The purpose of The Center is to develop Iowa’s capacity to leverage learner-centered, personalized, and competency-based ecosystems as pathways to future readiness.

The Center facilitates networks of educators and community-based stakeholders who have a passion for meeting students where they are to co-create rigorous, authentic learning experiences.

The statewide work we support includes

  • Iowa's College and Career Ready Definition
  • Area Education Agency Compact's Postsecondary Success Pledge
  • The Governor's Future Ready Iowa Initiative
  • AEA PREP (Postsecondary Readiness and Equity Partnership)

Who are we?

The Center is made up of passionate educators and partners from around the state, including those who are members of:

Together we will put students at the center as co-designers and co-owners of their learning; we are a center of resources, expertise, training, and innovation in the area of personalized ecosystems; and we will keep Iowa at the center of the shift to a learner-centered paradigm.

Click here to learn more about some of our partners.


How might we help your transition to a learner-centered system?

  • Consultation
    • Principles of learner-centered ecosystems
    • Personalized learning and PLCs
    • School structures
    • School improvement planning
    • Portrait of a graduate development
  • Training in learner-centered...
    • instructional practices and frameworks
    • ecosystems (voice, choice, engagement, motivation, purpose, ownership, self-efficacy)
    • methodology: blended learning, project-based learning, design thinking
    • assessment practices (authentic, performance-based, scaled, co-designed)
  • Personalized, job-embedded, professional learning design with teacher leaders for their teachers’ IPDPs or coaching cycles
  • System-level or teacher-level self-assessments
  • Partnerships across your AEA region and beyond


What we are discovering...

Kirkwood Community College hosted the April 2017 Competency-based Education Collaborative and created this video to share some of what we are discovering about how CBE is changing the face of education:

Who is exploring personalized learning or competency-based education in Iowa?

The current landscape analysis regarding the efforts of educational institutions and their partners to create student-centered, personalized learning environments is opaque. By having a centralized leadership organization in Iowa, educators will have access to resources, training, and connections across Iowa and throughout the country with the Center’s partnerships with the ILN, CCSSO, and AIR. Additionally, members of the Leadership Council will serve as Leads in Center Satellite hubs, growing local innovation through statewide resources and a community of practice to support continuous improvement. To provide a visual of these interdependencies, the Center will gather implementation data from across the state to create a map for educators to see growth in these areas as well as to network with colleagues, business partners, and communities to foster anytime, anywhere learning with students at the center.

If you do not see your school or district represented on this map, please contact us to let us know about your system!

Note: Stars indicate Iowa CBE Collaborative districts; teal flags indicate personalized and/or competency-based practices are occurring in at least one school in these districts; green flags with the book icon indicate IHE leadership emerging in personalized and/or competency-based practices.

As Iowa’s students prepare to be successful citizens in a rapidly changing global community, it is imperative that Iowa’s educational systems increase personalized approaches to learning. A key shift in students being prepared for the unpredictability of technological advancements and jobs that do not yet exist today is the ability to be agents of their own learning.

Learner-centered education has at its core a focus on self-direction; co-construction of knowledge, skills, and understanding; and deep learning competencies that prepare students to transition successfully beyond the brick and mortar of schools.