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The Division of Community Colleges and Workforce Preparation periodically applies for, and is awarded, grants from federal and non-profit agencies and foundations to fund research and innovative projects that aim to enhance educational programs, improve student outcomes, and address education and workforce needs. In addition, the Division often partners with other agencies to fulfill their grant requirements, either in the form of a named partner or as a contractor. The information below outlines the Division's current grant-funded initiatives.
The Iowa Department of Education's Adult Education and Literacy team and the Iowa Literacy Council have teamed up to identify and evaluate best practices for supporting adult learners based on recommendations released by the Future Ready Iowa Alliance. The program will focus on the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) focus area of education. Iowa's The Educate and Elevate AmeriCorps Program will provide 49 AmeriCorps members who will provide one-on-one tutoring, small group tutoring, peer mentoring and volunteer management services in Iowa's 15 community colleges, serving all of Iowa's 99 counties. AmeriCorps members will leverage community volunteers who will be engaged in literacy development, with a goal of increasing high school equivalency diplomas in the state by three percent by the end of the first program year.
The populations being served by this project include adults who may be low income, homeless, ex-offenders, individuals with disabilities, and/or English language learners. One of the main goals of this project is to increase the capacity and quality of adult education tutoring by offering additional resources that will supplement the current offerings of adult literacy instruction, including but not limited to reading (phonetics, vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension), writing, health, financial, digital, family literacy as well as mathematics.
Great Lakes Foundation Planning Grant
The Iowa Department of Education has been awarded an $88,700 planning grant by the Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation (Great Lakes) to convene Iowa's 15 community colleges in a collaborative effort to improve and scale current guided pathway initiatives statewide.
The Department will serve as the grant’s fiscal agent and staff within the Division of Community Colleges and Workforce Preparation will work collaboratively with consultants at HCM Strategists, LLC, to perform activities related to this statewide initiative for colleges to provide career-focused academic guidance for students to earn meaningful credentials or prepare for further study, while closing equity gaps. The planning grant will result in interested colleges applying for an implementation grant to further this guided pathways work.
Workforce Data Quality Initiative
In order to improve the quality of workforce data provided to decision-makers, potential and current students, and the general public, the initial data sources have to provide reliable unit-level data. Such data, validated, verified, confirmed, and stored based on modern principles of informational technologies, would dramatically improve current capacity to match workforce data to its educational components.