Caroline County Public Schools

K-12 Profile of a Graduate

In 2015, the Virginia Board of Education (VBOE) received a number of recommendations from the Standards of Learning Innovation Committee regarding the future of teaching and learning in the commonwealth. It was noted that earning a diploma must be about more than passing a prescribed series of courses and tests. Additionally, the board also heard from higher education, businesses and the military that graduates need skills and attributes such as critical thinking, creative thinking, communication, collaboration, and citizenship to be successful in life.  


In response, the board elected to redesign the high school experience and develop a “Profile of a Virginia Graduate.” In December 2017, the Board of Education adopted the Profile of a Graduate which describes, “the knowledge, skills, experiences and attributes that students must attain to be successful in college and/or the work force and to be “life ready” in an economy and a world characterized by rapid change.” The board determined that a life-ready Virginia graduate must:

  • 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 Profile of a Graduate was referenced by the Board of Education as they reviewed the commonwealth’s diploma standards to ensure that high school graduates are prepared for success after high school.  This new legislation which was passed by the 2016 General Assembly, and signed by Governor Terry McAulliffe, requires that diploma standards align with the Profile of a Virginia Graduate.  The graduation changes are noted below and become effective with first-time ninth graders in the fall of the 2018-2019 school year (graduating class of 2022).

  • Emphasis on “5 C’s – critical thinking, creative thinking, communication, collaboration, and citizenship
  • Reduction in credits verified by SOL test
    • Advanced Diploma  = 9 verified credits to 5 verified credits
    • Standard = 6 verified credits to 5 verified credits
  • Introduction of broader types of assessments (Performance Based Assessments)
  • Stronger connections to careers and workforce
  • Emphasis on “real world” problems


Caroline County Public Schools is passionate about the adopted changes and has worked throughout the 2017-2018 school year with various stakeholder committees to develop a CCPS K-12 Profile of a Graduate. Using the CCPS strategic plan, Pathways 2022, as a guiding document, the school-based committees have generated short and long-term goals aimed at identifying clearly defined K-12 leveled learning experiences and 5C’s mastery rubrics, engagement strategies, and higher order thinking question banks to support the purposeful inclusion of critical thinking, creative thinking, communication, collaboration, and citizenship within the classroom. Additionally, the creation of experiential learning opportunities are being further developed, such as internships, externships, apprenticeships, volunteer work, and capstone projects which support career exploration.

The finalized CCPS K-12 Profile of a Graduate model was unveiled to the school board and instructional leaders in July, 2018 and rolled out to the student body, staff, and community at the start of the 2018-2019 school year. The purposeful alignment of curriculum and instruction with the CCPS Profile of a Graduate will support the attainment of the division’s vision: “Empowering the next generation of learners, thinkers, and leaders.”