The American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO) recently released guidance to its members regarding the use of disciplinary notations on transcripts for institutions that are considering the practice, or are required to do so by legislation. This guidance, drafted by a work group, concludes that institutions of higher education do have the responsibility to notify other institutions of potential threats to their communities from suspended/expelled students and lays out ways in which notification could take place, to include the academic transcript.

The guidance recommends the following alternatives, if an institution decides not to record disciplinary notations on official transcripts:

  • Student Conduct Transcript
  • Dean’s Certification Letter
  • Transcript Insert

“We appreciate the efforts of the work group to address a very complex issue. The report provides options for campuses as they evaluate their policies and procedures on disciplinary actions and the notification of potential threats to campus communities” said Mike Reilly, AACRAO Executive Director.

Given the number of states that now mandate the inclusion of disciplinary actions on the academic transcript, AACRAO shifted its recommendation from “Not recommended” to “Optional” in the updated edition of its 2016 Academic Record and Transcript Guide.

The full report is available on the AACRAO website.


AACRAO is a non-profit, voluntary, professional association of more than 11,000 higher education professionals representing approximately 2,600 institutions in more than 40 countries. Its commitment to the professional development of its members includes best practice guidance on admissions strategies to meet institutional diversity objectives, delivery of academic programs in innovative ways to meet the needs of a changing student body, and exemplary approaches to student retention and completion.