Higher Ed Needs to Embrace CLRs to Highlight ROI of College

With the cost of higher education more than doubling in the past decade and the turbulent job market and economic landscape, students are questioning now more than ever the value of getting a degree. In fact, a recent study from Gallup found that confidence in higher education has dropped 12% in the past five years, from 48% in 2018 to 36% in 2023

Higher education institutions have been tasked with the mission to demonstrate the ROI in obtaining a college degree and are in need of new ways to impart a degree’s value to prospective and current students. Comprehensive learner records (CLRs), which track students' skills and competencies, are a valuable asset in demonstrating the advantage of investing in a higher education program.

Providing significantly more detail than a transcript, CLRs delineate the skills that students have developed over the course of their academic career, both inside and outside of the classroom. More institutions are recognizing that these records allow learners to showcase skills, achievements, and experiences that are not represented on a standard transcript. When used in tandem, a student's transcript and CLR can provide unparalleled insight. As the job market migrates towards skills-based hiring, CLRs provide great appeal to employers.

“Comprehensive learner records (CLRs) are powerful tools that benefit both learners and universities alike,” said Jonell Sanchez, Chief Growth Officer of Territorium. “CLRs provide a more complete picture of a student's journey by capturing all their achievements beyond just grades. This means that students can more fully tell their story and showcase their experiences…Universities can also use CLRs as a way to attract and retain students, which can help improve recruitment and student success initiatives.”

CLRs empower students in that they give students complete ownership and autonomy over their hard earned credentials, which they can take with them beyond graduation. Employing CLR technology:

  • Validates the skills and competencies that students have gained throughout their education that may not be reflected in traditional transcripts
  • Can help students demonstrate their career readiness by highlighting relevant experiences and skills that are important for future employment
  • Can make it easier for students to show that they have the qualifications needed for promotions or for changing jobs. 

CLRs can also help higher education institutions fulfill their student success initiatives. By ensuring that credentials and badges are linked to clear learning outcomes and benefits, CLRs:

  • Validate the learning outcomes of students
  • Promote professional development initiatives by recognizing and tracking faculty and staff training, certifications, and achievements
  • Help potential sponsors/employers can gain confidence that graduates from a CLR university have relevant skills and experiences

When higher education institutions utilize CLRs, they demonstrate their forward thinking when it comes to credentialing and education. In fact, AACRAO, the leading association for registrars, has made the adoption of the CLR one of their signature initiatives.

“Territorium is having a huge impact on higher education as we are the only CLR provider that has threaded assessments directly into the learner’s CLR,” said Sanchez. “Students who received a demonstrated and verified level of proficiency will receive a badge that showcases their achievement. Territorium was also the first U.S. company to have 1EdTech certification for CLR 2.0 and Open Badges 3.0. The ability to connect a student’s assessed proficiency into a CLR by way of an issued badge is a first and demonstrates Territorium’s commitment to interoperability, student success, and institutional well-being.”

CLRs help to break down barriers between formal and informal learning experiences by highlighting not only one’s education, but also their work experience, volunteer work, co-curricular activities, and any other time commitments that give a fuller picture of each student. CLRs pave a more equitable pathway to success and employment for graduates.