Most districts have engaged in a process to identify the characteristics they hope to instill in all students before graduation. This process is called a Profile or Portrait of a Graduate. Academic preparation is always 1 focus area. But most profile vision statements also identify the soft skills we hope to see in our students.
97% of employers say soft skills are essential and 51% of employers do not believe the education system is closing the soft skills gap. Stanford Research Center, Harvard University and the Carnegie Foundation found that 85% of job success comes from excellent soft skills and only 15% is due to academic and technical skills. Your district needs to find a strategic and sustained way to support skill development. Then can you realize the vision you have in your Profile of a Graduate and make sure your students are ready for their futures. You can use JAKAPA to help you gauge whether your efforts are working.
Below outlines the steps to aligning JAKAPA with your Profile of a Graduate.
Step 1: Identify the JAKAPA skills that will influence a student’s ability to achieve your Profile of a Graduate attributes. Examine your statements and JAKAKA’s skills and definitions. Then create a table that shows what underlying skills are necessary for your graduates to achieve your vision.
|Sample Profile of a Graduate statements||JAKAPA skills alignment|
|Understand that hard work is directly related to personal and professional accomplishment||Goal Regulation, Responsibility Management, Detail Management, Decision-Making, Self-Reflection, Teamwork, Stress Regulation, Confidence Regulation, Independence, Adaptability|
|Manage behavior, work well with others and have hope||Energy Regulation, Impulse Regulation, Optimism, Teamwork, Capacity for Trust, Ethical Capacity, Social Warmth, Anger Management, Adaptability|
|Self-advocate and communicate effectively||Expressive Communication, Persuasive Communication, Leadership, Confidence Regulation, Independence, Adaptability|
|Active community members who treat others compassionately||Cultural Competence, Perspective Taking, Self-Reflection, Social Warmth, Capacity for Trust, Ethical Capacity, Teamwork, Anger Management|
|Forward thinkers who are interested in their world and work to make it better||Leadership, Abstract Thinking, Perspective Taking, Independence, Adaptability|
|Future planners who are motivated and confident to set goals, work hard, take risks and persist through challenges||Goal Regulation; Task, Detail, Time and Responsibility Management; Anger Management; Teamwork; Stress Regulation; Optimism; Independence; Adaptability|
|Academically prepared to think critically and creatively, to communicate effectively, to work well with others and to manage their finances||
Abstract Thinking, Creativity, Information Processing, Expressive and Persuasive Communication, Leadership, Detail Management
Step 2: Create customized self and peer assessments
You can create assessments with the skills you identified and administer them a couple of times per year to look for patterns and growth. When you choose the dates to administer the assessments, they will automatically show up in your students’ accounts. They can simply click the link and go to the customized assessment. You can assign peer assessments based on student teams, clubs, classes or activities. This information is valuable for students to help them better understand how others observe their skills in various contexts. It also helps them build a soft skills resume they can use with potential employers or in college or scholarship applications.
Step 3: Find JAKAPA champions who will oversee student engagement with the JAKAPA Measure | Train | Track program
Engage your students in the JAKAPA program. Some schools use an advisory period as the time when students engage with JAKAPA daily. Some integrate JAKAPA into existing courses, such as CTE courses, English courses or other courses that all students take. Teachers can integrate JAKAPA data with their gradebook, so weekly points are automatically assigned for JAKAPA engagement. Identify how you will incentivize and reward students for participating in the program.
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Step 4: Analyze your data
JAKAPA displays strengths and areas for growth, comparative data and growth data. It also displays engagement in the JAKAPA program. You can disaggregate groups by program, class or other parameters to better understand how various initiatives are impacting skill development. Compare JAKAPA engagement with growth data to gauge the impact it is having on skill development. Make JAKAPA a line item on your administrative team and teacher team agendas. Look at the data regularly to talk about patterns and gain insights.
Step 5: Celebrate with your community
Publish growth data on your annual report or on your website to show your community how you are working toward your Profile of a Graduate. Use JAKAPA data in business advisory meetings to underscore your focus on developing the critical soft skills students need for success after graduation. Publicize your participation in the JAKAPA program with parents and help them understand how to support their children’s skill development at home.
Step 6: Award elective credit
JAKAPA takes 10-15 minutes per day. In a calendar year, students earn enough seat time to earn ¼ credit. Ask your board of education to approve JAKAPA as a class and award up to a full elective credit for soft skills during high school. Students will benefit from having soft skills on their transcripts as they compete for opportunities post-graduation. It will also show your community that you are serious about getting them ready with the skills they need to succeed.
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