Effort to Scale Comprehensive Learner Records, The College System of Tennessee to Implement Competency Based Program

Student Success Community Faculty
December 13, 2017 NASPA

Lumina Foundation awards $1.2M to further Comprehensive Learner Record model

Washington, DC - Lumina Foundation has awarded a $1.2 million grant to the American Association of
Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO) and NASPA: Association of Student Affairs
Professionals, to continue their work on the development and adoption of comprehensive student
records (CSRs) in American higher education. The grant, which spans approximately 18 months, builds
upon a prior grant that developed models for these new types of student records.

“Interest in documenting learning in new ways has grown rapidly in the short time AACRAO and
NASPA have partnered with Lumina on this work,” said AACRAO Executive Director Mike Reilly. “The
new grant allows us to take what we learned in our initial phase and further accelerate the adoption of
Comprehensive Learner Records across a broader range of institutions.”

This next round of work will focus on the development and implementation of a single learner record
concept across a broad representation of American colleges and universities. Utilizing new technology
and data standards, institutions can now create a digital record that is accessible not just to the
institution, but also to the student, in real time. CLR’s move beyond the traditional transcript by
providing information on the learning outcomes or competencies gained by the learner. These new
records also provide a fuller picture of what the student knows and can do by documenting all learning,
regardless of where it occurred. By validating learning from activities outside the classroom, students
are able to demonstrate their ability to apply their knowledge and skills in real world settings.

“There is significant evidence that creating connections between a student’s learning in broad
collegiate experiences and the classroom is a critical component to preparing students for a meaningful
and successful career,” said Kevin Kruger, president of NASPA. “This grant will make important
progress in scaling innovations in the Comprehensive Learner Record across a wide range of

AACRAO and NASPA will assist as many as 150 institutions to develop these new records and will
target work with systems and networks of institutions. Resources will also become available for any
campus that wishes to create a Comprehensive Learner Record through the development of a toolkit,
which includes a readiness audit, and will be made available through regional workshops as well as
association meetings.


The College System of Tennessee will work with AACRAO and NASPA to implement CLRs across all
their colleges and to work on the articulation of competencies and learning outcomes between their
institutions and with state universities as students seek to transfer.

“The TBR System is excited to be selected to participate in the next phase of the Comprehensive
Student Record project with AACRAO and NASPA,” said Heidi Leming, interim vice chancellor for
Student Success at the Tennessee Board of Regents. “This project builds upon Tennessee’s existing
work high impact practices by examining how we articulate the competencies students gain in curricular
and co-curricular activities to transfer institutions as well as employers. As a System, we will engage
the 40 TBR institutions and public postsecondary universities in this collaborative project.”

Additionally, the Competency-Based Education Network (C-BEN) will partner with AACRAO and
NASPA to facilitate one of their annual Collaboratory projects. The goal of C-BEN Collaboratory
projects are to resolve issues facing the growth of competency-based education and publish guidance
to the field. Further networks will be identified and will target institutions that are engaged in student
learning initiatives that focus on eliminating equity gaps in completion, such as community colleges
working on guided pathways, minority-serving institutions (MSIs), and institutions serving active military
and veterans, and adult learners.

Increasingly, students are asked to demonstrate that they have skills that include an array of problemsolving, communication, leadership, and group dynamics skills that are critical to success inemployment settings. “Lumina Foundation is excited to support this initiative that validates all learning,regardless of where it occurred,” said Amber Garrison Duncan from Lumina Foundation. “By creating acomprehensive record, there is a more accurate reflection of a learner’s achievements and skill level asthey prepare to use their credentials to gain employment or further education.”

To learn more about previous work done on Comprehensive Learner Records, visit: