Special Events & Programs
ICAN brings national college access programs and campaigns to Iowa and develops new programs to further its college access mission.
Current Initiatives Include:
- ICAN Steps to Success
- ICR Future Career & College Fair
- Golden Circle College & Career Fair
- FAFSA Ready Iowa
- ICAN Financial Aid Certification Program
- ICAN Financial Literacy Series: Life Store
Through the expertise of its staff and the feedback from school counseling professionals, ICAN has developed Steps to Success, a comprehensive services package that provides college access programming specifically tailored for students from middle school through high school and into college. Each step of the plan builds upon previous programming to ensure that each grade level engages in discussions and activities that keep them thinking about and preparing for the future.
Through one-on-one appointments or scheduled presentations in communities and schools around the state, the ICAN Steps to Success is a versatile set of programs that can be engaged at any point in the journey towards college. Learn more about ICAN's programs and the steps of the plan.
The ICR Future Carer and College Fair is the newest ICAN experience and aims to be the second largest career and college fair in Iowa. In this first year the 2019 fair aims to gather colleges and universities from across the United States, and offer Eastern Iowa families a chance to explore future opportunities for both career and college in one day. The fair will focus on the importance of career exploration through the linking of career assessments and pathways with area businesses representing the six Career Clusters. Students can learn about the pathways and clusters that fit their personality, explore career options with potential employers, learn about the education and training needed to succeed, and then step into the Education and Training exhibit hall to speak with colleges, apprenticeship programs, and military representatives. The fair also features breakout sessions on career exploration and training, college planning, job outlook, and more. This one stop event will enable students to Find Their Future. The inaugural fair will be held Sunday, March 31, 2019, at The Hotel at Kirkwood Center in Cedar Rapids and is free admission to all students and parents. For more information visit www.ICANsucceed.org/ICRFuture.
The Golden Circle College Fair is the largest college fair in Iowa. The fair is an annual favorite as it draws in colleges and universities from across the United States, and offers Iowa families a chance to explore nearly 120 colleges in one day. A new addition to the fair is the Career Cluster area. Each of the 16 Career Clusters will be represented by Iowa businesses offering insight and advice on different career paths. The fair also features breakout sessions on job outlooks in Iowa, employer expectations, college selection, and the financial aid process. The fair is held annually the last Sunday in September or the first Sunday in October depending on the calendar. For more information visit www.ICANsucceed.org/goldencircle.
ICAN is proud to be lead the FAFSA Ready Iowa Initiative, which aims to increase FAFSA Completion in Iowa to 70% among high school seniors.
The initiative was launched in September 2016. As part of the initiative, ICAN coordinates FAFSA completion events in which trained volunteers provide free, on-site assistance to students and families in filing the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). The FAFSA is the federally required form for students seeking financial aid for college. Completing the FAFSA is the first and most important step in qualifying for aid. FAFSA Ready Iowa is an Iowa College Goal Sunday program. Click here to learn more about FAFSA Ready Iowa.
To assist counselors, access professionals, and community members in helping students complete the FAFSA, ICAN provides a comprehensive financial aid certification and training program. Learn more about the training program.
This interactive simulation teaches students in eighth through eleventh grades about budgeting based on a real-life scenario of career, education level, salary, marital status and number of children. The Life Store is primarily conducted in a classroom with groups of 20-30 students. With outside grant funding the Life Store can be conducted in an assembly-style format that engages community members from insurance, grocery, banking and other area businesses, allowing students to learn about different life choices directly from the community professionals in those industries.