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Gibson Ek Pilots Mastery Transcripts

Mastery Transcripts

Gibson Ek seniors who applied to college “early decision” have broken new ground: They are the first in the country to submit a new, nationally recognized, holistic transcript of their work.

The Mastery Transcript, called a “game changer” by Harvard education researcher, Tony Wagner, is designed to help colleges understand the full spectrum of a student’s work and accomplishments in high school, far beyond grades and test scores. This is crucial for the growing number of high schools nationwide which, like Gibson Ek, have stopped using traditional GPAs in favor of multidisciplinary, project-based learning.

After opening in 2016, Gibson Ek had been following the work of the Mastery Transcript Consortium, a nationwide network of school leaders prototyping a transcript that would tell a more personal story about individual achievement. We jumped at the chance to lead the pilot this year.

Out of nearly 300 interested schools, Gibson Ek is among only five selected for the pilot and the only school to pilot the transcript with its entire senior class. We have been working with our 48 seniors this year on their transcripts, and the Nov. 1 early decision application deadline is the first time the transcripts could be submitted for Gibson EK seniors.

The personalized transcript uses color-coded visuals to demonstrate student competence in a variety of subject areas. It also allows students to show off projects with photos and evidence and to articulate their own personal vision.

The Mastery Transcript also helps colleges understand project-based achievement by providing a common language for admissions staff.

Inside Higher Ed featured the work of the consortium and Gibson Ek’s role in the pilot in an article published in July.