Student Affairs

Starting a Cocurricular Mapping Program as a Summer Project

Duration: 1 hour
Facilitator: Dr. Adam Peck
Price: $50.00

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As the spring semester concludes on many campuses, student affairs professionals around the country are beginning to think about how they can maximize their available time to make a significant improvement in their programs over the summer. Co-curricular mapping is a new concept that has the potential to take effective programs to the next level by sequencing student learning activities to produce increasingly higher-order learning over time.

While we refer to learning experiences outside of the classroom as “cocurricular” they often lack the intentionality of a truly coherent curriculum. For example, a student majoring in communication doesn't take public speaking every year. They likely take this class once at the beginning of their program and then takes progressively complex courses that help them reach a deeper understanding of communication across their time at the institution. This may lead some to ask, can student affairs practitioners truly claim to offer a "co-curriculum" if we don't ensure that students will gain different and more complex skills from their experiences outside of the classroom during their entire time at the institution?

In Learning Reconsidered, Keeling (2004) and his contributors were among the first to see a need to holistically map the learning environment both inside and outside of the classroom, writing, "It is quite realistic to consider the entire campus as a learning community. Mapping the learning environment for sites in which learning can occur provides one approach to supporting transformative learning that identifies strength in collaboration - linking the best efforts of educators across the institution to support student learning" (p 14). While the practice of mapping the co-curriculum appears to be gaining some traction (as evidenced by webpages of a variety of student affairs programs around the country), we lack a systematized approach to conduct these mapping exercises and few if any programs reflect an integration of classroom learning with learning outside of the classroom.

When many in our field still labeled what we do "extra-curricular," there was little need to map learning. For many, this wasn't the point of these experiences. They were intended to provide students with productive ways to use their time outside of the classroom, to make friends and perhaps learn something that might be useful to them throughout their life. But in this context, evidence of learning that was little more than anecdotes more than sufficed to tell our story. But if we wish to play a larger role in student learning at our respective institutions, we must find the ways that learning inside the classroom intersects with learning beyond the classroom.

This session will provide step-by-step instructions for conducting co-curricular mapping. This process can help clarify how students experience our educational offerings and ensure more deep and robust learning over time.


  1. Welcome/Introduction
  2. What is cocurricular mapping?
  3. Why is cocurricular mapping important?
  4. Steps in developing cocurricular maps:
    1. Leveraging/Creating Program-Level Outcomes
    2. Developing Learning Experiences
    3. Sequencing Learning
    4. Increasing Complexity
  5. Marketing Your Maps
  6. Question and Answer
  7. Conclusion

Learning Outcomes: 

  • Participants will be able to leverage or develop program-level learning outcomes (overarching outcomes that apply to a wide variety of programs) to map learning across programs.
  • Participants will be able to use existing programs to accomplish the identified outcomes.
  • Participants will develop strategies for linking programs into coherent sequences for students.
  • Participants will be able to link higher order learning outcomes to participation in multiple experiences over time.

Who Should Attend: 

  • Career Development/Career Services Professionals
  • Student Activities Professionals
  • Student Affairs Assessment Staff
  • Mid-Level Professionals
  • Chief Student Affairs Officers
  • Student Organization Advisers
  • Collegiate Recreation Professionals
  • Fraternity and Sorority Life Professionals
  • Community Service/Service Learning Professionals
  • Student Government Advisers
  • Multicultural Educators
  • Student Leadership Educators
  • Student Union Personnel
  • Student Affairs Assessment Professionals

Presenter Biography:

Dr. Adam Peck has served as Assistant Vice President and Dean of Student Affairs at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas since 2008 and has been a student affairs practitioner for more than 20 years. He is the author of more than twenty scholarly articles, five book chapters and has presented more than 100 national and international webinars. He served as editor and co-author of the forthcoming book, “Engagement & Employability: Integrating Career Learning Through Cocurricular Experiences in Postsecondary Education” (NASPA Press, March 2017). 

Dr. Peck is a frequent presenter at national conferences and speaks regularly at colleges and universities around the country about topics as varied as infusing High-Impact Experiences into the co-curriculum, co-curricular mapping, critical thinking, creativity, school spirit and assessment of student learning. He has held numerous leadership positions in professional associations. He currently serves as State Director of Texas for the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) and as Past President for the Texas Association of College Personnel Administrators (TACUSPA). He has previously served as Chair of the Texas Deans of Students Association.

Prior to serving in his current role, Dr. Peck served as Director of Student Life at Saint Louis University, Senior Student Affairs Administrator for the Texas Union at The University of Texas at Austin and as Director of Student Activities at McKendree College (now McKendree University). He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Theater from Lewis University, a Master of Arts in Speech Communication from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville and a Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Administration from The University of Texas at Austin.

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