Iowa LCAN Bulletin: July 2022

Iowa LCAN Bulletin

Happy start to the new Fiscal Year! We at Iowa College Aid are excited to embark on another year of work as you strive to increase college attainment in your communities. We are excited to be supporting a couple of new initiatives this year and we look forward to fostering new and existing partnerships across the state. 

I recently came across an article in The Washington Post about how first-generation academics continue to decline.* The article poses some interesting ideas about which students seek out career paths with loftier, non-monetary rewards. The suggestion is that some students cannot afford to entertain occupations with non-monetary rewards, while students from wealthy backgrounds have the luxury of pursuing graduate education and professions in academia without being as burdened by immediate monetary considerations. 

This is interesting in a time that we are placing such strong emphasis on the full range of postsecondary opportunities. Credentials, apprenticeships, certifications, 2-year degrees, 4-year degrees and post-graduate degrees are all valid and meaningful postsecondary options. All students should be afforded not only the same opportunity for college attainment, but the same opportunity to dream. How can we ensure that students’ postsecondary intentions are based on their own aspirations, regardless of economic circumstances? How can we balance the task of lifting up all postsecondary options with ensuring that postsecondary intentions are not limited, either overtly or more insidiously, by socioeconomic factors? 

I continue to be inspired by the work you are doing to create opportunities for young people in your communities to dream. I am also convinced that there is so much work left to be done.


- Anne Thomas, Iowa College Aid



FY23 LCAN Grant Announcements

Iowa College Aid has announced the Fiscal Year 2023 Local College Access Network (LCAN) grant awards to funded communities. On July 1, 2022, the agency awarded $468,724 to 11 LCANs around the state. Since 2015, Iowa College Aid has awarded a total of $3,275,597 in LCAN grants to 20 Iowa communities. 

This year, Iowa College Aid offered supplemental support to three LCAN communities that recently finished the multi-year grant series. These awards range from $10,000-$20,000. 

The following represents FY2023 LCAN grant recipients by year*:


*We did not accept new applications in the spring of 2020, so we do not currently have any Year III grantees.


Math Pathways to Success and Mission Possible

La Luz Special College Attainment Project 

We would like to take this opportunity to introduce you to two LCAN initiatives: Math Pathways to Success and Mission Possible - La Luz Special College Attainment Project

Math Pathways to Success has been awarded a Year I LCAN grant for FY23. This is a statewide initiative that focuses on eliminating barriers to college attainment that arise in the transition from high school to postsecondary math courses. Grand View University serves as the fiscal agent for this initiative, which began prior to the LCAN grant, and has strong and established partnerships around the state. Math Pathways to Success will utilize the Collective Impact Model, while revising the traditional coordinator role by sharing coordinator duties amongst multiple staff. This new approach to LCAN coordination will allow this particular initiative to sustain and flourish within the bounds of an existing structure. 

“The Mathematics Pathways Initiative attempts to present an unprecedented opportunity for students to have a seamless experience across K-12 and postsecondary in taking mathematics courses that are aligned with their interests and career goals,” said Sergio Loch, Ph D, Professor of Math and Computer Science at Grand View University. “It will provide students with opportunities to learn and use the essential mathematics topics that will prepare them to be successful at any Iowa post-secondary institutions or be prepared for our state-demanded workforce.”

The Mission Possible - La Luz Special College Attainment Project received Supplemental Support funding to carry on the work of Mission Possible Franklin County through a targeted approach to increasing college attainment amongst Latinx students and community members. This project will serve as an extension of Mission Possible’s original goals through a series of special events and projects such as college fairs, and cultural college visits, and Spanish-only FAFSA assistance designed to engage family members who may have a language barrier. Claudia Rivera, La Luz Centro Cultural Hampton Executive Director and Mission Possible Leadership Team member, is leading the way on this initiative and rallying members of Mission Possible around this project. We are very excited to see the energy behind this initiative, which will continue the work started by Mission Possible, in a targeted and intentional way. 

FY23 Iowa LCAN Coordinator Bi-Weekly Meetings

Iowa College Aid is in the process of building content for FY23 online Bi-Weekly Meetings. Bi-Weekly Meetings began in 2020 and take place every other Thursday morning from 9-10am. Attendance at these meetings is an expectation of grant funds. The Zoom room opens at 8:45 for those who would like to join and converse with their peers ahead of the meeting. 

If YOU have a training topic that you would like included in this year’s schedule of Bi-Weekly Meetings, or you would like to lead a meeting, please email Anne Thomas ( or Megan Sibbel ( with your idea!

Spring 2023 Conference

Iowa College Aid is in the visioning phase for an in-person Iowa LCAN Conference to take place in March 2023. We will be asking that all funded LCANs send a Coordinator and two Leadership Team members to attend. We are excited about having an in-person event and we look forward to bringing you high-caliber, tiered training opportunities based on your level of experience. There will also be plenty of networking and collaboration time with your peers around the state. More information coming soon! 


Training Opportunities

Grant Opportunities


* (Van Dam, Andrew. 2022, July 8. People from elite backgrounds increasingly dominate academia, data shows. The Washington Post.