William & Mary Training & Technical Assistance Center
By LaShauna Britt, Debbie Grosser, Christine Peterson, and Cami Williams
Introduction to Profile of a Graduate
The Profile of a Virginia Graduate “describes the knowledge, skills, attributes, and experiences identified by employers, higher education, and the state Board of Education as critical for future success” (Virginia Department of Education, 2018). The profile was designed in response to families', students', employers', and educators' concerns about adequate preparation of Virginia students for the future in a global economy, which includes changing and growing technology.
Students entering ninth grade in fall 2018 (graduating in 2022) are expected to meet specific academic standards as outlined by the Virginia Board of Education in order to receive a Standard or Advanced Studies diploma. In addition to the academic standards, the Board of Education determined that a life-ready Virginia graduate must be able to:
Achieve and apply appropriate academic and technical knowledge (content knowledge);
Demonstrate productive workplace skills, qualities, and behaviors (workplace skills);
Build connections and value interactions with others as a responsible and responsive citizen (community engagement and civic responsibility); and
Align knowledge, skills, and personal interests with career opportunities (career exploration).
The process of preparing students to become 21st-century learners begins in kindergarten (Virginia Department of Education, 2018). Teachers must incorporate five key competencies into their instruction. Coined the"Five C's", these competencies include:
citizenship. (see Figure 1.)
Figure 1. Profile of a Virginia Graduate
Incorporating the Five C’s with the experiences and attributes of the Profile of a Virginia Graduate helps prepare students to meet the standards outlined by the Profile of a Virginia Graduate and achieve the goal of being “life ready” by high school graduation. The matrix below identifies examples of instructional strategies and practices to support students in developing skills and experiences around the four components of the Profile. Application examples in Mathematics and Language Arts are also provided.
Profile of a
Instructional Strategies and Classroom Practices
Language Arts Examples
Achieve and apply appropriate academic and technical knowledge
Universal Design for Learning
Specially designed instruction
Instruction on cognitive and metacognitive strategies
Inclusion of real-world problems/examples in lessons
Language Arts: Assign students a teacher-selected passage related to a science or social studies unit of study. Students will engage inThink-Pair-Shareto answer assigned questions. Extend the activity by requiring student pairs to complete anidea mapto support students in generating a paragraph highlighting the key concepts covered in the article or unit.
Attain and demonstrate productive workplace skills, qualities, and behaviors
Instruction and practice in self-management, communication, and interpersonal skills
Creation of class norms/expectations for group work
Math: Explicitly teach students how to break down math concepts into smaller chunks by using the Proceduralizing Strategy. Breaking down work task into smaller parts can be a beneficial skill in the workplace.
Language Arts: Have students explore workplace soft skills and develop communication and vocabulary by completing the Right Way/Wrong Way skits.
Community and Civic Responsibility
Build connections and value for interactions with diverse communities
Recognition and positive reinforcement of student effort and behaviors
Opportunities for classroom discourse
Math: Facilitate a whole-class math discussion usingmath discourse, where students participate in error analysis of a real-world story problem. The purpose of math discourse is to build problem-solving skills while engaging in experiences around community and civic responsibility.
Language Arts: Have elementary or middle school students research an aspect of citizenship in the United States. Students may engage in a Jigsawactivity to gain knowledge of the content, and to share that knowledge with classmates. The purpose is to build research and communication skills while learning about community and civic responsibility.
Align knowledge, skills, and personal interests with career opportunities
Inclusion of real-world problems/examples in lessons
Math: Provide the students with a list of words that correspond with the topics of career planning and finance. Create discourse around these topics. Discussions about unfamiliar vocabulary associated with career planningand finance can assist students in making decisions about their futures.
Language Arts: Ask students to write an essay about their career of choice using a writing strategy, such as the POWER strategy. The purpose is to build writing skills while students engage in career-planning experiences.
How does the Profile of a Virginia Graduateaddress students’ needs from Kindergarten to graduation? The Profile of a Virginia Graduate seeks to address both the knowledge and skills related to reading, writing, and mathematics that students must master prior to graduation from high school as well as experiences and attributes that students must attain to succeed in post-high school careers and work-related paths of their choice.
TheVirginia Department of Educationhas developed a number of resources that can assist you in learning more about thesenew requirements, including theVirginia is for Learnerswebsite. Virginia is for Learners keeps parents, educators, and all Virginians informed about changes to Virginia’s public education system and includes amedia librarywith detailed information on Profile of a Virginia Graduate and related initiatives.
Each edition of Link Lines for 2019-20 will include information related to the Profile for educators at all grades levels. The next edition (November/December) will focus on classroom management and behavior within this framework.