A program called OrgSync will replace CollegiateLink as the online platform used to track clubs and organizations at Weber State University. OrgSync is intended to be a social media platform that will allow students to document their co-curricular involvement on a multi-departmental level.
Faculty involved in the implementation of this program said they hope it will be live in the beginning of fall semester. WSU’s clubs and organizations have used CollegiateLink for about three years to track club activity.
Tara Peris-Caputo, the coordinator of WSU Clubs and Organizations, said that one of the main issues with CollegiateLink was simply motivating the clubs and organizations on campus to actually use it.
“It was definitely a building process throughout the years of funneling clubs to that website and having them register their clubs so that other students can see which ones are active on campus and then also keeping an accurate history of the ones that have existed,” Peris-Caputo said. “It was a little bit of a struggle constantly to even keep CollegiateLink active.”
Extra funding was an incentive used in the past to motivate clubs and organizations to use CollegiateLink. Peris-Caputo said she hopes the new program will be an incentive in itself.
“One of the complaints we got was the CollegiateLink was not intuitive,” Peris-Caputo said. “Hopefully, this is easier, and now they’ll go there for multiple reasons, as it won’t be just a club thing.”
OrgSync is different from CollegiateLink primarily in that it connects various departments and programs into one network. Students will be able to access OrgSync to track community service hours and other extracurricular activity in addition to tracking club and organization activity. CollegiateLink was entirely dedicated to clubs and organizations.
“OrgSync is unique because OrgSync was set up by former students at universities who saw a hole or a lack of a program that’s easy to use for students to get involved on campus,” said Mike Moon, the assistant director at the Center for Community Engaged Learning. “It’s nice that the Student Involvement and Leadership Office is using it along with the Center for Community Engaged Learning along with student housing, because then there is one system, and students can become familiar with that system. They are using the system for multiple points of engagement on campus.”
Moon experienced OrgSync implemented at the university level at Utah Valley University.
The CCEL played a large role in implementing the switch from CollegiateLink to OrgSync.
“It started out a little more center-specific and center-centric,” said Brenda Kowalewski, the director of the CCEL. “We already track students’ hours that they are doing in the community, and our system was just getting to the point where it can’t do all of the things we need it to do.”
In previous semesters, students would track their community service hours on paper and submit them to the CCEL, where the hours would be put into the database manually. OrgSync will allow students to track their service hours online. Students will also be able to track their engagement by scanning their Wildcards where applicable.
One of the features Peris-Caputo said she hopes will motivate students to use OrgSync is the opportunity it provides to create a co-curricular transcript.
“Individually, students can go in and keep track of their own profile, and ideally at graduation, they can see how much they’ve done,” Peris-Caputo said. “OrgSync made it more efficient with the swipe system, and now they’re taking it to the next level by creating this tangible transcript, and employers look so highly on it.”
Students would be able to look at their co-curricular transcripts at any time, and the official transcripts that can be submitted to employers or graduate programs can be requested from the CCEL.
“The co-curricular transcript is just a fantastic tool for students to record their experiences at college beyond their experiences in the classroom,” Kowalewski said. “It would create a culture on campus where students start to understand that everything they do outside of the classroom needs to be documented and recorded, because it is an educational opportunity and just as important an educational opportunity as the experiences they are having in the classroom.”