One of the most crucial elements of the college application is a student's transcript, which is meant to sum up his or her entire academic career within the margins of a thin piece of paper.
Many educational reformers, however, are starting to question the role this document plays in the college admissions process. After all, a transcript may convey letter grades, but does not necessary demonstrate that student's competency in a particular subject. It also doesn't account for skills that may be gained outside of the classroom.
The organizers of the Mastery Transcript Consortium are hoping to change that. They are developing a new kind of transcript, which will assign "credits" based on skills and competency rather than grades and courses. These credits would also be backed up by examples of the student's work to supplement.
Recently, the organization received a $2 million grant from the Edward E. Ford Foundation to support the project. While it is still in the early stages, it is very much in line with other changes to college ranking methodologies, as several colleges eliminated standardized testing requirements.