top of page

From Poster to Practice: The Profile of a Graduate and Its Competencies

By Ashley Pursley - Anderson School District Five


As the dedicated educators of South Carolina enter their schools every day, each step is guided by a compelling vision: each student graduates with world-class knowledge, skills, and life and career characteristics. This vision is presented on a blue and gold poster in classrooms across the state. However, the poster alone is just the finishing move, and like the best wrestling finishers of all time, it requires a preliminary series of strategic moves to weaken the opponent and ensure success.

The Champ is HereArmed with a belief that the Profile of a Graduate is not simply an aspiration of the state, South Carolina’s Personalized Learning Team partnered with educators, stakeholders, and reDesign, an education design and leadership consulting organization, to develop the Profile of the South Carolina Graduate (PSCG) Competencies, a repertoire of moves that spear the vision into action. Using the twelve competencies as strategic moves, educators become the ultimate wrestler, ready to stomp tough opponents like student apathy, chronic absenteeism, distractions, and other daily challenges faced in education. 

What are competencies?

Competencies are explicit, measurable, and transferable statements that contribute to a winning combination of skills, knowledge, characteristics, aptitudes, and traits. Just as wrestlers can execute their signature moves consistently and effectively against various opponents, competencies can be demonstrated repeatedly with stunning results.

What are the PSCG Competency Statements?

Defining transferable skills as learning outcomes for the whole child, the PSCG Competency Statements serve as attitude adjustments that emphasize a broad range of skills. Just like wrestling superstars who exhibit skills in speaking, athleticism, storytelling, and mental toughness, these competencies play a crucial role in ensuring that children are healthy, safe, supported, challenged, and engaged. Healthy students sustain wellness and navigate conflict. Safe students can engage as citizens and build networks. Supported students learn independently, use sources, and express ideas. Challenged students can read critically and reason quantitatively. Engaged students investigate through inquiry, design solutions, and lead teams. The competencies empower students to become well-rounded learners capable of navigating challenges and excelling in diverse areas of their education and personal growth.

How are the PSCG Competencies organized?

The development team designed twelve competencies that are broken down into skill indicators and presented in a continuum format. Each skill is divided into six readiness levels, similar to the different stages of becoming a professional wrestler, where individuals can explore and assess their growth in a specific skill. The levels represent phases of learning that span from childhood to adulthood and do not correspond to specific grade levels. Just as a wrestler progresses through different stages of skill development to become a phenomenal one, learners evolve through these readiness levels, honing their skills and advancing towards achievement and personal growth.

Where can I learn more about the PSCG Competencies? 

For educators seeking guidance and support in implementing the PSCG Competencies, the South Carolina Personalized Learning team is ready to empower them on their journey towards personalized, competency-based learning. Similar to wrestlers who rely on trainers to enhance their skills, educators can have a nice day knowing this dedicated team is prepared to provide resources, professional development opportunities, and personalized coaching. It’s a new day; yes it is, so check out PersonalizeSC to learn more.

Get StartedWhat are you going to do when tough opponents run wild on you? Reach into your toolbox to find the PSCG Competencies that guide you and your students in making the Profile of a Graduate actionable through academic success and personal growth. Educators are the ultimate wrestlers mastering their moves to triumph in the ring by leveraging these competencies to overcome challenges and lead students to achieve success in their educational journey. With the support of the South Carolina Personalized Learning team, educators have the resources and guidance needed to continue developing their skills and create a transformative learning experience for the whole child. And that’s the bottom line.


About the Author

Ashley Pursley is a Google Certified Trainer and Coach who serves as a middle school Digital Integration Specialist for Anderson School District Five. She collaborates with educators to provide and support high quality learning opportunities through innovative integration of instructional technology.  Her passion for student agency led her to collaborate with the South Carolina Personalized Learning Team. Furthermore, she served as a competency fellow from 2022 to 2024, demonstrating her commitment to advancing personalized learning practices and educational excellence. Connect with Ashley on X @MrsAPursley.



bottom of page