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Iowa College Access Network Joins Kirkwood at New Linn County Regional Center

September 10, 2013

Iowa College Access Network Joins Kirkwood at New Linn County Regional Center


Student Success Center will help students plan their future and boost the economy


CEDAR RAPIDS, IOWA – September 10, 2013 – The Iowa College Access Network (ICAN), a nonprofit organization that provides college and career readiness programs and financial literacy planning  to Iowa students from middle school through college, has partnered with Kirkwood Community College to open a new Student Success Center at the Linn County Regional Center. ICAN’s mission is to empower Iowans to achieve their educational and career goals through statewide comprehensive outreach, initiatives and partnerships with schools, groups and businesses.

 “ICAN and Kirkwood have a long history of working together for the success of area students and the relocation of our Cedar Rapids office to the Linn County Regional Center is the logical next step in providing a complete and well-rounded service to students and families,” said Rob Miller, executive director of ICAN. “This ICAN Student Success Center will provide “local” services across a 13-county radius encompassing 66 high schools and approximately 27,500 students. We are proud of the partnership we have created with Kirkwood Community College and hope to increase the awareness of college and career readiness needs in the corridor, and across east central Iowa, so more students are able to reach their full potential, achieve a college degree and attain a fulfilling career.”

 “One of the key elements to success is surrounding yourself with people and organizations that are aligned with your core values and vision for the future,” stated Mindy Thornton, director of the Linn County Regional Center. “The co-location of ICAN at the Kirkwood Linn County Regional Center is an example of two organizations focused on student success and moving in the same direction.”

 In the 2012-2013 academic year, ICAN assisted more than 450,000 students and parents statewide, including a significant number of prospective and current Kirkwood students. By having this new ICAN Student Success Center located within a Kirkwood facility, ICAN and Kirkwood hope to assist even more individuals find a path to their future.  

 “This partnership provides accessibility to students looking to navigate the initial pathway through college, and career planning is a key step in the process,” continued Thornton. “This partnership allows students to actually begin their journey at a Kirkwood location.”

 ICAN provides its services onsite at 99 percent of the state’s high schools. To bring this programming directly to students, parents, and schools statewide, ICAN works with a variety of business and industry partners, colleges and universities, and financial institutions to enable print, digital, and in-person services to be delivered.

 “We refer all of our students who file the FAFSA to the ICAN office. This helps us so much as counselors because none of us feel we are FAFSA wizards,” said Denae Zigtema, counselor at Linn-Mar High School in Marion. “In addition, typically, we have ICAN do a Financial Aid Night and a College Planning Night for parents and students to attend at the school. Both are always excellent, and I feel having parents and students hear it from someone else besides the counselor is impactful.”

 The new ICAN location is now offering one-on-one high school, college planning and financial aid appointments. All ICAN services are provided at no cost to students, parents, or participating schools.  An open house celebration will be held in October to coordinate with the beginning of the new academic year. The Cedar Rapids area ICAN office is located at 1770 Boyson Road (within the Linn County Regional Center). This center replaces ICAN’s previous office on Blairs Ferry Road. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call (877) 272-4692 or visit

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About ICAN

The Iowa College Access Network is a nonprofit, educational organization. ICAN is the College Access Network for Iowa, and a member of the National College Access Network (NCAN). ICAN has eight locations in Cedar Rapids, Council Bluffs, Davenport, Des Moines, Orange City, Ottumwa, Sioux City and Waterloo, which provide information and support to students and their families as they plan their postsecondary education and apply for financial aid. All ICAN programs and services are provided without charge. For more information about ICAN, call (877) 272-4692 or visit



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