Colorado’s Individual Career and Academic Plan (ICAP)
What is ICAP?
Colorado’s Individual Career and Academic Plan (ICAP) Initiative was enacted into law during the 2009 Legislative Session. Pursuant to SB 09-256, the State Board of Education is required to establish ICAP standards for students enrolled in public schools in the state. The intent of this provision in the legislation is to ultimately decrease dropout rates and increase graduation rates by assisting students in developing and maintaining a personalized postsecondary and workforce readiness (PWR) plan for success.
An ICAP should be designed to assist a student and his or her parent or legal guardian in exploring the postsecondary career and educational opportunities available to the student, aligning coursework and curriculum, applying to postsecondary education institutions, securing financial aid and ultimately entering the workforce.
When students take ownership of their educational options and connect them to their future, their motivation increases, and they progress further. ICAP’s are plans that students develop to personalize their education in order to meet their learning, earning, and living goals. ICAP’s guide students in their class choices, encourage students to think about and plan for their futures, and provide students with a seamless transition into their postsecondary choices. ICAP’s are initiated at the middle school (6th-8thgrade) level and are coordinated by school counseling programs. In middle school, students will take the following steps to begin planning for the future:
- Develop initial ICAP
- Select clusters of interests and strengths
- Explore a variety of post-secondary options along with corresponding entrance requirements
- Plan extended learning and extracurricular opportunities using ICAP
- Set Smart Goals