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Tag: higher education

What’s College Like for Students from Mastery-Based High Schools?

April 10, 2019 by

This is the fourth post in a series about the Mastery Collaborative in New York City. This post originally appeared on the Mastery Collaborative’s website on December 19, 2018.

Photos of four graduates of the Urban Assembly Maker Academy

Four college freshmen who are alums from UA Maker’s first graduating class of 2018 shared about their experience of college so far. From left: Richard attends NYC College of Technology; Jazlyn attends City College; Milam attends Dennison College; Ash attends Allegheny College.

Is mastery learning effective at preparing students for life beyond high school?

What happens when students from a mastery-based high school go to a traditional college?

Students, parents, and educators regularly ask these questions. Four alums from the first graduating class at Urban Assembly Maker Academy gave us their take on all this. They are all currently freshman at different colleges. Jazlyn and Richard are attending school in NYC. Ash attends a school in Pennsylvania, and Milam goes to college in Ohio. Here’s what they told us in a conversation over Thanksgiving break.

Understanding college work:

Ash: “We don’t get rubrics in college, but I have mental rubrics—I break it down in my head: This is what a 1 or a 5 would look like. I’m able to break down assignments into the pieces I need to get done. Having used mastery learning at UA Maker makes it a lot easier to determine what I want out of an assignment, and what the assignment entails—because we don’t get rubrics. A minus for me about attending a traditional college is that the first thing you turn in is the final. You don’t get to redo anything.

“In a mastery school it’s easy to know: This is what I’ve mastered, this is what I’m trying to get out of this assignment, because of rubrics. In college it’s: Get it done, get a good grade. I haven’t gotten anything important out of my (college) classes so far. With mastery classes, I got something out of it that I can use in day-to-day life. The things you’re learning don’t feel useless. (In college) you’re learning because (more…)

The MTC Network: Reinventing How Students Prepare for College, Career, and Life

October 21, 2018 by

How do we prepare students for future careers we can’t even begin to imagine? This is a question we hear a lot in education today. Teachers most commonly tell us that they are seeking to educate students who think creatively and critically, take agency in their own learning, and solve problems by often challenging assumptions. They want to prepare them for our world of accelerating change. But, too often, they are confronted with the reality that the traditional transcript, established during the Industrial Age, limits their ability to best serve and represent the students in their care. Although educators serve diverse student populations—from rural to urban communities, from private to public schools—they find more similarities than differences in what effective teaching and learning look like. (more…)

Shaking up Credentialing: An Emergent Strategy

August 14, 2018 by

This post originally appeared at 2Revolutions on July 17, 2018.

“We can’t find teachers ready for our school district.” – District CAO
“Professional learning is not providing the knowledge or skills we need to drive the kind of transformation we want.” – District Superintendent
“Higher ed is perpetuating an outdated model of training that no longer meets our needs.” – Dean of School of Education

A Long Time Coming

The range of perspectives are representative of a felt need we hear over and over again across the country- demand for something fundamentally different. The world of pre- and in-service training is ripe for significant disruption. In an exciting new partnership between 2Revolutions, a national education design lab, and Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU), we are working together to think differently about three inherent problems with the current system of pre- and in-service professional learning: (more…)

What’s Happening with Competency-Based Transcripts and Rethinking College Admissions in the United States

July 2, 2018 by

This post originally appeared at iNACOL on June 11, 2018.

What are competency-based transcripts, and why are they important?

The New England Secondary School Consortium (NESSC) explains the main issue: “For more than a century, American high school students have earned ‘credits’ for passing courses. When they accumulate enough credits, they receive a diploma. The problem with this approach is that credits do not always equal competency.”

Competency-based transcripts provide colleges and universities with comprehensive information on a high school student’s knowledge, skills and performance upon graduation. They communicate what a student knows and can do in the transition from secondary to postsecondary systems of education based on actual mastery and offer a comprehensive record of achievement in a competency-based learning model. (more…)

iNACOL Symposium Request for Presentation Proposals for Competency-Based Education

February 21, 2018 by

This year, the iNACOL Symposium will be held on October 21-24, 2018 in Nashville, TN. This year’s theme is “Driving the Transformation of Learning.”

As we prepare for the upcoming Symposium, Chris Sturgis and I are discussing the “must have” workshops and sessions at the iNACOL Symposium for the track focused on competency-based education (CBE) to help advance the field in strategic ways. We’ve asked the CompetencyWorks Advisory Board for the must-have topics for the competency-based education track at the iNACOL Symposium event in October. (Note: please add your “must have” sessions in the comments section, below).

I wanted to share a few “must have” topics generated by the CompetencyWorks Advisory Board and ask if you are an expert on these topics to please submit a proposal to speak: (more…)

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