New survey report by think tank highlights Elon's visual transcript

The report by the Washington, D.C.-based New America think tank featured an overview of Elon's innovative approach to more fully describing the broad experiences of its graduates. 

A new survey by the Washington, D.C.-based New America think tank into Americans’ attitudes about higher educations featured a special profile of Elon University’s Visual Experience Transcript. 

A screenshot of the intro to the latest New America survey of Americans' attitudes about higher education. 
The Varying Degrees 2018 report by New America offered insights into what Americans think about the role that higher education plays in economic opportunities, what they think about their local colleges and universities, whether change is needed in higher ed and other topics. This year, the annual survey paid particular attention to North Carolina, with an oversampling of the state’s residents, and provided an institutional profile of Elon University. 

The profile focused on the steps that Elon has taken to expand its Elon Experience Transcripts, with a particular focus on the role that Registrar Rodney Parks and his staff have played in transforming the experiential transcript by merging it with a student’s academic transcript to create a digital, visual overview of a student’s college career. 

From the profile: 

Today, 2,000 students per year—over a third of the university’s annual transcript production—request Elon’s Visual Experience Transcript (Visual EXP). Today, Elon’s Visual EXP is requested by 2,000 students per year, over a third of Elon’s annual transcript production. Putting each transcript together is a true team effort, with several departments (including the university’s service learning and community engagement, research, career services, and student affairs offices) collecting, validating, and submitting more detail on co-curricular experiences than the original EET did. The Visual EXP has made Elon one of the pioneers in the “beyond the transcript” space. 

The overview of Elon’s innovative approach tied into the survey results by offering up the university as an example of an institution taking steps to demonstrate the education it provides is an investment that is worth its cost. 

“The students themselves appreciate the ability to tell their full Elon story,” Parks told New America. “The students themselves appreciate the ability to tell their full Elon story. … [They] have been real vocal about telling us that we should be capturing even more than we’re capturing.”

Read the entire profile of Elon’s efforts here. New America’s survey coverage by The Chronicle of Higher Education, Inside Higher Ed and other media outlets.