Debunking the Myth of Seat-Time: A National Analysis of Seat-Time Requirements for Credit

Time-based systems, also known as “seat-time” requirement systems, still form the basis of today’s traditional schools. The prevailing assumption has been that state policies for seat-time requirements constrict schools and hinder attempts to innovate. However, far more flexibility exists than originally thought.

New research by ExcelinEd examining seat-time requirements for awarding credit and graduation reveals that all 50 states and Washington, D.C., have either fully or partially authorized schools to shift from focusing on seat-time to mastery. Read the report, Debunking the Myth of Seat-Time A National Analysis of Seat-Time Requirements for Credit.

This report contrasts seat-time requirements with mastery-based learning, explores the challenge of promoting mastery-based systems in a seat-time-centric world, and helps paint the picture of the current landscape. Examples of seat-time flexibility in action are offered, as is a state-by-state map of efforts. 

Finally, the report offers recommendations to policy makers and educators, such as: Assess the Flexibility Already Afforded, Provide Clear Guidance, Support Implementation, and Identify Next Steps.

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