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University of South Carolina
Division of Student Affairs and Academic Support
Beyond The Classroom Matters is a system for collecting, organizing, and managing records of non-credit,
educationally purposeful activities outside the classroom, and individual student records of involvement in
these programs.
Why do we need it?
USC provides a wide range of programs and services to assist students with the following goals:
- Successful transition into, through, and out of college
- Persisting in college and achieving timely progress to degree
- Advancing developmental learning (self-knowledge, managing personal affairs, educational and
career planning, well-being – physical, emotional, social)
- Advancing development of citizenship and leadership knowledge and skills
- Improving employability through awareness of transferable skills and experiences
Since student involvement in these programs and services is not required for graduation and does not
produce academic credit, our university student information system does not include records of student
involvement in these educationally purposeful activities.
To improve student retention, time to graduation, and employability, we need to be able to see (in
institutional data) the whole system that is producing current results, in order to gain insights for improving
our practices to achieve stronger results. BTCM incorporates records of purposeful, non-credit involvement
into the USC institutional data system, to provide a more comprehensive student educational record.
How does it work?
Educationally purposeful activities are catalogued and coded, based on structured descriptions of
educational purpose and delivery method (similar in concept to a course syllabus)
Student involvement in a cataloged program is verified by the providing department and recorded
using standardized registration processes
Student records of involvement are collected in a records repository in the USC data warehouse, and
interfaced with academic and demographic records in the student information system (Banner)
So what? What improvements will we see with BTCM?
- Transparency of educational purpose and use of resources:
o Catalog descriptions of programs make educational purpose and delivery method of noncredit programs and services visible to students, advisors, and others
o Student records repository provides access to information on student involvement in
programs - who is participating (numbers, demographics, academic characteristics).
- Analysis of program effectiveness for improvement and accountability:
o Structured data will make the comprehensive student experience visible; we will be able to
see how student involvement varies for sub-populations of students
o Structured data enables more comprehensive analysis of “what works,” and for which
students (retention, time to graduation, employability)
- Coherence of Carolina experience:
o Comprehensive record indicates educational value of all activities; students will be able to
access their own records, for reflection and intentional decisions for involvement
o Each student will be able to produce an official record of involvement to accompany
academic transcript and show a more complete record of what they know and can do, as a
result of their Carolina experience.
Pam Bowers, Student Affairs & Academic Support,
Bob Askins, Senior Associate Registrar,
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