The first two years of use of the Mastery Transcript in college admissions have far exceeded early expectations. Even before COVID, many colleges were actively building more holistic admission practices that prioritize authentic measures like performance assessments and contextualized student work and that trend has only accelerated.
The MTC is well positioned to partner with colleges in helping to shift admission practices. Recent progress includes:
As of December 2020 there are more than 360 public and private member schools with close to a third of the members being U.S. public schools.
MTC has forged early regional partnerships that have facilitated funding for public schools to work with us. For example, the Utah Department of Education and member districts in South Carolina, North Carolina, and North Dakota, are providing membership dues for their schools through federal innovation funding and grants to the district or schools.
To date, every school that has asked to join the MTC has been welcomed whether or not they had funding to pay annual member dues in a given fiscal year. The imperatives to address inequity, rethink core competencies, assessment, grading, testing, and reporting on student learning are all leading even more schools to look at the MTC as a potential support network and structural change framework.
Moving the Spring 2020 and then Fall 2020 Member School Symposia online allowed them to be far more accessible for member schools. A highlight of the October 2020 symposium included a “Fireside Chat” between Stacy Caldwell and NACAC CEO, Angel Perez, a longstanding member of the MTC’s Higher Education Advisory Group.
The program also featured workshops both live and recorded with a focus on supporting member schools along the Journey to Mastery Learning amid the context of COVID-19 and calls for racial justice. Workshop facilitators included: Envision Learning Partners, Global Online Academy, Great Schools Partnership, Greg Curtis, Doris Korda, Jay McTighe, NGLC and Emily Rinkema.
As we continue to welcome larger districts and states, we are providing district-level programming. In addition to the full menu of MTC’s offerings, larger districts are also offered targeted support designed for leaders as they become more familiar with the Mastery Transcript, building coherence around their planning and accelerating each district’s readiness.
With the first and highly successful Pilot Year of creating and using Mastery Transcripts for college admissions completed, and then the launch of the enterprise Transcript Builder in June 2020, the MTC has added a range of new features to the Transcript Builder and Transcript Reader based on feedback from users.
Recent enhancements recommended by users already added for Fall 2020 include:
Future additions in design for 2021:
The MTC staff and member schools across the network continue to provide guidance to one another on best resources, practices, and tools. In addition, the MTC is currently working to identify existing gaps and will be prototyping and testing a range of new tools that may help interested schools to overcome hurdles and accelerate their journeys. Member school leaders frequently note that they are looking for novel ways to offer readily accessible professional learning, more sample activities and projects designed for mastery-focused schools, and some that are flexible for both remote and in-person learning. Members are also asking about tools that might help to guide learners working in teams outside of traditional classrooms and enhanced systems for tracking feedback and learner progress toward mastery across more varied types of learning experiences.
In addition to Member Symposia, the MTC continues to expand the library of resources and training modules available to member schools. The next new course, “How to Assess Mastery: Proven Practices for Equitable Anytime, Anywhere Learning” will launch in early 2021.
The schools currently adopting the Mastery Transcript have already implemented mastery-based learning systems. Following the first group, the next wave of schools are currently mapping the change process to begin using the Mastery Transcript in the next few years and they are eager to join in helping the MTC to document the impact for learners.
MTC’s research efforts will aim to: