graduates pictured

Future Ready

Future Ready Iowa is an initiative to build Iowa’s talent pipeline, led by Governor Kim Reynolds and the Future Ready Alliance. 

Why Do We Need the Future Ready Iowa Initiative? Education or training beyond high school has become the new minimum threshold for Americans to earn a living wage and attain middle class status. In 1973, only 28 percent of U.S. jobs required education beyond a high school diploma; by 2025, almost two out of three jobs in the nation are projected to require at least some postsecondary education or training.

Future Ready Iowa is not a brand new program, but rather a collaborative approach to highlighting best practices, nurturing high-quality partnerships, and ensuring hardworking taxpayer dollars are focused on those areas that will maximize progress toward our goal.

Visit the Future Ready Iowa or the Future Ready AEA website to learn more!

Future Ready Continuous Improvement graphic, click for interactive PDF

Iowa’s Core Strategies

Building Future Ready learners is a continuous cycle that uses Iowa’s 5 Core Strategies of Data*, Transition*, Rigor, Partnerships*, and Relevance. Explore the resources below to begin developing Future Ready learners in your school!

*Current state and Grant Wood AEA priorities

Data icon

Data

Support leadership, school improvement, and/or counseling teams to effectively use a variety of Future Ready data sources and think-abouts in their evidence-driven planning and alignment with ESSA and Differentiated Accountability.

Where can I find data about student readiness and success in postsecondary?

Answer




  • EXPLORE: Iowa PREP Trendlines to see trends among graduates with postsecondary enrollment, retention, and completion.
  • EXPLORE: Iowa Student Outcomes to find information related to student success from PK-12 to postsecondary education, to gainful employment.
  • EXPLORE: Iowa School Performance Profiles to see public school performance on required measures.
  • IDENTIFY: Areas of strength and opportunity by completing the Data Hunt using the tools listed above.

What are data points we should be focusing on for Future Ready success?

Answer




  • EXPLORE: Predictors of Postsecondary Success from American Institutes for Research to find the indicators and predictors for at each grade band for success at the next level.
  • IDENTIFY: Future Ready Healthy Indicators from Redefining Ready – College, Career, Life that you can track and support to ensure students are prepared for postsecondary success.
  • EXPLORE: ICAP Resource Tool to find lessons and experiences that support Future Ready initiatives.

How do I assess our current Future Ready Culture?

Answer





Transition iconTransition

Ensure integrated strategies for improving PK-12 to postsecondary transition services for all students, with an emphasis on under-represented students, especially those with disabilities.

What does it mean to be Future Ready?

Answer




What are the transition skills students most need?

Answer




How can I embed transition skills into my classroom?

Answer




  • EXPLORE: ICAP Resource Tool to find lessons and experiences that support Future Ready initiatives.
  • EXPLORE: ICAN Resources to find materials that support planning, applying, paying for and succeeding in high school and beyond.
  • SHARE : Course to College guide from Iowa College Aid with students and families.
  • WATCH/SUBSCRIBE: Iowa Intermediary Network Resources to hear from employers all over the state about career opportunities.

What opportunities are there for students during and after high school?

Answer




How do we communicate opportunities after graduation to help students find their pathway?

Answer




Why is the FAFSA important and how do we support students in completing it?

Answer





Rigor iconRigor

Identify and improve high‐quality instruction based on Iowa’s Academic Standards (content, 21st-century skills and Universal Constructs), especially for high‐need and underserved students and on closing opportunity gaps.

How is my core supporting Future Ready goals?

Answer




What are the top needs for the future workforce?

Answer




How can we support students in the development of skills such as communication, collaboration, critical thinking, productivity and flexibility, and adaptability?

Answer





Partnerships iconPartnership

Expand high‐quality, work‐based learning experiences in various fields and careers for all students by enhancing partnerships in education, business, and community.

How can we provide experiences for students beyond the classroom?

Answer




Where do I find willing partners to support and connect with our programs?

Answer




Which industries are in most need of workers in my region?

Answer




  • EXPLORE: Future Ready Iowa High Demand Occupations to find current careers that are in high demand in the state.
  • EXPLORE: Occupational Projections to find detailed results about in-demand occupations by industry and region.
  • VISIT: Explore Careers developed by local Sector Boards! Take assessments to find strengths and interests, and explore careers and pathways by sector to learn about opportunities here in our region.

Relevance iconRelevance

Support the implementation of learner-centered, personalized, and/or competency-based education as pathways to future readiness and success.

How can we increase learner engagement?

Answer




  • EXPLORE: Authentic Learning Network to find resources and supports to implement authentic project and problem-based learning into curriculum.
  • EXPLORE: The Center to learn about competency-based education that leverages learner-centered and personalized pathways.
  • WATCH/SUBSCRIBE: Investing in Student Pathways to Strengthen Local Economies from All4ed.org where presenters share how innovative approaches lead to stronger community collaboration, teacher engagement, and student success.

What types of opportunities are available for students to become Future Ready during high school?

Answer




  • EXPLORE: ICR Iowa to find all the innovative education options available to students in our area!
  • EXPLORE: Kirkwood Community College Career Academies to find pathway programs available to high school students that lead to postsecondary programs.
  • ANALYZE: Use the Analysis Protocol to assess your district ICAP and find more opportunities to connect to Future Ready initiatives throughout PK-12.

How can I embed future ready concepts into my classroom?

Answer




  • EXPLORE: ICR Future – Educators Page to connect with groups and resources that support classroom curriculum.
  • VISIT: Explore Careers developed by local Sector Boards! Take assessments to find strengths and interests, and explore careers and pathways by sector to learn about opportunities here in our region.
  • EXPLORE: Your district’s Career Information System (CIS) to find connections with your classroom instruction.
  • CONNECT: With School Counselors to learn about the counseling program and ways you can support it.

What types of careers are in high demand?

Answer




Important contacts

Staff Directory
Image thumbnail for Jennifer Boyd

Jennifer Boyd

CTE Consultant

Email Jennifer Boyd