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Mastery Transcript Consortium (MTC)™, along with Challenge Success and Crescendo Education Group, two other educational organizations founded upon the principles of mastery learning, student well-being, and equity, recently issued a joint statement for educators, families, and policymakers throughout the United States. During this extraordinary time of COVID-19, the three organizations together recommended that schools across the United States shift all grading to Credit/Incomplete or No Record for work done remotely, among other related suggestions.For thousands of high schoolers throughout the country, the current uncertainty about the role of grades is exacerbating anxiety and accentuating inequitable learning environments. Many students feel undue pressure, including juniors as they prepare for college applications in 2020-2021 and others as they plan for life after high school. Members of MTC's Higher Ed Advisory Group have responded with statements of support that college admissions is ready to meet students where they are.
"Our colleagues in higher ed are consistently telling us that they are leading with care and ready to hear each student's unique story of what they faced, how they adapted, and what they reflected upon during the pandemic," said Stacy Caldwell, CEO of MTC. "This past year MTC worked closely with college admissions offices and saw them successfully take a holistic view of students and understand each one's context in a deeper way as they reviewed Mastery Transcripts. We know admissions offices will continue to put students first as they review work from this time of remote learning and beyond."
“Given everyone’s experience with the sudden movement to online education during this crisis, Caltech supports high schools moving to a P/F or no-grade option for its students. And will not let it negatively affect a student’s academic profile if they apply to our institution. In fact Caltech made the intentional decision to allow its own undergraduates to take a P/F option for all classes while we’re in this pandemic situation.”
“Tufts appreciates the extraordinary challenges that schools and students are facing right now, and will honor the decisions that schools make about how to conclude this academic year. If a school decides to adjust their grading scale to Credit/No Credit or Pass/Fail, or make other adjustments to the academic calendar or graduation requirements, we will abide by that in reviewing final transcripts for enrolling students and when evaluating applications in the coming years. We expect all students to work with their schools to finish the academic year in accordance with any new policies.”
“University of Florida recognizes the significant disruption the COVID-19 pandemic is having on student’s lives and learning. Our admissions process is designed to facilitate individual holistic consideration and we recognizes that there will be even great variation among applicants' personal circumstances, home communities and high schools. We will consider all these factors in the admissions process with an eye towards understanding context and opportunity.”
“The University of Michigan understands that COVID19 has had an unprecedented impact on grades, grading, and learning continuity for students around the country and world, just as it has with our currently enrolled students. As such, our holistic admission processes will be particularly attuned to not penalize students for COVID-affected grading or academic disruptions incurred during this public health emergency. “
“This is an uncertain and intensely stressful time, and there is so much going on that is beyond the realm of a student's control. The Wellesley College Office of Admission will accept whatever grading/credit policy a school deems appropriate for their community, both for students enrolling this fall as well as future entry terms. In fact, Wellesley opted for credit/non-credit for our own community this semester. In making this decision, Wellesley's academic leaders concluded that removing the pressures of giving and receiving grades seems the best way to support all students and faculty in their efforts to finish their courses successfully.”
The perspectives of college admissions offices are deeply valued by students and families throughout the country, and there is nothing more powerful than power in numbers to make a difference. We encourage as many admissions professionals as possible to express your support for students, so we can share your perspective with schools in our networks. Together let’s ensure high schools and colleges throughout this country reflect shared principles of equity and student well-being, in a unified effort to support students during this extraordinary time.
If you have a statement of support you'd like to share with us, please get in touch with MTC's Director of Higher Education, Edgar Montes: firstname.lastname@example.org.