I think the board’s work around profile
of a graduate is responding to feedback we’re getting from, what I’ll call, consumers
of our graduates. Be they employers, military recruiters, two-year colleges, four-year universities
and we’re getting feedback from folks that speaks to how well prepared our graduates
are to enter into whichever pathway they follow after high school. And we’re getting some
feedback that says there are some gaps, there are some deficiencies, there are some places
where our graduates aren’t as prepared as we’d like to be. We turn down more people
not because of their technical skills, and you’ve heard this before, but because of
their soft skills. And you know, it’s the same ones that we’ve talking about critical
thinking, written and verbal communication. Students do not know how to write. They know
how to text. Even if they clean it up a little bit, it’s still text rather than writing.
So that is an issue when we are finding people and try to put them through our training program.
Not everybody has to be a software engineer, not everybody has to be an electrical engineer,
but everybody has to learn how to navigate technological systems. I think one of the
challenges in revising the profile is how we put something new in without the assumption
that we take something old out. There would be time not to say we’re taking content
knowledge out but we’re allowing students to engage in content knowledge in a more flexible
way so that there is room for them to do workplace skills, community and civic engagement, career
planning. We may well see that workplace skills are best identified and shared with students
in an actual workplace, either through after school externships or internships during school
or even summer opportunities where using guidelines that the board might craft students can engage
in the workplace and say, “Ok, I am generating these skills”.