Posted on 11/26/2018 at 02:40 PM by Blog Experts

When Iowa first released the Iowa Core a document was created and shared in conjunction with the academic standards and benchmarks educators were committed to provide for all students.  It was the Universal Constructs which focused on those soft skills or transferrable skills that each student needs to be prepared for and successful upon leaving our PK-16 educational systems.  While 21st Century skills was written into the Iowa Core as required components districts are required to teach by law, many times these are addressed in general terms at best or likely not at all.  These are not the skills we typically assess and yet, these are the critical competencies ALL STUDENTS NEED to be successful in career, college, and civic/life.

The Universal Constructs include:

  • Critical Thinking
  • Complex Communication
  • Creativity
  • Collaboration
  • Flexibility & Adaptability
  • Productivity & Accountability

There is an initiative that has started across the state of Iowa with the support of The Center, to have 21 percent of our communities and school districts join the national movement to have a Portrait of a Graduate by 2021.  Below are two examples of what this could look like in your community.  For more information you can visit:  Portrait of a Graduate













What could your portrait of a graduate look like? For more information on Portrait of the Future-ready Graduate contact Mona Yanacheak (

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