Publications & Presentations

The team at Career Connect aims to disseminate the work being accomplished at The University of North Texas through publications in journals, magazines, newsletters, blogs, etc. By sharing our work, we contribute to the national conversation regarding the development and recognition of marketable skills.

Publications & References to Connect

Comprehensive Learner Record Phase II Report (Published by AACRAO)

In November 2017, AACRAO was awarded $1.19M in a grant from Lumina Foundation to expand its prior work on new forms of student records that were focused on learning or competencies of postsecondary education. Phase II of this project sought to expand the understanding and use of Comprehensive Learner Records, for which UNT was a major use case and example. See the report, published in 2021, here

Leveraging Credential Innovation to Drive Meaningful Pathways to Degrees and Careers
In this article, Meena Naik discusses the value of credential innovation in higher education. 

CECE Talent & Workforce Case Study Spotlight: Piloting Learning and Employment Records at the University of North Texas

Dr. Mike Simmons and Meena Naik share the value and importance of moving toward Learner and Employment records across postsecondary institutions and share lessons learned and experiences from UNT's leadership in this space. 

First-of-Its-Kind Learner Record Helps UNT Students Build, Track, and Share Marketable Skills

Since 2016, the University of North Texas has helped students develop the marketable skills that can give them an edge in the job market. But over time, UNT discovered that enabling students to build skills wasn’t enough. Without a way to visualize those skills, many students didn’t fully understand them — and struggled to communicate them to potential employers. Dr. Mike Simmons and Meena Naik discuss the innovation resulting from this effort. 

Digital Credentials and ePortfolios Clarifying Pathways to the Labor Market

In this interview, Dr Michael Simmons discusses the rise of evidence-based learning and reflects on the capacity for digital credentials and ePortfolios to serve as alternative tools to capture and communicate valuable skills. (Download PDF Version)

University of North Texas leads with innovative pathway to prepare students for career success - Pearson Innovation Story 

Career Success UNT faculty, staff, and administrators recognized that today’s employers seek employees with clear evidence of work and digital credentials to demonstrate skills and career readiness and discusses an innovation partnership with Pearson Career Success products. 

Validation of Reflection Rubric for Higher Education (Journal of Reflective Practice: International and Multidisciplinary Perspectives)

This peer reviewed article shares findings addressing a gap in the literature by developing, validating, and publishing a measure that evaluates student reflections on experiential learning across a variety of disciplines in higher education.

Digital Credentials and ePortfolios Clarifying Pathways to the Labor Market

Dr. Mike Simmons addresses questions regarding the use of the ePortfolio, benefits of credentials, and the implementation of both within an institution. 

Empowering Students to Prepare for Life After College

Dr. Simmons provides insight on how Career Connect services impact students and a UNT student shares her experience in this feature in Pearson: Learn Ed.

College Students' Motivation and Confidence for ePortfolio Use. (International Journal of ePortfolio)

Drs. Megan Douglas, Jordan Rogers, Scott Peecksen, and Mike Simmons detail potential factors that may impact students’ motivation and confidence to use ePortfolios and are discussed in terms of how they can support strategies to implement ePortfolio and experiential learning programs in large, 4-year college institutions. 

Presentations & Conferences

The team at Career Connect attends and presents at a variety of conferences and meetings every year. The team highlights on the opportunities offered at the University of North Texas which are preparing students for life after graduation and assisting  faculty, staff, and administrators assess learning inside and outside the classroom. 

Below are the conferences Career Connect has actively presented and contributed to:


Advocating for the Skills-Based Learning-Earning Ecosystem.
Amanda Bergson-Shilcock, Meena Naik, Ryan Zerzakos. Open Skills Network Skills summit. 

Tough Questions, No Right Answers: Considerations for Implementing at Scale.
Noah Geisel, Kristi Wold-McCormick, Meena Naik, Claire Sullivan, Marc Zaldivar, and Justin Mason. IMS Global Digital Credentials Summit. 


Inquiry and Service Learning Coalesce: Impact on Preservice Teachers’
Understanding of Literacy, Retention, and GPA.

Lauren Eutsler, Meena Naik, Scott Peecksen, and Regina Branton. 70th LRA Annual Conference.

UNT’s Journey: ePortfolios and Assessment.
Meena Naik. Tarrant County Community College District ePortfolio Showcase. 

Models for How to Strategize Your CLR Readiness.
Kelly Hoyland, Mark McConahay, Meena Naik, and Susan Donat. IMS Global CLR Round Table. 

How Quasi-Experimental Designs Support Student Equity, Retention, and GPA.
Scott Peecksen, Meena Naik, and Mike Simmons. AALHE National Conference. 

A Comprehensive Learner Record for All..
Mike Simmons, Meena Naik, Rob Bajor. Collaborative Webinar between UNT and Concentric Sky. 

Use of ePortfolios for Assessment.
Meena Naik. Outcomes and Assessment Conference, Fort Worth, Texas.

UNT Comprehensive Learner Record: The XLR.
Mike Simmons. IMS Digital Credentials Summit, Atlanta, Georgia.

Connecting HIPs to Careers: Outcome-Driven Evidence Records Using ePortfolios.
Meena Naik and Jordan Rogers. AAC&U Forum on Digital Learning and ePortfolios, Washington, D.C. 


Institutional Effectiveness - Driving Innovation and Success
Mike Simmons, Phillip Anaya, Andy Jett, Jason Lokkesmoe. Pearson Higher Education Webinar.

Building a Comprehensive Marketable Skills Learning Record: Communication, Collaboration, Complexity.
Mike Simmons and Wayne Skipper. Learning Impact Leadership Institute by IMS Global, San Diego, California. 

Impact and Opportunity.
Mike Simmons, Kim Moore, Scott Holcomb, Jeff Bohrer. Learning Impact Leadership Institute by IMS Global, San Diego, California. 

Student and Faculty Perspectives on Infusing Experiential Learning across Campus. [Poster]
Marla Baltazar, Caroline Pritchard, and Jordan Rogers. Student Portraits Symposium at the University of North Texas, Denton, Texas.

Development of Marketable Skills Outside the Classroom.
Melanie Mitchell and Amy Ferman. Student Portraits Symposium at the University of North Texas, Denton, Texas.

UNT Career Ambassadors Program: Utilizing Peer Ambassadors to Promote Career Readiness.
Margaret Oaikena and Melanie Mitchell. Student Portraits Symposium at the University of North Texas, Denton, Texas.

Developing a Quasi-Experimental Design to Test Career Connect's Impact on Student Retention and GPA. 
Scott Peecksen. Student Portraits Symposium at the University of North Texas, Denton, Texas.

University of North Texas + Pearson Education Innovation Partnership.
Mike Simmons and Tania Heap. Empirical Educators Project Conference, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Academic, human-centric, or job specific: Which skills matter the most?
Jayme Heffler, Meena Naik, and Nate Anderson. Now/Next in Learning Conference, Phoenix, Arizona. 

Career Connect’s Work and Progress in Developing a Comprehensive Learning Record.
Mike Simmons, Meena Naik, Adam Wear, and Scott Peecksen. Lumina Comprehensive Learner Record Grant Convening, Denton, Texas.

GRIT and Resilience.
Meena Naik. University of North Texas System Student Success Summit, Denton, Texas.

Learner Focused Records: The Future of Student Credentials.
Tom Green and Mike Simmons. AACRAO Strategic Enrollment Management Seminar, Dallas, Texas.

Showcasing Evidence for Students’ 21st Century Marketable Skills.
Scott Peecksen, Jordan Rogers, Jeff King, and Evan Blackburn. University of Central Oklahoma Transformative Learning Conference, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. 

Transformational and Experiential Learning Programs: Similarities between Career Connect and STLR.
Scott Peecksen. University of Central Oklahoma Transformative Learning Conference, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. 


Career Success for Students: Ideas and Issues.
Mike Simmons with Pearson Education. ASU/GSV, San Diego, California. 

Competency and Skills Dashboards to Motivate Students: A Comprehensive System to Identify Marketable Skills (or how to make dumb technology smarter).
Mike Simmons. US China Technology Conference, Denton, Texas. 

Developing an Institutional Strategy to Prepare Students for Lifelong Career Success.
Mike Simmons. Pearson Education Webinar.

Integrating High Impact Experiences And ePortfolio Learning Towards Credentialable Skills. 
Meena Naik. University of Central Oklahoma Transformative Learning Conference, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. 

Career Connect: Lessons learned about assessing UNT’s Quality Enhancement Plan.
Scott Peecksen. Texas Association for Higher Education Assessment Conference, Denton, Texas. 

Challenges and Opportunities in Initial Universal Implementation.
Adam Wear. Association of American Colleges and Universities 9th Annual Forum on Digital Learning and ePortfolios, Washington, D.C.

Developing and Assessment Infrastructure: ePortfolio as Assessment.
Mike Simmons, Scott Peecksen, Adam Wear. SACSCOC Annual Meeting, Dallas, Texas.

Integrating High Impact Experiences and ePortfolio Learning towards Credentialable Skills.
Meena Naik. University of Central Oklahoma Teaching and Learning Conference, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

Students’ Reflections on Experiential Learning Activities: Promoting Transformative Learning. [Poster]
Jordan Rogers, Megan Douglas, and Scott Peecksen. University of Central Oklahoma Teaching and Learning Conference, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.


Connect Year 1: What We Know and What We Don’t.
Meena Naik and Adam Wear. University of North Texas 7th Annual Student Portraits Symposium, Denton, Texas.

Establishing Items and Content Validity for Reflection: A Career connect Pilot Study. [Poster]
Jordan Rogers and Scott Peecksen. University of North Texas 7th Annual Student Portraits Symposium, Denton, Texas.

Self Contextualizing Learning Through a University E-Portfolio.
Meena Naik and Sam Williamson. 12th Annual Developmental Education Regional Forum, Dallas, Texas. 

Digitally Connecting Student Experiences to Future Careers.
Meena Naik and Adam Wear. TACUSPA Conference, Dallas, Texas. 


21st Century Credentials: Learners + Institutions + Workforce.
Mike Simmons. 2016 WCET Innovation Summit, Salt Lake City, Utah.

e-Portfolio: The Swiss Army Knife of High Impact Practice.
Mike Simmons. 2016 AAEEBL Regional Conference at Virginia Tech University, Blacksburg, Virginia.