Outstanding College- and Career-Ready Efforts Recognized
Iowa Department of Education Director Jason Glass today celebrated a group of Iowans who exemplify or have advanced the goal of getting all students to graduate from high school ready for success in college and the workplace.
The Iowa College and Career Readiness honorees were recognized during the State Board of Education meeting. The recognition program launched this year through a partnership with ACT, Inc. The annual program recognizes the exemplary efforts of one student, one school, one community college, and one employer in Iowa.
“We must look beyond making sure all students get a high school diploma and ensure they are prepared with the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in postsecondary education and training,” Glass said. “The quality of our workforce, and ultimately, the quality of life in Iowa, depends on it. Given the demands of our competitive global marketplace, our young people must be ready to apply their learning to complex situations, to solve problems, to communicate effectively, and to work well on teams.”
Honorees were selected by teams from the Iowa Department of Education and Iowa’s community colleges using a variety of criteria. The honorees are:
- Student Readiness Award: Hannah Hayden, a senior at Indianola High School, has demonstrated top academic performance, growth and progress on assessments since middle school, and consistent leadership in school and community activities.
- High School Preparation Award: At Iowa City High School, preparation for postsecondary success starts in ninth grade. The school’s commitment to high expectations and student leadership has paid off with increasing graduation rates, average ACT scores in the top 3 percent statewide, and growing participation in Advanced Placement courses and exams.
- Career Preparedness Award: Kirkwood Community College is a leader in innovative approaches to student career preparedness. The college also works to improve economic strength and quality of life in eastern Iowa through efforts to increase graduation and certificate completion, as well as partnerships with employers, economic development groups, and educational institutions.
- Workplace Success Award: Vermeer Corporation works to connect with areas of education and government to address workforce and industry challenges. This work includes connecting other area employers with local high schools to address skills shortages, as well as partnerships with community colleges to develop and refine programs to fit the skills needed for workplace success.
“This recognition program highlights the critical work that is invested not only in the future of our high school graduates, but also in the future of our communities and our state,” Glass said.
Iowa was one of seven states invited to organize a state recognition program as part of a national ACT campaign to celebrate achievement and create awareness of the goal of college and career readiness for all.
“We are excited to stand with states to recognize leaders in advancing or embodying successful readiness for college and career,” said Jon Whitmore, chief executive officer of ACT. “More exciting is that each state announcement is just one component of a campaign that will highlight college and career readiness efforts across the education and workforce continuum.”
A national selection committee made up of education and workforce development leaders reviewed state honorees in April to select one honoree per category for national recognition. Recipients will be announced at the ACT National Gala on College and Career Readiness in Washington, D.C. on May 21.