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2014-02-05 at 16:48

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By Jodi Lundmark,
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University students can spend hours developing real skills through extracurricular activities and now they'll have a record of that work.

Lakehead University launched a co-curricular record Wednesday that will act as a transcript summarizing students' non-academic activities.

Third-year kinesiology student Alexis Sharp has gained experience in admission and recruitment through volunteering for events like Fall Preview Day, Grade 11 Day and the Student Success Centre's lead program. She's also a house president with the Residence Life Team.

"I feel like it's really important, especially when applying to jobs and post-graduate schools in the future, to be able to say I have more experience than just academics," Sharp said.

"I also have extracurricular things where I had to work on things like time management and working under pressure and working with diverse populations and things you might not necessarily get when working just with academics."

The university has a list of about 50 activities that can be recognized on the co-curricular record. They are standards that need to be met for an activity to make the list; they generally are volunteer and have some kind of leadership or skill development.

If a club or department has an activity that does not make the list, the university will work with them to augment that activity so it will be accepted.

Each activity on the transcript will also be signed off by a supervisor that can be contacted by an employer.

"It's one thing to say that you participated in a lot of activities but it's another thing to have a supervisor who confirmed that yes, I have participated in these types of things and they can actually be looked up," said Sharp.

Student Affairs vice-provost Marian Ryks-Szelekovszky said students have been asking for their extracurricular activities to be recognized in the past.

"They realized the work in the classroom is something that's reflected on their transcript but so many students give of themselves to lots of other ventures while they're in university and for them to have them recognized is a huge benefit to them," she said.

Ryks-Szelekovszky said many universities have launched a similar program and students can add activities from as far back as last September to their co-curricular record.

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