College students are expected to learn the content in their disciplines, but they must also learn other things that are just as important. They must learn how to work well in teams with people whose opinions differ from their own. They must learn leadership skills. They must develop the ability to interact positively and appropriately with co-workers, customers, and others from different countries and cultures. They must know how to contribute as productive citizens to their local communities, the nation, and the world. They must learn how to tackle unscripted problems and devise creative solutions.
Important skills and knowledge such as these are not documented on the academic transcript, but a university graduate should be able to demonstrate them.
The University of Central Oklahoma's (UCO's) Transformative Learning approach utilizes a unique tool and process to ensure that our graduates possess these important employability, communication, and citizenship skills. The tool is the Student Transformative Learning Record (STLR). Faculty and professional staff intentionally create learning activities and environments designed to expand students' perspectives about themselves and others so that they understand the benefit of developing important life skills while they are in college and afterwards as life-long learners.
To help our students realize the value of learning these important skills, we must provide many opportunities for them to practice and then reflect upon the importance of these skills to their success in life and work. We do this via a structure we call the Central Six Tenets of Transformative Learning and a process in which students progress through successive levels of engagement and performance as documented in their achievement of TL badges: