August 21, 2019
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Larson: Profile of a Graduate – Roadmap for Our Future

Read Superintendent David Larson’s earlier community columns.

All too often, our students’ success is based solely on conventional metrics and targets. Grade-point averages, SAT scores, the number of honors & Advanced Placement classes taken and the colleges our graduates are admitted to are sometimes over emphasized. While these are important indicators of achievement, they don’t ensure a graduate will have wisdom, empathy and discernment, or will be emotionally and physically healthy, make good choices, be a good citizen and thrive as an adult.

For example, studies have shown that individuals with high SAT scores are less likely to either take advice or learn from their blunders. Those with seemingly high aptitude are just as likely to have financial problems and because they can “outsmart” others, they often are not mindful of risks and less aware of their own flaws in thinking. College entrance exam scores have never been so high, and we have an abundance of factual information at our fingertips. Yet we are no less susceptible to the allure of fake news and pseudoscience. Individuals with multiple degrees and professional expertise are often blind to their own biases. Many bright people think they’re thinking smartly and strategically when they are merely rearranging their own prejudices.

This year, Glenbard District 87 launched a Profile of a Graduate. This transformative movement will help ensure that our graduates, equipped with high scores and grade-point averages, will also be adaptable, versatile and motivated individuals with strong character.  

This multi-year, multi-faceted transformation movement underscores six key competencies that we want every graduate to embody.  Each competency is accompanied by descriptions of the particular attribute. The six Profile of a Graduate competencies include:

A Glenbard Graduate:

  • Communicates – A graduate communicates effectively in a variety of ways and understands their audience.
  • Thinks Critically – A graduate needs to identify problems and find multiple ways to solve them. They also examine and challenge assumptions and make decisions based on evidence.
  • Embraces Diversity – A graduate has empathy for others, respects diverse backgrounds and seeks varied points of view to deepen understanding.
  • Creates – Our graduates create solutions to real world problems. They also generate original ideas, solutions and products and are open and responsive to new ideas and perspectives.
  • Collaborates – More than just working with others, they take responsibility to work together for a common goal. They also receive, provide and learn from constructive feedback.
  • Is Self-Empowered – Graduates have a growth mindset and build strong relationships. They advocate for themselves and have realistic goals.

Our Profile of a Graduate gives us a vision for what each Glenbard student needs to be successful in life. It identifies the abilities or qualities that characterize our graduates and guides our work to advance how we prepare students for college, careers and life. The Profile of a Graduate is our roadmap and will prepare our students for infinite possibilities.

Portrait of David Larson

David Larson, Ed.D.