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UCO Honored by Higher Learning Commission

May 2, 2014

Media Contact: Lindsay Houts, Staff Writer, UCO University Relations, 405-974-2121,


The University of Central Oklahoma was recognized during the Higher Learning Commission’s (HLC) annual conference in April for having the best paper in the category of Assessing and Improving Student Learning. The conference, held in Chicago, attracts more than 4,000 participants from its 1,000 college and university members and honors four papers each year.

Central’s submission, “Using a Transformative Learning Transcript to Assess High-Impact Practices,” was the work of six members of the university’s leadership. It highlighted Central’s development and use of the Student Transformative Learning Record (STLR) tool, an app that Central students will be able to download on most mobile devices when fully launched.

“We are honored by this recognition from the Higher Learning Commission. Transformative educational experiences are a promise we make to our students, and the continued assessment of those opportunities is critical to our students’ success,” said UCO President Don Betz.

Transformative learning places students at the center of their own learning experiences. At Central, these experiences are offered by connecting students to each of the Central Six: discipline knowledge; leadership; research, scholarly and creative activities; service learning and civic engagement; global and cultural competencies; and health and wellness.

With STLR, which is currently in pilot testing and will be available to a cohort of students in fall 2014, students earn badges as they pass through the three levels of each Central Six tenet: exposure, integration, and transformation. The STLR initiative promotes student participation in transformative learning experiences as well as the development of workplace and life skills competencies.

Contributing writers to the paper were John Barthell, Ph.D., university provost and vice president for academic affairs; Myron Pope, Ed.D., vice president for student affairs; Jeff King, Ed.D., executive director of the Center for Excellence in Transformative Teaching and Learning; Chuck Hughes, Ph.D., associate vice president for institutional effectiveness; Cia Verschelden, Ed.D., executive director for institutional assessment; and Greg Wilson, Ph.D., assistant vice president for research and grants.

For more information about transformative learning at Central, visit