Students at Wilkes University are taking the opportunity to enhance their resumes with Merit pages and co-curricular transcripts.
A Merit page is an online platform that uses social, print and online media to help record and promote a student’s various academic and extracurricular achievements in order to attain their academic and career goals.
Senior communications major Ian Foley claimed his Merit page and said that both the students and the university benefit from these pages.
“I think Merit pages are a great benefit to students and the Marketing Communications Office at Wilkes. For students, it gives us a collection area for our web presence. When someone Googles your name, Merit pages is a high search result,” Foley said.
“It is also promotable via social media. So if I am proud of my accomplishments, I can share the news on my Facebook, Twitter. For the Marketing Communications Office, it increases Wilkes’s online presence. When someone searches for the student, a university-sponsored page comes up.”
Wilkes subscribes to the Merit pages’ service, to help recognize students’ achievements.
“The pages are based upon news releases to promote or honor students,” said Vicki Mayk, director of public relations at Wilkes. “Students can add activities that they participate in outside of the university as well.”
An achievement is an accomplishment that Wilkes endorses and releases to the news media via Merit. Merit then sends a copy of the story to the student’s hometown newspaper and records the event on the student’s Merit page.
Each student at the university is set up with a Merit page.
“I strongly encourage students to ‘claim’ and set up their pages,” Mayk said. “It shows a student’s accomplishments in a way that is ‘more official’ than Facebook.”
To claim a Merit page, Wilkes sends students an email with a link to claim their Merit page. The achievements granted by Wilkes will be posted, and students will have the option to add their own achievements outside the university.
“So far we have had about 500 students claim their pages,” Mayk said. “We have had over 100 press releases.”
Mayk said that her goal is to share student’s achievements with social media and to help promote Wilkes as a whole.
In addition to the Merit pages, students have the opportunity to complete a co-curricular transcript.
“The purpose of the co-curricular transcript is to help students complete the ‘what’s missing’ factor on their resumes,” said Sharon Castano, internship coordinator at Wilkes.
A standard transcript focuses on academic performance, and the co-curricular transcripts are used as an additional source to show potential employers or universities what achievements the student has completed during their time at Wilkes.
“The activities that a student posts on their transcript will be approved by the leader of that organization,” said Melissa Howells, internship coordinator at Wilkes. “Doing this will allow future employees and universities to see that these documents, in fact, are official.”
“As an individual who hires interns, I would definitely be interested in seeing a co-curricular transcript,” said Attorney Edward Ciarimboli. “It would definitely make a student stand out over someone who did not have one.”
“Another benefit is that these transcripts will allow students to promote themselves for awards,” Castano said. “For example, if I am nominating a student for an award, I can look at the transcripts to see who best qualifies for this award. I may not know this person, but seeing their transcript allows me to recognize them.”
The transcripts are broken down into categories, such as leadership or sports, and are completed by the students.
“It is up to the students to complete these themselves,” Howells said.
A website is being created for the students to complete their transcripts. When completed, it will show a step-by-step process as to how the document should be created.
Students may print free copies of their merit page from Student Development.
Official transcripts can be printed upon request for a cost that has not yet been determined.