Iowa State University has created an online career information and decision-making system that will save Iowa's K-12 school districts thousands of dollars annually.
The Iowa Code requires that all public school districts in Iowa implement a career information and decision-making system to begin in 8th grade. Until recently, districts were able to meet this requirement by using a software system, called "I Have a Plan Iowa" (IHAPI), which was sponsored by the Iowa College Student Aid Commission (ICSAC). Since ICSAC's grant funding for IHAPI expired, districts have been forced to purchase any one of seven commercial vendor software products previously approved by the Iowa Department of Education (IDE).
Based on feedback received from Iowa school counselors, Iowa State took it upon itself to design and build
My Academic Plan
(MAP), an online system that allows Iowa's school districts to satisfy the state's career and academic planning mandates at no cost.
Geared toward students in middle and high school, MAP walks students through a progression of steps to help them:
- Explore their own interests, values, and skills
- Identify a career which closely matches those interests, values, and skills
- Plan their high school courses based on the career path they're most interested in
- Receive an early indication of their college/career readiness
- Identify a program of study which best prepares them for their selected career path
- Identify those colleges or training programs which offer their chosen program of study
Since the IDE approved MAP several weeks ago,
staff members from nearly 250 schools across the state have already expressed interest, and thousands of secondary school students are already utilizing the system.
These numbers are growing daily.
MAP is an example of how Iowa State University is using the technology and expertise developed on its campus to benefit the lives of Iowans, while saving school districts significant costs.