Proficiency-based transcripts well received

According to Harwood Union guidance director Sally McCarthy, the reaction to the school’s proficiency-based transcript and the school’s profile has been positive.

“I am proud to report that Harwood Union’s proficiency-based transcript has been very well received by colleges. A New York college reported using it to do a proficiency-based training for their admission reps,” McCarthy wrote in a January email to the school community.

She explained that early decision and action college acceptances had been strong and said they were comparable to previous classes. The 2020 class at Harwood Union is the first class to apply for college with a proficiency-based transcript and related school profile.

Harwood students have been accepted to Skidmore, Colorado College, University of Denver, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Rochester Institute of Technology, Wheaton College, Simmons University, Fordham University, Temple University, University of Alabama, Eckerd College, Roger Williams University, MA College of Pharmacy & Health, Union College, Goucher College, Franklin & Pierce, Hofstra University, Monmouth University, Johnson & Wales, Roanoke College, High Point University, University of North Carolina, University of Maine, University of Massachusetts, University of Vermont, Champlain College, Saint Michael's College and Castleton University.


McCarthy noted that college admissions would continue to come in between early decision letters and April.

She explained that Harwood took steps to ensure that college admission representatives understood the school’s proficiency-based teaching and learning system.

As one of those steps, Harwood consulted with admissions representatives both near and far and shared draft transcripts and school profile with several directors of admissions.

“Their feedback was critical and contributed to the design of our transcript and our school profile,” McCarthy said.

“For the past few years we invited college admission reps to attend a College Admissions Panel at Harwood. (University of Vermont, Middlebury, Dartmouth, Northeastern, Saint Lawrence, Saint Michael’s and University of New Hampshire, representing competitive, private and public institutions),” she wrote.

The panel informed both students and parents about the holistic process of reviewing a student's application. Parents submitted specific questions related to proficiency-based transcripts. Admission reps responded to these questions and then met with students and parents who had more questions following the presentation.

Additionally, this summer a Harwood Union High School proficiency-based learning packet was sent to over 400 colleges where Harwood students typically apply. The packet included a personalized letter from McCarthy, a sample transcript, the school profile and an information sheet on the assessment system.

“This fall, we personally called, and continue to call, each college admissions office that our students have applied. We inquire if they have questions about the student’s application and/or transcript. Admissions representatives have appreciated these calls. The personal contact is time well spent both for them and for us,” she explained.