1. What is the MTC?

The Mastery Transcript Consortium (MTC) is a growing collective of high schools working to change the relationship between learning, assessment and college admissions for the betterment of students.  We are organized around the development and dissemination of a mastery-based, alternative model of assessment, crediting and transcript generation.

  1. Who can join?

Membership is open to any accredited, forward-leaning Independent school curious about improving their students learning outcomes while maintaining and enhancing their college admissions profile.  The MTC plans to include public, charter and parochial schools in the future, but is containing membership to independent schools for the early phase of development to minimize complications on the path to a proof of concept.

  1. What is the cost of membership?

Membership dues are scaled to the size and financial realities of each member school.  Price will not be a deterrent to membership, but the work ahead will require a continued financial commitment from each member school.  Click here for details.

  1. What do we get with our membership in the MTC?

Member schools will have full access to all research, technology platforms, professional development, public relations and communications work produced by the MTC.  Ongoing organizational and individualized program support for each school is an essential piece of the MTC mission.  Most significantly, you will be a partner in the creation and development of a new, mastery-based model of assessment and transcript generation that can revolutionize our approach to student learning while maintaining our relationships with college admissions.

  1. Is the new Mastery Transcript built?

Not yet.  We have several early stage models under consideration, but membership would allow you to be part of the collaborative transcript development conversation in Phase I of the MTC’s design work.  For an overview of the MTC design process, click here.

The MTC Design Process

  1. Do we have to get rid of letter grades to join the MTC?

No.  In the near-term developmental phase, each school will maintain its current transcript model.  As the new model is developed, schools will have the choice to fully adopt the mastery transcript as their college reporting form or to use it as an alternative to their traditional transcript model.  The only requirement is that once developed, the mastery transcript will not use letter or numerical grades in any form.  Our hope is the student-centered advantages of the mastery transcript will ultimately lead to full adoption of the new model by all schools and colleges.   We imagine many schools will offer the Mastery Transcript as an option for some students while others may choose to be assessed and transcripted in a more traditional way.   It is possible for a school to offer both a Mastery Transcript to some students and a traditional transcript to others.

  1. Will colleges adopt and accept this new transcript model?

We believe most of them will.  College admissions officers simply want an efficient, clear and consistent way to read, differentiate and “know” each applicant in about two minutes.  A mastery-based transcript actually enhances a student’s personal profile while differentiating their individual strengths when compared to a traditional transcript.  While the standards and credits on a Mastery Transcript will be unique to each school, the format of the transcript will be standardized to make it as easy as possible for college admission officers to read. We believe this will only help students in college admissions while also creating a better learning environment in high school.

  1. Why use a consortium approach instead of just developing a new mastery transcript at each individual school?

Simple.  The colleges want our students, and there is power in numbers to drive educational change for the betterment of students.  A consortium of independent schools gives us agency to partner with college presidents and admission deans to alter the way we prepare, credit and transcript our students.  However, it will be important that the Mastery Transcript format be somewhat standardized to make it as easy to read for college admission officers as possible. Our ultimate goal/hope would be to revolutionize learning by having all schools, public and private, adopt the mastery model.

  1. If we join the MTC and move toward a mastery transcript model, can we remain “independent” in our school’s curriculum?

Yes.  As we develop a transcript “readable” for college admissions officers, there will need to be a reasonable degree of consistency across MTC schools.  However, performance areas and credit standards will be specific to each school and will never be standardized.  What your school chooses to emphasize and celebrate in its educational approach will remain fully independent and individualized.  The general presentation format – just as with the traditional transcript – will be consistent.

  1. Is this approach better for students?

Yes.  Schools frequently talk about 21st Century Skills for students and best practices in education, but our current system of assessment and transcript production limits our ability to best serve and represent the students in our care.  A mastery transcript allows us the flexibility and freedom to implement more “Apprentice Model” teaching, and more interdisciplinary curriculum, to best prepare our students for a fast, ever-changing, 21st Century World.

  1. Will our faculty support the MTC?

Yes.  Relational teaching is the cornerstone of great education, but the understandably aggressive pursuit of letter grades by students today undermines the learning process and can wear on even the best faculty members.   Allowing teachers the power to avoid long, frustrating conversations about letter grades and to instead focus on moving each and every student toward mastery is inspiring.  Teachers follow their hearts into the classroom to encourage growth and a passion for learning in their students, and the mastery transcript will support them in this work.

  1. Will this require additional hiring or staffing?

No.  As the mastery transcript is developed over the next few years, the MTC will work with partner schools to support and train faculty and staff with the skills they will need.  No new oversight or position staffing will be necessary.

  1. Where do I go if I have other questions?

Please continue to visit and explore all parts of our website for status updates, educational blogs, conference schedules and layers of information about the process, timeline and goals of the MTC.  We are proud of the work we are doing and the effort to revolutionize the student learning experience in the years ahead.  We invite you to continue to learn more.  We also welcome a conversation with your school, and can easily arrange a phone conference or visit to share our goals and vision in more depth.  Check out our contact information here.

What Will the MTC Do?