College and Career Ready Definitions

“College- and career-ready means the acquisition of the knowledge and skills a student needs to enroll and succeed in credit-bearing first-year courses at a postsecondary institution without the need for remediation.”


Iowa Department of Education. (2012). ESEA flexibility request: Iowa. Washington, DC: Author. Retrieved from

Accountability Metrics
  • Student achievement status on state tests
  • Student growth on state tests
  • Attendance rate
  • Four-year graduation rate
  • Additional graduation rates (five or more years)
  • Staff retention
Source: Center for American Progress. (2016). Explore the Data for ‘Making the Grade’. Retrieved from
College and Career Ready Reporting Metrics
State School Report Card1
IDOE State Report Card2
Annual Condition of Education3
Perkins Consolidated Annual Reports4
Students enrollment in AP  courses by subject area4
Students in concurrent enrollment courses by subject area4
Students enrolled in Postsecondary Enrollment Options (PSEO) courses by subject area4
ACT scores4
SAT scores and participation rate4
Enrollment in foreign language courses by language4
Enrollment in Algebra II4
Enrollment in higher level mathematics4
Enrollment in higher level sciences4
Kindergarten readiness4
     o Public preschool enrollment by age
     o Student proficiency on kindergarten literacy assessments, by test and subtest
     o Public kindergarten students who attended preschool
CTE enrollment3
CTE concentrators3
     o Number of concentrators by pathway
     o Students reaching targeted level of skill attainment
     o Students completing
     o Students graduating
     o Students entering postsecondary education or advanced training, military service, or employment within two quarters following graduation
Dropout rate1
Average daily attendance2
Graduate intentions3
Suspension/expulsion rate by incident type1
Students enrolling in postsecondary education within 16 months1
1. Iowa Department of Education. (2016). Iowa district/school profiles. Retrieved from
2. Iowa Department of Education. (2016). NCLB state report cards. Retrieved from
3. Iowa Department of Education. (2016). The annual condition of education report: 2013. Retrieved from
4. Iowa Department of Education. (2015). Perkins consolidated annual reports. Retrieved from
Dual Enrollment and Early College High School

Dual Enrollment and Articulation

Iowa allows students to earn dual credit in academic and/or CTE dual-enrollment courses through Senior Year Plus, dual-enrollment, and articulated courses at their high school, postsecondary institution, or online (e.g., Iowa Communications Network [ICN]). Public postsecondary institutions are not required to accept these credits (Education Commission of the States, 2015).

Early College High School

The Gateway to College National Network partnered with an institution of higher education to provide one Early College High School as part of the Early College High School Initiative (ECHSI). More information about schools participating in ECHSI is available at the ECHSI website (Jobs for the Future, n.d.).

Citations: Jobs for the Future. (n.d.). Schools. Retrieved from

National Association of State Directors of Career and Technical Education Consortium. (2013). Iowa [Interactive map of state career technical education profiles]. Retrieved from

Education Commission of the States. (2015). Dual enrollment – all state profiles. Retrieved from

Career Pathways

Iowa organizes its secondary CTE programs into six service areas:

  • Agricultural
  • Business
  • Family and Consumer Sciences
  • Health Science
  • Marketing
  • Industrial Technology

Within these areas, Iowa implements programs of study aligned with all 16 Career Clusters ((National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium, n.d.).

Citations: National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium. (n.d.). Iowa [Interactive map of state CTE profiles]. Retrieved from

Career Exploration and Career Plans

In 2008, Iowa mandated that all students in Grades 8–12 have an 8th Grade Plan (U.S. Department of Labor, 2013). The 8th Grade Plan is an electronic portfolio that incorporates assessments and surveys, career research, course plan building, education linkages, and financial aid and career development activities. Students can revise their career and educational plans as their interests and goals develop (Iowa Department of Education, n.d.).


U.S. Department of Labor. (2013). Individualized learning plans across the U.S. Retrieved from

Iowa Department of Education. (n.d.). Student Curriculum (8th Grade) Plan. Retrieved from

Alignment Between High School Graduation and State College Admission Requirements

High School and College Alignment


High School Graduation Requirements

College Admission Requirements

English Credits:



Mathematics Credits:


3.0 (Algebra I, geometry, and Algebra II)

Social Studies Credits:

3.0 (including United States history and Iowa government)


Science Credits:

3.0 (including physical science)

3.0 (including two from among biology, chemistry, and physics)

Foreign Language Credits:

None specified (N/S)


Arts Credits:



Additional Credits:



Total Credits:





Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) or ACT®


Iowa Department of Education


Iowa State University


The Iowa Department of Education provides broad parameters for student graduation and requires districts to establish more detailed graduation requirements that include the types of courses and number of credits.



Early Warning Systems

The Iowa Administrative Code 12.5 states that each school district shall include in its comprehensive school improvement plan the following provisions for meeting the needs of at-risk students:

  1. Valid and systematic procedures and criteria to identify at-risk students throughout the school district's school-age population
  2. Determination of appropriate ongoing education strategies for alternative options education programs
  3. Review and evaluation of the effectiveness of provisions for at-risk students

The level at which Early Warning System data are reported and who can access the data is not publicly available. 


Iowa Department of Education. (2015). At risk. Retrieved from