McDonogh Works - LifeReady - McDonogh School

McDonogh Works


McDonogh Works is a career exploration and credentialing program designed for McDonogh Upper School students who want to find a purpose – and maybe even a passion – they may pursue in their lives after graduation. It's also for faculty, alumni, and other adults in our community who want to explore new interests. Learning takes place on campus, online, in real-world environments, through internships, and in labs. McDonogh Works is not limited by time or space. A course might be a week, a month, or a year long.

Who's teaching?

McDonogh alumni, parents, and other adults in our community represent every type of career imaginable, and they are often the teachers in this program. McDonogh Works offers classes by leaders in their fields who shape our world. They are excited to offer their insight, expertise, and wisdom to the next generation of McDonogh students. Learn more about teaching a class.

What are classes like?

McDonogh Works offers courses created around pressing questions and real-world challenges in exciting, relevant fields. These questions will drive each student’s journey in a course. By working on these real challenges, students of all ages develop deep skills and competencies that prepare them for work and school long after McDonogh. A course may take place in a classroom, but the work of the course itself will determine where, when, and how students work.

Will I be graded?

While enrolled in McDonogh Works, students don't work for grades or credits. In fact, there are no grades at all. Rather, students work to solve the problem facing them, the results of which are captured in portfolios for prospective colleges and employers to see. Students also earn “badges” for skills and competencies they acquire as a result of their work. Badges are an open-source credential that is carried on throughout life and is recognized by educational institutions, potential employers, and other entities. All coursework is captured in a badging issuing platform and in Google Classroom.

Find out more about badges and e-portfolios.

What can I learn?

McDonogh Works offers courses of different lengths and focus throughout the year. A course on cybersecurity, for instance, might run for twice a week for four weeks on McDonogh's campus or a course on marketing may run for three months online. Another course might have students work in a biotech lab doing real research with a mentor/scientist. Whatever the course,  students leave with understanding, skills, credentials, and connections with professionals. The possibilities are limitless.

Fields of study might include:

  • Business, entrepreneurship, and finance
  • Healthcare
  • Innovation
  • Cyber-Security
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Biotechnology
  • Education