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Competencies: Bringing Life to the Profile of the SC Graduate

Updated: Oct 4, 2021

Three SC schools are piloting the use of the Profile of the SC Graduate Competencies with the support of the Office of Personalized Learning and reDesign. In this series of blog posts, we will follow the journey of each school as they work to make the Profile come alive for both teachers and students.

During the 2017-18 academic year, the Office of Personalized Learning engaged groups of diverse stakeholders from across the state to develop competencies for the Profile of the South Carolina Graduate. Through this work, we have sought to define the critical components of the world class knowledge, world class skills, and life and career characteristics to ensure all students graduate ready for college, career, and citizenship. This work is grounded in the belief that our Profile of a SC Graduate is not simply an aspiration for our state; it is our commitment to every child in South Carolina. The competencies detailed in this document represent an effort to make our Profile of a Graduate actionable in every classroom and learning space across the state.

With the support of law makers, educators, and stakeholders from across South Carolina, including the recently established Ad Hoc Committee on Competency Based Education, South Carolina is quickly becoming a national leader in competency-based, personalized learning. The competency design and development work, led by our partners at reDesign, was guided by the following design principles:

  • Learner-Centered

  • Research-Based

  • Integrative and Contextualized

The South Carolina Competencies are a prototype ready to be field-tested, not a finalized document or set of tools. It is the aim of the Office of Personalized Learning that educators across the state engage with the prototype competencies to learn, explore, and provide critical feedback that will help inform future iterations of the competencies and continua. The SC Competencies Prototype consists of 12 competencies that are broken down into skill components in a continuum format. Each skill contains seven readiness levels that can be used to explore and analyze growth in a particular skill. It is important to note that the levels do not equate to a specific grade level, but instead represents stages of learning spanning from childhood to adulthood.

The South Carolina Office of Personalized Learning (OPL) partnered with reDesign to provide intensive support for three schools in the 2019-2020 school year who began a three-year pilot to use of the Profile of a South Carolina Graduate competencies. This intensive support included both virtual and on-site coaching of leadership and teachers, discovery of the competencies, competency field testing, and reflection.

The process for this intensive support work included the following:

● School-coaching matching process

● Discovery process that included implementation pathways for creating a unified school vision and identification of the competencies to best support that vision

● Goal implementation strategies (input from all faculty, piloting with a small group of teachers)

● Logistical planning, embedding Learning Independently competencies, interviews with students, monitoring progress procedures (with leadership, teachers, students)

● Piloting the competencies

● Reflection on the pilot

● Next year planning

With the overarching goal of piloting the use of the competencies at these three schools (Westview Elementary School, Saluda Trail Middle School, and River Bluff High School) in place, individual goals and plans to move forward were personalized for each school. In this blog series, we will spotlight each school's work with the competencies and what their continuing journey looks like moving forward.

For educators who are interested in leading their schools or districts towards making the Profile of the SC Graduate actionable through the use of the SC Competencies, the Office of Personalized Learning is offering an additional professional learning opportunity, entitled the SC Competency-Based Learning FellowsIn this cohort, participants will have the opportunity to develop the knowledge and skills to support successful implementation of the Profile of the SC Graduate competencies in their school and district contexts. To learn more about competency-based education, visit our Competency-Based Education page.

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