A group of private schools wants to remove letter grades from the college admission process.
Instead, members of the newly formed Mastery Transcript Consortium (MTC) would submit reports to universities outlining how well students demonstrate mastery of key academic concepts. Other qualities, such as creativity and persistence, could also be highlighted on the new transcript.
The model is inspired in part by competency-based education, a method where students progress through the curriculum based on their demonstration of knowledge and skills, rather than seat time. Consortium leaders say each member will have the freedom to determine which “performance areas” will be included on their school’s transcript.
Editor’s note: A version of this post originally appeared on Admitted in May 2015. It’s being republished as part of NACAC’s Best of the Blog series.
It has become customary for many schools to publish a list of college decisions each May. The Ellis School, where I work, is no exception. Our students are so bright and involved and — with 30 students accepted to more than 80 colleges and counting — every girl has excellent options.
But after more than 13 years in the college admission field, I have come to understand that, no matter how impressive, a college list alone does not convey what is truly important and meaningful about a young person’s college admission story. What matters most are the truths they discover about themselves during the process.
Community colleges are an integral facet of the US higher education system. Serving nearly 6.3 million students, these public, two-year institutions offer a variety of courses and degree programs at a third of the price charged by four-year colleges. Because most community colleges have transfer agreements with baccalaureate-granting institutions, many students who seek a bachelor’s degree initially matriculate at a community college to take advantage of its cost-saving benefits. In fact, data from the National Student Clearinghouse show that 49 percent of students who completed a degree at a four-year university in 2015-16 had previously enrolled in a community college during the last 10 years.
Community colleges have typically established transfer agreements with local and regional institutions. These include “2+2” pathway programs, which guarantee admission for students at the partner four-year college if specific academic requirements are met, and articulation agreements that delineate how specific coursework will transfer between programs.
Results from a recent survey of 140 community colleges conducted by NACAC and Community Colleges for International Development (CCID) indicate a growing number of these colleges are also interested in pursuing transfer partnerships with universities abroad.
Editor’s note: While the Admitted blog regularly reports on NACAC’s own research, products, and services, or those available from non-profit sources, we occasionally feature posts that focus on the work of our partners and sponsors in the private sector.
You’ve worked in the admission office for three years, and now you must take over a new territory. You don’t know the schools, you’re not familiar with the high school counselors — oh, and you need to figure out your travel schedule in just a week or so. How do you know where to visit? What’s the makeup of the student body at the schools on your visit list?
Or — you’re a high school counselor with students who have some fairly detailed questions about College A. You want to email or call the admission officer who works with schools in your area, but you don’t know who that is. How long will it take to find that information on the college’s website?
You can find the answers to these questions and many more in the new Hobsons Counselor Community.
Campus visits often play an influential role in a student’s enrollment decision, but one clinical psychologist is questioning whether teens rely too heavily on their initial impressions when selecting a college.
“If we are making a decision we haven’t made before (such as where to go to college) then our present selves must rely on imagination, instead of experience,” Erica Reischer writes in a recent New York Times op-ed. “…Visiting the campus — to take a tour, meet students, get the lay of the land — seems like a prerequisite to making a good decision. But visiting a college is not the same as being a student there, and this distinction matters a lot, because of the many ways in which our imagination misleads us.”
The number of colleges still accepting applications for Fall 2017 continues to grow.
More than 500 institutions have openings, financial aid, and housing available to qualified freshmen and/or transfer students, according to NACAC’s College Openings Update.
When survey was first posted on Thursday morning, the list included 414 colleges and universities. Since that time, dozens of additional schools have added their information. The update, which includes public and private institutions located here and abroad, will continue to be modified by colleges and universities through July 30.