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Vision of the Graduate

Vision of the Graduate

The NEASC Standards for Accreditation for public schools ask that a Vision of the Graduate be developed along with a school's core values and beliefs about learning. This vision should center on the transferable skills, knowledge, understandings, and dispositions necessary for future success. For students to think critically, work collaboratively, and learn deeply, these important attributes must be defined clearly by the schools and systems of assessment must be shifted to adequately measure student progress toward proficiency. 

We are pleased to offer professional learning opportunities to help schools and districts develop and implement their own Vision of the Graduate through comprehensive workshop series and our cohort workshops/coaching.

Vision of the Graduate Workshop Series (Parts 1 and 2)

Part 1 - Designing the Vision of the Graduate

Designed for group participation

This two-day workshop is ideal for teams from public schools/districts to work collaboratively to understand the importance and implications of developing a Vision of the Graduate, create and/or revise their Vision, and start to understand the importance of authentic assessment for that Vision. Participants will conclude the workshop with valuable collaborative experiences and Vision documents to take back to their school communities for further feedback and implementation.

Day 1 - Intro to the Graduate Profile

On the first day of the workshop we will explore what a Graduate Profile (Vision of the Graduate, Portrait of a Graduate) is and why it is an important shift for schools, districts, systems, etc. as well as what it means to situate the Graduate Profile as your organizing principle. Participants will brainstorm the skills they believe would be ideal for their graduates, then have an opportunity to check that brainstorm against quality criteria, ideate and revise again. Participants will leave with a draft prototype of a Vision of the Graduate as well as a plan to engage stakeholders in a vital input/feedback process in order to move toward a more finalized draft.


Day 2 - Defining Your Graduate Profile

Once you have a draft of a Graduate Profile (Vision of the Graduate, Portrait of a Graduate) that includes larger skill categories, the next step is to define what you actually mean by those categories in the form of Performance Outcomes. During this session, we will clarify what Performance Outcomes are, determine the scope of the Outcomes that you are drafting (individual school, district-wide, etc.), and practice creating high quality Performance Outcomes for your Graduate Profile. This language will then be used to design shared assessment tools and much much more. Participants will leave with a much more fully defined set of skills for their Vision of the Graduate.


Part 2 - Implementing and Assessing a Vision of the Graduate

Pre-requisite: Completion of Part 1 Workshop, "Designing the Vision of the Graduate"

This two-day workshop asks participants to consider, "What kind of culminating exhibition experience would we create to ensure that learners thrive when we implement our current vision/profile of a graduate?”

In various groups, participants will explore different types of exhibitions (student-led conferences, capstones, portfolio defenses, etc.) and design a prototype of a culminating exhibition that will provide evidence of student learning/thinking of essential competencies. In addition, participants will gain experience and aptitude in designing high-quality Performance Tasks that elicit evidence of student performance in the skills of their Graduate Profile.


Workshop Facilitator

Abby Benedetto

Abby Benedetto headshot

Deeper Learning Coach; Founder, Core Shifts
Profile  |  @AbbyBenedetto

Workshop Series Registration

$800.00 - maximum 6 participants from one school or district 
$1000.00 - maximum 8 participants from one school or district
Fee covers attendance and materials.

No sessions scheduled at this time. Please check back.

Vision of the Graduate Coaching + Cohort 2023-24
Who should sign up?

These workshops and coaching sessions are ideal for collaborative groups of educators and leaders from public schools/districts who will lead the work of implementing the vision of the graduate. Student leaders are welcome to join the teams, as well.

Six school/district teams will be accepted into the cohort. Each school/district team can include up to six participants. Space in the first cohort is limited to ensure personalized professional development and coaching. Schools/districts will be asked to fill out an interest form explaining how they think this experience will help their VoG work. If there are more than six schools/districts that apply, the workshop presenters will choose the schools/districts that they think can benefit most, based on their description of their work.

Important: These workshops will be held in person; participants must be able to travel to the NEASC office in Lowell, Massachusetts.


What you will explore

The workshops will help school communities to learn how to take the idea of the vision of a graduate from idea to action. Working collaboratively, teams of educators and leaders will be able to practice and learn how to implement strategies that provide onramps to school-wide implementation. Each session will provide participants with the chance to practice the strategies and plan how to adapt them for success in their own school community.

Personalized Virtual Coaching Sessions
Each personalized, school-specific coaching session will provide opportunities to share successes, identify problems of practice, and gain feedback on the next steps for implementation.

Meet-up at NEASC Leadership Conference
A meet-up to review progress, ask questions, and share success is planned for the NEASC Leadership Conference on December 6-8, 2023 in Boston. Any members of the cohorts attending the conference are encouraged to attend.

Workshop 1 - Description

  • Develop a deeper understanding of the Vision of the Graduate in order to understand how to make it a core part of the learning culture of the school.
  • Create and/or revise “I can…” statements that identify the skills embedded in the Vision of a Graduate in order to establish measurable criteria for student reflection and success.
  • Establish “Vision of a Graduate Profiles” that allow students to reflect on and share their stories of learning through the lens of the Vision of a Graduate.

Workshop 2 - Description

  • Identify high-leverage connections between the curriculum and the Vision of a Graduate in order to create regular opportunities for students to practice the skills embedded in the Vision of a Graduate and gain feedback on their growth.
  • Design and implement performance assessments and showcases of learning that provide opportunities for students to highlight their growth and achievement with the Vision of the Graduate.
  • Draft an action plan for the continued exploration and implementation of the Vision of a Graduate in your school community for the 2024-2025 school year.
Schedule / Format

October 19-20, 2023
Workshop 1

November 2023 to February 2024
Personalized Virtual Coaching Session

  • Date/time convenient to both parties will be scheduled within this timeframe
  • Format: Each team will have access to one 45-minute Zoom session

December 6-8, 2023
Meet-up at NEASC Leadership Conference

April 4-5, 2024
Workshop 2

Cohort Facilitators
Mary Ann Moran profile image
Mary Anne Moran

Mary Anne Moran is Co-Principal of Nipmuc Regional High School. She began her career as an elementary educator and quickly made her way to the secondary level. She has been a member of the Nipmuc community for the last 20 years transitioning to the role of assistant principal 13 years ago and then co-principal 6 years ago. In 2016, Mary Anne was named Massachusetts Assistant Principal of the Year. With a passion for what is possible and an endless curiosity about our educational system, she spends much of her time reading, leading, and learning about reimagining and redesigning our schools for the modern world.

Profile  |  @Mary_Anne_Moran

John Clements profile image
John Clements

John Clements is Co-Principal of Nipmuc Regional High School. He began his career at Nipmuc 25 years ago as an English teacher and has been an administrator at Nipmuc for 20 years, the past 13 as principal. John is a believer in the capacity of students, teachers, and school communities to reimagine school for the modern world. He is a board member and past president of the Blackstone Valley Education Foundation. He has worked closely with NEASC including chairing the committee to design the 2020 Standards for Accreditation for its 600+ schools and serving 6 years as a Commissioner. He is the recipient of NEASC’s 2020 Jacob Ludes III Leadership Award. John is the 2017 Massachusetts Principal of the Year.

Profile  @JohnKClements

Cohort Workshops + Coaching Registration 2023-24

Fees: $4995.00 - maximum 6 team members from one school or district.
Fee includes the cohort workshops and one virtual coaching session.
The Vision of the Graduate embeds essential life skills into expectations of our public schools. It’s not just content and academics. It’s about building transferable skills needed for our students to be successful in their future.
— Erin Palonen, Principal, Griswold High School, CT
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