Iowa Department of Education awarded over $330,000 in AmeriCorps funding to support postsecondary access and success

DES MOINES — The Iowa Department of Education announced that it was awarded $330,843 in competitive grant funding from AmeriCorps, the federal national service and volunteerism agency. The grant will fund and expand Iowa’s successful “Course to College” postsecondary education coaching program through its Bureau of Iowa College Aid, which has supported high school and college students in accessing and succeeding in postsecondary education since 2017.

“Course to College coaches and peer mentors support students across Iowa year-round in pursuing multiple pathways to postsecondary success,” said Iowa Department of Education Director McKenzie Snow. “Leveraging purposeful education-community partnerships, AmeriCorps volunteers in twenty-nine Iowa school districts and community colleges are helping provide students what they need to meet high expectations and realize their incredible potential.”

The grant will support nearly 70 AmeriCorps members serving as Student Leaders and Course to College Coaches, as well as Iowa high school counselors serving as Summer Transition Associates over the summer months. Student Leaders are high school seniors who support their peers’ postsecondary aspirations while Course to College Coaches provide in-person and virtual assistance to help students navigate the college application and financing process. They also help plan and execute career and college-going events in their schools, such as Application Day, Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) completion events, and Decision Day celebrations, which include students’ decisions to enter into military service, registered apprenticeships, certificate programs and two- and four-year colleges and universities.

School counselors who serve as Summer Transition Associates focus on helping students complete the FAFSA and ensure that students who have applied for and been accepted into college or other postsecondary pathways successfully enroll in those programs and attend at the start of the program.

“This continuation grant is a testament to the proven track record of success that the Course to College Coaching program has established in helping Iowans prepare for and pursue postsecondary education,” said David Ford, Iowa College Aid Bureau Chief. “We look forward to continuing to support students throughout the college-going process in schools and communities across Iowa.”

AmeriCorps State and National annually engages more than 65,000 Americans in intensive service. AmeriCorps members in the AmeriCorps State and National program receive a modest living allowance, health care and childcare. At the successful completion of each service term, members earn a Segal AmeriCorps Education Award to repay qualified student loans and to pay current educational expenses at eligible institutions of higher education and training programs.

Learn more about the College Access and Success AmeriCorps program and how to get involved on the Department of Education’s website.

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