Planning for the future of education in Iowa calls for data that is not only reliable but also easily accessible. Enter Iowa Student Outcomes, a comprehensive, interactive website that houses education-related data and serves as a useful resource for any decision-maker.
Through a partnership between the Iowa Department of Education, Iowa Workforce Development, Iowa College Aid, Future Ready Iowa and Iowa Board of Regents, the Iowa Student Outcomes website offers users access to a variety of reports and interactive dashboards detailing information on trends in K-12, community colleges, adult education, Iowa public universities, registered apprenticeships and employment. College leaders, school administrators, government officials and students exploring different career and education pathways are encouraged to use the site.
“Successful student outcomes require research and review, which can take time to collect,” said Paula Nissen, administrative consultant at the Iowa Department of Education. “Iowa Student Outcomes provides a one-stop resource on student populations in Iowa.”
Visitors to the site have easy access to several categories of data, and compelling statistics on the homepage welcome users to peruse the site further. Examples of current data highlighted on the site include:
- Sixty-three percent of Iowa public high school graduates enrolled in postsecondary education within one year.
- More than 7,860 Iowa students received the Last Dollar Scholarship in 2021 for in-demand careers.
- Ninety-two percent of community college students who completed a credit program became employed in their first year post-graduation.
- Over 71,700 students enrolled in Iowa public universities.
- Nearly 1,400 adult learners earned a high school equivalency diploma in 2020.
- There are over 30,600 active Certified Nurse Assistant certificates in Iowa.
- Close to 8,000 active apprentices in Iowa were noted during the first quarter of 2021.
“The comprehensive data found on Iowa Student Outcomes can help researchers, administrators, faculty and staff at schools, community colleges and universities with programming, financial aid, marketing and other areas of development,” Nissen said. “Likewise, students can see the outcomes for education and training programs that they are interested in pursuing.”
For Iowa’s community colleges, leaders have found the information housed on Iowa Student Outcomes to be useful in improving processes, practices and outcomes, thus far.
“We can really drill down and see whether individual programs are meeting the needs of students, and if they aren’t, find out why and improve them,” said Emily Shields, executive director of Community Colleges for Iowa. “Community colleges have to be very nimble and responsive to what individuals, businesses and communities need in education and training, and this data helps us to do that in a very specific and targeted way.”
Iowa Student Outcomes was funded through a 2017 Workforce Data Quality Initiative grant from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration, and the site had a soft launch in 2021. With the addition of new interactive dashboards and updated data reports, Iowans are now invited to fully use the site’s information.
“We know that data plays a critical role in strengthening our education and training opportunities for our future workforce,” Nissen said. “Iowa Student Outcomes is positioned to assist with this and provides transparency and insight into the educational needs of students across the state.”