*Do not complete the Career Academy Incentive Fund (CAIF) Iowa Grants Application unless you have been officially awarded a CAIF grant.*
Career Academy Incentive Fund
The Career Academy Incentive Fund was created through the reauthorization of the Secure an Advanced Vision for Education (SAVE) fund in 2019. It provides targeted grants to support partnerships between school districts and community colleges that expand access to career academy programs, with a focus on programming delivered through regional centers. Annually, the Iowa Department of Education will award grants of up to $1 million for projects that best meet the criteria specified in statute (the number of grants issued will be based on the amount of available funds and types of applications received).
To be eligible, applications must include one school district and one community college. Proposals for new career academies delivered collaboratively between multiple school districts and a community college through a regional center will receive priority consideration.
Regional Center: A regional center is a facility for the delivery of career and technical education programming.
Regional centers must:
- Provide access to at least four career academy programs.
- Serve either a combined minimum of 120 students from at least two school districts or a minimum of four school districts.
Career Academy: According to the Iowa statute, career academies are career-oriented programs of study that link secondary career and technical education to a postsecondary education program.
The career academy concept has three key elements:
- Concurrent enrollment coursework where students earn both high school and college credit upon successful completion of community college coursework.
- A sequence of coursework with a career theme which provides an appropriate foundation for entrance into the postsecondary program.
- Strong partnerships between employers, school districts, higher education institutions and the community.