USD Portrait of a Graduate
The Utah School for the Deaf has developed the USD Portrait of a Graduate.
Overview of the Portrait of a Graduate for USD:
The term we use for a graduation ceremony is commencement, which implies that graduation is the beginning of a student’s real life and opportunities. Historically, readiness for graduation has been seen as passing a set of required classes in a set amount of time. This, however, misses the point of commencement as preparing students to begin their life as adults and members of their society. Utah School for the Deaf wants every Deaf/Hard of Hearing student to develop their Deaf identities, skills of excellence, ability for autonomy, and foundations for life that will provide them the real foundation they need to be successful in life.
Preparation for graduation is not only the responsibility of high school teachers and classes. Fundamental skills for life require practice and learning from the first day of infant services and need to continue to build through early childhood education, elementary school, middle school, high school, and post-high school programs. Families are the foundation of a student’s life and are partners with the school in preparing students for graduation and beyond.
This illuminated pathway is based on the strong foundational work of the Utah Portrait of a Graduate by the Utah State Board of Education and was developed with groups of educators, administrators, and stakeholders providing ideas and feedback at every level of the process.
Deaf Identity competencies provide deaf students with the critical skills and knowledge to access and succeed in the world as deaf or hard-of-hearing individuals and to prosper in distinct communities. Deaf students at USD will learn to apply their rights as Deaf citizens, understand their own deafness and language access, develop language and tools to communicate with anyone, and build the ability to determine their own vision of a successful future.
Excellence is the ability to demonstrate the depth of knowledge and skill proficiency in key areas of learning. Deaf students at USD will achieve the highest level of academic excellence during school by applying their best efforts to produce high-quality work, in persevering when faced with challenges and setbacks, and by developing a foundation for excellence and learning throughout their lives.
Autonomy is having the self-confidence to think and act independently while also engaging in meaningful interactions with others. Deaf students at USD will develop the autonomy to be successful in school and to forge a successful career and life path.
Foundations for life guide life decisions, influence behavior, shape goals, offer a sense of direction and create meaning. Deaf students at USD will develop the foundations for success in school while developing the strength of character to have a successful life.