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

Unlike traditional curricula, the Graduate Profile focuses on the workforce skills, as well as the specialized content knowledge they acquire from their major, that graduates need to thrive in their careers. Workforce skills are based upon the 10 Essential Skills 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. Demonstrate cultural competency: 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 three members from each of Kentucky’s eight four-year public institutions and four KCTCS campuses, to assess the learning outcomes in Kentucky's degree and credential programs.

With funding provided by the CPE, the academy will review their institution's programs using CPE data and tools, including an employability scan, or EScan, a method for evaluating higher education programs based on how well they prepare students to succeed in a workplace. 

Once program review is complete, the group will make plans for adjusting curricula to fully integrate the needed learning outcomes or the Graduate Profile.

Helpful links

Representation of the Academy

2021-22 Academy Membership

Ashland Community and Technical College

Team Chair: Dr. Todd Brand CAO
Dr. Sara Brown Distance Learning Coordinator
Ashley Vanderpool Director of Career Services
Alternate: Dale Queen Instructor, Arts and Sciences
Eastern Kentucky University
Team Chair: Dr. Nicola Mason Chair, Teaching, Learning & Educational Leadership
Dr. Chad Foster Associate Professor, Homeland Security
Starr Wentzel Director, First Year Course
Alternate: Dr. Russell Carpenter Assitant Provost
Gateway Community and Technical College
Team Chair: Frannie Bennett QEP Director, English Instructor
Dr. Denise Fritsch Dean of Instiutional Effectiveness
Paula Barnes Workforce Development Liaison
Alternate: William Kirschner Coordinator of Student Activities and Retention
Kentucky State University
Team Chair: Dr. Frederick Williams Acting Chair and Professor, school of Criminal Justice
Dr. Beverly Schneller Vice Provost for Academic Quality, Research & Innovation
Dr. Tonika East Assistant Director, Office of Career and Professional Development
Alternate: 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
Alternate: 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
Alternate: Dr. Janet Ratliff Associate Professor of Management and Entrepreneurship
Murray State University
Team Chair: Ashley Ireland Assistant Provost and Director of Online Programs
Firm Faith Watson Director of the Faculty Development Center
Peggy Whaley Director of Student Engagement and Success
Alternate: 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
Alternate: Dr. Abdou Ndoye Interim Vice Provost for Undergraduate Academic Affairs
Owensboro Community and Technical College
Team Chair: Stacy Edds-Ellis Dean of Academic Affairs
Dr. Meredith Skaggs Faculty and Department Head
Dr. Andrea Borregard Dean of Student Affairs
Alternate: Nicole Ralph Director of Experiential Learning and Title III
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
Alternate: Anna Fiechter Chalfant Deputy Chief of Staff
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
Alternate: 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
Alternate: Jennifer Hanley, associate professor, Colonnade Co-director


Last Updated: 12/9/2021