Agency Updates – October 2017

The Cornerstone – September 2017Welcome to Great Prairie AEA’s Agency newsletter, The Cornerstone! 


College and Career Readiness resources for all Iowa schools through the AEA Postsecondary Readiness & Equity Partnership (PREP)

Future ​Ready ​Iowa ​promotes ​the ​reality ​that ​Iowans ​need ​postsecondary ​education ​and ​training ​to ​meet the ​state’s ​workforce ​demands ​and ​economic ​development ​needs, ​and ​to ​provide ​each ​Iowan ​with ​a living ​wage. ​While ​there ​are ​many ​adults ​currently ​in ​the ​workforce who are ​eligible ​to ​upgrade ​their ​education and ​skills, ​K-12 ​schools ​possess ​access ​to ​the ​greatest ​number ​of ​entrants ​into ​the ​talent ​pipeline needed ​to ​meet ​the ​goal ​that ​70% ​of ​Iowans ​have ​education ​or ​training ​beyond ​high ​school. Postsecondary ​readiness ​is ​a ​promise ​that all ​K-12 ​schools ​should ​make ​to ​the ​greater ​than ​90% ​of ​Iowa high ​school ​students ​who ​graduate ​each ​year. ​This ​is ​supported ​by ​the ​AEA ​Compact ​which ​states ​that “every ​child ​who ​graduates ​from ​an ​Iowa public ​or accredited, ​nonpublic ​ ​school ​will ​be prepared ​for ​success ​in ​postsecondary ​studies, ​a career, ​and ​citizenship.” ​In ​addition, ​the ​Compact states ​“a ​postsecondary ​readiness ​goal ​will ​be established  ​that ​most ​accurately ​identifies and ​tracks ​postsecondary ​success.”

To accomplish this goal, Iowa’s AEAs have created​ a ​statewide partnership ​and ​resource ​center ​to ​improve ​postsecondary ​readiness ​and ​education ​attainment, ​with ​a focus ​on ​closing ​attainment ​gaps ​that ​exist ​for ​those ​populations ​traditionally ​underrepresented ​in higher ​education, ​including ​first ​generation ​college ​students, ​students ​from ​low ​socioeconomic households, ​racial ​and ​ethnic ​minorities, ​and ​students ​with ​disabilities. ​This ​newly ​established ​entity ​is AEA ​PREP ​(Postsecondary ​Readiness ​& ​Equity ​Partnership), ​and ​will ​focus ​on ​building ​equitable capacity ​throughout ​Iowa, across the AEAs, ​and ​​schools. ​AEA ​PREP ​operates ​out ​of Mississippi ​Bend ​Area ​Education ​Agency ​in ​Bettendorf and is being coordinated by David Ford.

The  ​primary ​functions of AEA PREP ​include:

  • the ​collection ​and ​distribution ​of ​timely ​and ​relevant ​postsecondary ​readiness ​data ​to districts ​including ​the ​creation ​of ​a ​statewide ​postsecondary ​data ​dashboard ​with district-specific ​data;
  • the ​development ​of ​a ​statewide ​network ​of ​postsecondary ​readiness ​leads ​with ​specialized training ​in ​leading ​and ​implementing ​postsecondary ​readiness ​initiatives ​and ​programs;
  • a ​resource ​center ​for ​K-12 ​educators ​to ​improve ​postsecondary ​readiness, ​including ​the ​latest research, ​evidence-based ​practice, ​webinars, ​presentations, ​and ​other ​relevant ​materials.

AEA PREP will centralize and streamline the data collection and follow-up district professional development/support needed to improve equitable student postsecondary readiness outcomes.  In addition, AEA PREP:

  • is led by a director, who is responsible for oversight of the data collection, data warehouse, dashboards, professional development, and training of an equitable, statewide professional network of postsecondary readiness leads in each AEA.
  • provides data analyst leadership and support, responsible for all aspects of data collection, warehousing, and software development of data dashboards.
  • develops and maintains a resource center for all AEAs and school districts to access and use, including webinars, presentations, updated research, and data dashboards.

Your AEA and the statewide system of AEAs are excited to offer AEA PREP as a resource to enable more students to achieve college and career readiness. Early results of the process have been encouraging, so look for more details soon and get your district on board!

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