Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education

Kentucky Graduate Profile

The Graduate Profile

Nearly three in four employers say they have a hard time finding recent college graduates with the essential soft skills needed to succeed in the workplace.

As a response to this need, Kentucky public higher education is developing the Kentucky Graduate Profile. The Profile is a set of career-focused learning outcomes each graduate should demonstrate as part of their college curriculum.

Based on the 10 essential skills

In addition to the specialized content knowledge students acquire from their major, the Graduate Profile focuses on the workforce skills that graduates need to thrive in their careers. The following 10 Essential Skills are identified by higher education organizations and workforce professionals as learning outcomes all graduates need for success in their chosen fields of study. 

  1. Communicate effectively: Graduates will develop their ability to communicate effectively by listening, weighing influencing factors, and responding accurately and professionally. They will learn to express their thoughts coherently in writing, orally, and in formal presentations.    
  2. Think critically in order to solve problems and create new ideas and solutions: Graduates will develop their ability to think critically by evaluating assumptions and assessing information to make informed conclusions. They will also learn to think creatively by combining ideas in original ways or developing new ways of addressing issues.
  3. Apply quantitative reasoning skills to analyze and solve numerical problems: Graduates will hone their ability to provide solutions guided by data and choosing the best methodologies for arriving at informed conclusions.
  4. Interact effectively with people from diverse backgrounds: Graduates will reflect on their own cultural identities, appreciate cultural and intellectual differences, and effectively interact with people from diverse backgrounds. They will have multiple opportunities to collaborate, communicate and work respectfully with people with different perspectives, ideas and cultural beliefs.
  5. Adapt to changing circumstances while leading and supporting others: Graduates will have learned how to accept change and find effective ways to work and thrive in different settings. They will learn to motivate others in the pursuit of a common goal and to coach others in the pursuit of this goal. 
  6. Perform professionally within their chosen field of study or occupation: Graduates will have learned the importance of adhering to the code of ethics in their chosen profession and acting with honesty and fairness. They will have many opportunities to prioritize their tasks, manage their time, take initiative, and demonstrate accountability and reliability. 
  7. Engage in civic life to improve society: Graduate will, throughout their college careers, learn from opportunities to engage in political, social and other activities to address issues that benefit society.
  8. Collaborate and work in teams: Graduates will have had numerous opportunities to collaborate with colleagues, become effective team members, and manage conflict.
  9. Demonstrate evidence of applied and integrated learning: Graduates will be able to articulate and apply the theoretical content of their academic preparation with relevant knowledge and abilities essential to their chosen career.
  10. Use information for decision making: Graduates will be able to identify, evaluate, and responsibly use information needed for decision making.

While this list is not inclusive of all the skills that employers value, it represents the most frequently identified qualities supported by research and advocated by the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U), the Quality Assurance (QA) Commons, and the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), among others.

Implementation: The Graduate Profile Academy

Graphic representation of process

The Kentucky Graduate Profile Academy, which consists of a four-member team from each of Kentucky’s eight four-year public institutions and all 16 KCTCS campuses, provides a framework for campus-to-campus collaboration as each institution works to embed the 10 Essential Skills in each degree and certificate program.

Each Academy Team is committed to reviewing its institution's programs with the support and guidance of CPE staff, data, and tools. The Academy Teams’ ultimate goal is for continuous improvement and to ensure high quality, relevant education for all Kentucky students.

The Graduate Profile Academy is coordinated by Dr. Janna Vice. If you have questions, you can contact her at or at 859-893-8423.

Helpful links

Representation of the Academy

Academy I Membership

Academy I Membership includes the first 12 institutions to join the Graduate Profile.

Ashland Community and Technical College
Team Lead: Dr. Todd Brand - CAO
Dr. Sara Brown - Distance Learning Coordinator
Ashley Vanderpool - Director of Career Services
Dale Queen - Instructor, Arts and Sciences
Eastern Kentucky University
Team Lead: Dr. Nicola Mason - Chair, Teaching, Learning & Educational Leadership
Dr. Chad Foster - Associate Professor, Homeland Security
Starr Wentzel - Director, First Year Course
Dr. Russell Carpenter - Assistant Provost
Gateway Community and Technical College
Team Chair: Frannie Bennett - QEP Director, English Instructor
Dr. Denise Fritsch - Dean of Institutional Effectiveness
Paula Barnes - Workforce Development Liaison
Dr. Amy Carrino - Dean of Business, IT and Professional Studies
Kentucky State University
Team Chair: Dr. Frederick Williams - Acting Chair and Professor, school of Criminal Justice
Bruce Griffis - Assistant Professor of Biology
Dr. Tonika East - Assistant Director, Office of Career and Professional Development
Dr. Charles Holloway - Vice Provost for Student Success and Retention
Madisonville Community College
Team Chair: Felecia Johnson - Coordinator of Special Projects
Dr. Cathy Vaughan - Dean of Student Affairs
Dr. Brittney Hernandez-Stevenson Muhlenberg - Campus Manager
Amanda Skeen, Associate Professor
Morehead State University
Team Chair: Dr. Laurie Couch - Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education & Student Success  
Dr. Tim O'Brien - Associate Professor of Mathematics and Co-Director of the Quality Enhancement Plan
Megan Boone - Director of Career Services and Director of the Center for Career Development & Experiential Education
Dr. Janet Ratliff - Associate Professor of Management and Entrepreneurship
Murray State University
Team Chair: Ashley Ireland - Assistant Provost and Director of Online Programs
Dr. Firm Faith Watson - Director of the Faculty Development Center
Peggy Whaley - Director of Student Engagement and Success
Matt Purdy - Director of Career Services and Director of the Center for Career Development and Experiential Education
Bob Pervine - Associate Provost
Northern Kentucky University
Team Chair: Dr. Bethany Bowling - Associate Dean, College of Arts and Sciences
Dr. Meg Hensley - Unit Director for Student Support
Dr. Jen Cellio - Associate Professor of English
Dr. Abdou Ndoye Interim Vice Provost for Undergraduate Academic Affairs
Owensboro Community and Technical College
Team Co-chair: Dr. Meredith Skaggs - Faculty and Department Head, Humanities and Fine Arts
Team Co-chair: Nicole Ralph - Director of Experiential Learning and Title III
Dr. Shane Armstrong - Dean of Academic Affairs, Arts and Sciences
University of Kentucky
Team Chair: Dr. Katie Cardarelli - Senior Associate Provost for Administration and Academic Affairs
Dr. Kirsten Turner - Vice President for Student Success
Dr. Beth Garvy - Associate Dean for Biomedical Education
Dr. Katherine McCormick - Associate Vice President for Student Excellence and Engagement and Acting Associate Provost for Planning and Assessment
University of Louisville
Team Chair: Dr. Beth Willey - Vice Provost for UG Education
Dr. Gail DePuy - Vice Provost for Engaged Learning
Bill Fletcher - Director, University Career Center
Dr. Douglas Craddock - Provost's Chief of Staff
Western Kentucky University
Team Chair: Dr. Molly Kerby - Assistant Provost for Institutional Effectiveness, Professor of Sociology
Dr. Marko Dumancic - Director for the Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning; Associate Professor of History
Dr. Molly Dunkum - Associate Professor, Colonnade Co-Director
Jennifer Walton-Hanley - Associate Professor, Colonnade Co-Director

Academy II Membership

Big Sandy Community and Technical College
Dr. Lisa Music - Division Chair, Math and Science
Rachelle Burchett - Director, Community, Workforce and Economic Development
Liz Cole - Professor and Counselor
Mark Wells - Division Chair, Business, Social and Behavioral Sciences
Bluegrass Community and Technical College
Jon Thrower - BCTC Teaching and Learning Center Director
Kausha Miller - Assistant Dean of Student Success Initatives
Colleen Merrill - Associate Professor of Art Teaching and Learning Center Coordinator
Melanie Williamson - Academic Dean
Elizabethtown Community and Technical College
Darrin Powell - Acting Provost/Chief Academic Officer
Jacqueline Hawkins - Professor, Division Chair of Arts and Humanities
Benjamin Whitlock - Director of Student Success Hub
Y. Kae Cooper - Associate Professor
Hazard Community and Technical College
Dr. Amanda Spencer-Barnes - Professor of Mathematics/Faculty Chair
Dr. Ella Strong - Chief Academic Officer
Lois Puffer - Director of Institutional Effectiveness
Bryan Barger - First Year Exp/Online Learning Coordinator
Hopkinsville Community College
Dr. Chris Boyett - Chief Academic Officer
Angel Prescott - Chief Student Affairs Officer
Norman Godwin - Instructor
Taylor Carlisle - Professor
Jefferson Community and Technical College
Dr. Kara Schotter - Dean of Allied Health and Interim Associate Vice President of Technical Education
Dr. Brittany Inge - Associate Vice President of Institutional Effectiveness, Research, and Planning
Grant Gamble - Dean of Trade and Industry and Interim Associate Vice President of Technical Education
Dr. Nicole (Nickie) Cobb - Associate Vice President of Workforce Solutions
Maysville Community and Technical College
Dr. Angela Fultz - Professor of Chemistry; Faculty Assembly Chair; Math and Natural Science Division Chair
Sharon Wilson - Professor of Biology; QEP Director
Rebecca Morton - Director of Work-Based Learning
Missy Bishop - Associate Professor, Administrative Office Technology
Somerset Community College
Dr. Ron Meade - Dean
Daniel Aaron Bradley - Professor
Catherine Tackett - Student Affairs Supervisor
Jon Burlew - Dean
Southcentral Kentucky Community and Technical College (SKYCTC)
Chris Royse - Dean, Business and Information Technologies
Dr. Angie Harlan - Dean, Allied Health & Nursing
April Harris - Assistant Professor
Carmen Gaskins - Professor
Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College
Dr. Erin Reasor - Dean of Healthcare and Technial Programming
Dr. Sandy Holbrook - Professor of Psychology
Melvin Dixon - Workforce Solutions
Heather Lewis - Dual Credit Coordinator
West Kentucky Community and Technical College
Sanci Teague - Interim Director of the Student Success Center
Brent Taylor - Associate Professor of History
Mary Jo Campbell - Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy
Gary Reese - Professor

Last Updated: 9/6/2023