It’s Not Where You Start—It’s Where You End Up

In real life, there is no “E for effort.” People are evaluated, and progress, based on how well they do. At Foundry College, we think education should be the same way. Mastery-based education means that students master every skill before moving on. It’s motivating for students because they can see their progress, and it’s attractive to employers because it provides solid evidence that students do in fact have what it takes to succeed on the job.

Mastering Three Levels of Capabilities

Foundry College characterizes skills and knowledge at three different levels—nano, mini and macro. Each group of nano capabilities builds into a mini capability, and each group of mini capabilities builds into a macro capability. Students acquire capabilities in steady, intentional sequences, making progress in every single class session.


Nano Capabilities

Specific capabilities, such as finding the source of a claim


Mini Capabilities

More general capabilities, such as evaluating source quality in news reports


Macro Capabilities

General capabilities, such as detecting fake news (a type of critical thinking)

Evaluating Mastery

Foundry College doesn’t give grades—students have either “mastered” a course or are “in progress.” Although this approach is similar to the traditional concept of pass/fail, a “pass” at Foundry College means more than just getting by: students must demonstrate a deep understanding of the material and ability to consistently apply skills and knowledge into practice.


To master a course, students must have either passed or completed six attempts on each of the end-of-class quizzes, taken the Mid-term Assessment, and received a 100% on the end-of-course Mastery Assessment; and/or passed all required assessments specific to Credential courses.

In Progress

Students must complete a quiz at the end of every class. If the quiz is not passed after two attempts, students will be required to do work outside of class in order to review and master the material.

US Marine Corps soldier working on laptop. The model is wearing an official US Marine corps Marpat BDU uniform.

Supporting Student Success

Foundry College courses are designed such that all required material can be learned in class, with no pre-work or homework. However, we know that students may occasionally need extra support to master certain skills or knowledge. We offer free one-on-one personal coaching and free one-on-one academic mentoring to help students succeed.

Make the Most of Your Education