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North Carolina Unveils Portrait of a Graduate

This week the N.C. Department of Public Instruction released its Portrait of a Graduate. As determined by teams including K-12 educators, administrators, families, employers, communities, and higher education institutions; the statewide Portrait identifies seven competencies that students should possess upon graduation from high school in order to thrive in a 21st century place of work – be it college, career, or military.

  • Adaptability
  • Collaboration
  • Communication
  • Critical Thinking
  • Empathy
  • Learner’s Mindset
  • Personal Responsibility

NC Chamber Director of Government Affairs Debra Derr represented the NC Chamber and our state’s employers on one of the Design Teams, which collaborated over three months to determine the key competencies that would be included in the final Portrait.

“There was and remains a steady need for students to develop skills outside of what we consider traditional technical skills and academic knowledge,” N.C. Superintendent of Public Instruction Catherine Truitt said. “Data also shows us that durable skills, like the ones included in the Portrait, are in high demand among employers and beneficial to students regardless of the path they choose – be it college, career, or military. This newly unveiled statewide Portrait is an important way we can allow, encourage, and invite schools to begin emphasizing durable skills in the classroom, and is a tool that will help students develop these competencies during their time in North Carolina public schools.”

During the launch event, Superintendent Truitt went on to say, “It will help us to close the gap between what employers are seeking and what our education system is delivering.”

NC Chamber President and CEO Gary Salamido participated in the launch video for the Portrait, saying, “Employers are looking for talent that is career-ready, that has durable skills, like teamwork, adaptability, the ability to problem solve. That’s what they’re looking for in the talent of today. The K-12 system teaching those durable skills allows business to align better with the education community and make North Carolina a number-one place for job creation, health communities, and maintains our number-one state for business status.”