, School of Business and Professional Studies), Assistant Vice Chancellor Hadassah Yang (Institutional Research and Planning), Dodge and Zaker collaborated on the project.

Salzman said the concept of digital badges is rapidly expanding in higher education. As employers, students and academic institutions become more familiar with the meaning behind the digital badges, the greater the benefit to all involved.

“The design and implementation of badges continue to be a work in progress at Brandman. We’re working with employers, employees, governmental entities, students, faculty and others in order to best understand how to build badges that are universally understood and accepted,” she said.

Badges earned by MyPath students will be added automatically to the CSR and will then be available to share with potential employers.

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