According to a New England Board of Higher Education white paper, titled How Selective Colleges and Universities Evaluate Proficiency-Based High School Transcripts: Insights for Students and Schools:
Proficiency-based learning is the system of instruction, assessment and grading based on demonstration of skills that meet performance standards or 'proficiencies.' The goal of proficiency-based learning is to better prepare students with the knowledge and skills necessary for success in higher education and 21st century careers...In a proficiency-based model or system, students progress through courses and grade levels by demonstrating individual mastery of specific learning standards. Learning standards may vary by state or school system, but generally represent educational objectives a student should achieve by the end of a course or grade level. In a proficiency-based system, a student struggling to demonstrate proficiency is provided additional support or interventions until the student achieves the required skill or knowledge. Students who demonstrate proficiency engage in learning opportunities to extend or accelerate their learning. Proficiency- based learning allows educators to identify a student’s strengths and weaknesses, and monitor learning progress over time.
The New England Secondary School Consortium maintains that "72 public and private institutions of higher education from across New England (also) provided statements and letters stating—unequivocally—that students with proficiency-based grades and transcripts will not be disadvantaged in any way." Harvard, the University of Vermont, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Castleton University are a few of the 72 public and private higher education institutions mentioned above. The statements are available for download here.
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