Career and College Readiness Programming - Iowa College Access Network - ICAN

Career and College Readiness Programming

Success comes from making informed decisions about the future and helping Iowans make informed decisions is what ICAN is all about. ICAN has developed a series of programs that address different phases of the planning process. From understanding the basics of budgets, accessing potential career pathways, or comparing and analyzing post-high school education and training options, ICAN has developed programs to meet the needs of today's students.

ICAN provides presentations on the following topics:

Scheduling
Click here to learn about scheduling.

Ensure Your Presentation is a Success

ICAN offers several tips and resources to help you get the best turnout for your presentations.

  • Hosting Best Practices. This resource guide outlines tips for the most successful presentation.
  • Free materials to supplement your presentation, distribute individually or hand out in class.
  • Promotional materials. Monthly packets are mailed out to help you publicize the presentation to students and parents.
  • Online toolkit of promotional materials to download for additional awareness efforts with students and parents.
  • Virtual Presentations allow students who can’t attend live presentations to receive much of the same valuable information.

Welcome to High School: Freshman Transitions

Transitioning from middle school to high school is a big step for families, and the first step for students in creating future opportunities. Freshman year begins the journey of post-high school success. The courses, activities, and decisions made in this first year matter regardless of your plans for after high school.

Freshman Transitions is designed as an orientation or welcome to high school and covers important topics including:

  • Career Assessment and Exploration
  • Course Selection based on Career & College Outlook
  • Options: Apprenticeship, Military, Training, and Types of College Degrees
  • Financing Education: Cost of Education & Training Projections and Savings Options
  • Money Management Basics
  • A Parent's Role

Intended Audience: 8th graders, high school freshmen, parents


Explore Your Future: Career & College Planning

There are many post-high school options available to students through education and training programs. This program engages students and parents in a discussion of recent employment trends and industry growth outlook to provide insights into the developing a post-high school plan for both college and career.

This program covers:

  • Career Exploration & Assessment
  • Economic Trends & Goal Setting
  • Academic Preparation & Requirements
  • Admission Process & Requirements
  • College/Training Program Selection
  • Campus Visits
  • Application Process
  • Understanding Costs - Cost of Attendance
  • Scholarships/Job Training Programs
  • Successful Transitions

Intended Audience: High school sophomores, juniors, parents


How to Pay for College: Understanding the Financial Aid Process

The financial aid process can be daunting. From completing the application to understanding award letters, developing a plan to pay for college is one of the most important steps in the college process. This program covers:

  • Financial Aid Process
  • FAFSA Application Review
  • Understanding the Results of the Application
  • Understanding Costs - College Comparisons
  • Aid Options
  • Scholarship Process
  • Where to Go For Help

Intended Audience: High school juniors, parents
(The FAFSA is available October 1 each year. 12th grade students and parents should attend a financial aid seminar as juniors, or early in their senior year)


Financial Literacy Series: LifeStore

The Life Store Program is designed as an Interactive budgeting activity simulating life decisions such as housing, transportation and family finances based upon an assigned family status and career. Throughout the presentation students realize the financial impact of their choices while living within their means. The goal of Life Store is to provide students with a real-life scenario that promotes a realistic spending plan for financial independence. The following topics are covered during the presentation:

  • Goal Setting
  • Needs vs. Wants
  • Credit Cards
  • Credit Scores
  • Insurance
  • Student Loans
  • Investments
  • Identity Theft
  • Savings

Intended Audience: 8th grade through high school senior


Financial Literacy Series: Credit & Money Management

The Credit and Money Management Program engages seniors in the financial decision-making process. Students will understand the connection between current spending habits and the long-term effects on future financial decisions. Through interactive discussion students explore the outcomes of Saving, Spending and Splurging their way through life. Students learn the pros and cons of credit cards, what their credit report is and the long-term effects bad decision-making can have on their credit score. The following topics are covered during the presentation.

  • Goal Setting
  • Needs vs Wants
  • Budgeting
  • Savings 
  • Student Loans 
  • Credit Cards/Interest Rates 
  • Credit Reports and Credit Scores
  • Identity Theft

Intended Audience: High school juniors, seniors


Life After High School

Through interactive discussions and role-playing, seniors preparing to attend college will create class schedules, make financial decisions regarding student loans and take part in mock interviews. Paired with real-life examples, student will get a preview of college life and leave armed with decision-making techniques for a successful transition to college. The following topics are covered during the presentation:

  • Sample Schedules and Time Management
  • Balance and Smart Decision-Making 
  • Budgeting and Financial Literacy Tips
  • Career Prep including Resume and Interview Skills 

Intended Audience: High school seniors

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