The Minerva® Baccalaureate (MBacc) was created to extend the transformational education experience we created at Minerva University to benefit secondary school students. We wanted to begin the process of preparing new generations of leaders and innovators as early as possible, so we set out to enhance the prevailing college preparatory curricula.
As with higher education, traditional secondary schooling is rooted in outdated systems and subjects. Existing methods focus on lectures, memorization of information, and high-stakes exams, all of which have been proven ineffective at fostering understanding, retention, and recall. What’s more, most schools have sought to innovate through technology alone, adding various digital platforms and tools, without improving the underlying pedagogy and curricula.
To address these shortcomings, we built upon decades of educational research, as well as our own experience building an entirely new education model. The Minerva Baccalaureate combines a curriculum that focuses on fostering transferable skills, with active learning instruction, and an approach to student assessment that utilizes data for frequent feedback and low-stakes evaluations. These components are enabled by our sophisticated learning platform, called Forum™.
In order to make it easier for pioneering schools to adopt, we designed the MBacc to integrate with existing standards-based curricula, without additional class time. The hybrid model flips classes, allowing students to digest key information on their own, while in-person instruction is dedicated to group engagement with academic concepts, and experiential learning activities enable the practical application of skills.
The Minerva Baccalaureate is designed to add flexibility and improve preparedness for schools and students alike. By augmenting — instead of replacing — their core curricula, partner schools can realize the advantages of digital technology, without sacrificing the benefits of in-person instruction and project-based learning. As part of the program, Minerva trains teachers in its Fully Active Learning instructional practices and Outcome-Driven Assessment techniques, building their own skills, as well.
The Minerva Baccalaureate brings the best of educational innovation to improve college preparedness and institutional agility at any secondary school in the world.
Minerva was established in 2011 to fundamentally change education for the benefit of humanity. Our visionary founder, Ben Nelson, recognized that combining leading educational science with advanced digital technology to create a wholesale redesign of what, how, and where education occurs, had the potential to close not only the widening global skills gap, but also remedy the dearth of critical wisdom in the world.
Ours is a humanist calling. We recognize that talent is distributed around the world, but access to high-quality learning is concentrated, closely mirroring the concentration of global wealth. Minerva aims to change this, significantly expanding access to a new, more effective way of learning. We are here to prepare the next generations of leaders, innovators, and global citizens with critical wisdom — the ability to readily apply one’s knowledge to unfamiliar challenges, to make informed decisions, and to continuously consider the interconnected nature of life on earth — in order to enact positive, consequential change.
We recognize that our mission is ambitious and cannot be accomplished by one organization alone, regardless of its scale or success. Our vision is inclusive: to galvanize a movement of like-minded visionaries, who are committed to meaningful education reform and ready to undertake the difficult work needed to achieve it.
By expanding through partnerships, we can foster a heterogenous ecosystem of individuals and organizations, which shares a belief in the importance of critical wisdom. We can act expansively and urgently, driving change in multiple arenas at once. We can harness the power of multiple minds to tackle the massive and increasingly complex challenges we face.
March 10, 2021
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The Minerva Baccalaureate improves class engagement and learning outcomes, preparing students to be more effective leaders, innovators, and global citizens.