Progress at MC2 – and ultimately graduation from MC2 – is “competency based”. This means students must provide evidence of both learning and application of that learning in order to receive credit. Thus, instead of grades 9, 10, 11 and 12, which are typically time-based, we have phases 1, 2, 3, and 4. The phases are essentially comparable to grades 9, 10, 11, and 12, but progress through those grades is based on documentation, presentation, and defense of learning.
The Gateway process consists of writing a Gateway Portfolio (the documentation) and presenting a Gateway Exhibition (the presentation and defense).
The Gateway process is designed to accomplish three tasks:
- 1. help students identify and reflect on their learning and personal growth;
- 2. engage students in publicly presenting and explaining their learning; and
- 3. collaboratively set goals for students’ next stage of learning.
The Gateway Exhibition is a public presentation by the student of their growth and preparedness. In a 20 – 30 minute time frame (30 – 45 minutes for Graduation Gateways), the student presents his or her learning to an audience, followed by 10 – 15 minutes of questions from the audience. The student is assessed by a panel, comprised of the student’s advisor, parents, and a student advocate, as well as the MC2 CEO, and 1 – 4 outside panelists. The number of outside panelists is determined by the student’s current phase. Thus, a Phase 1 Gateway has 1 outside panelist, while a Graduation Gateway has a minimum of 4 outside panelists.
The panel then meets to assess the student’s performance. Following this deliberation, the student meets with the panel to receive the panel’s assessment and feedback. The complete process takes between 60 and 90 minutes.