Welcome to MAP

My Academic Plan (MAP) is a career exploration and decision making system created by Iowa State University for Iowa's middle and high school students. MAP has been approved by the Iowa Department of Education for meeting the state board standards as outlined in 281 – Iowa Administrative Code chapter 49.6(3).

Offered free of charge to every school district in Iowa, MAP guides students through a series of steps which allows them to:

  1. Identify their own unique interests, work values, and skills through simple online inventories.
  2. Explore career options which best match their interests, work values, and skills.
  3. Plan their high school course schedule with their career goals in mind.
  4. Explore college majors or training programs which prepare them for their intended career, and then identify a college or training program which best fits them.

MAP is not a one-time exercise! Because students go through many changes in grades 8-12, MAP is designed for students to return frequently to reassess their own interests, values, and skills; to re-explore career options; and to update their academic information as they progress through each term of high school. MAP even sends automated email messages to students encouraging them to return and update their information.

MAP provides students with multiple resources for improving their:

  • GPA
  • ACT scores
  • scholarship eligibility
  • college and career readiness
  • employability

MAP also provides helpful information concerning scholarships, financial aid, and military/vocational/apprenticeship options.

All of your high school's courses are already pre-loaded into MAP, and short videos appear throughout the system to guide students through each step:

MAP Video Overview

Nearly every step throughout the MAP system contains video icons similar to the icons below. Each of these icons represents an informational video pertaining to the step at hand, and assists students in navigating and understanding the system.

Click on the video icons below to view MAP in action.

General Overview (00:06:22) MAP general overview

Recorded Live Demo (00:52:03) MAP recorded live demo


  1. What is the MAP Counselor Portal?
  2. How is access granted to the MAP Counselor Portal?
  3. Has MAP been approved by the Iowa Department of Education?
  4. As the high school principal, what should I do if I receive a request for access to our high school students' MAP information from a middle school staff member?
  5. As a middle school staff member, should I request access to the high school?
  6. Why did Iowa State University create the MAP system?
  7. Will there be any cost to our district for using the MAP system?
  8. Our district has already contracted with one of the approved vendors. Can we use the MAP system now to compare it to our current system and possibly switch to MAP in the future?
  9. How is MAP able to pre-load all of our high school's courses?
  10. What grade levels are appropriate for the MAP system?
  11. How does our district begin using MAP?
  12. Can we add new courses, delete old courses, or edit some of the current courses listed in MAP?
  13. What are the technical requirements for using MAP?
  14. As a counselor or administrator, how will I be able to see our students' work in MAP, and what will I be able to see?
  15. What type of reports will be MAP system be able to generate for our district?
  16. What type of technical support is available for MAP?
  17. Does MAP require a specific type of browser?
  18. Does MAP include specific activities for each grade level?

    MAP is not organized into grade levels.  Rather, MAP is designed to guide students through a series of progressive steps:

    1. Exploring your values, interests, and skills.
    2. Identifying a career which best matches those values, interests, and skills.
    3. Planning your high school courses based upon the career pathway that interests you most.
    4. Exploring your college/career readiness.
    5. Exploring your options beyond high school by selecting a college major or training program, and then selecting an institution which offers your major or training program.

    While teachers may choose to spread these steps out over multiple terms, MAP is actually designed for students to go through the entire system in one term. 

    However, MAP is not a one-time exercise!  We know your students’ interests and abilities are constantly changing as they grow, as is the world of work around them.  Your students who complete the MAP system will receive occasional email messages while they are progressing through high school encouraging them to keep returning to MAP to:

    • Re-take the values, interests, and skills inventories
    • Re-explore their career and post-high school training options based upon their shifting values, interests, and skills
    • Update their high school course plan based upon any changes in their career goals
    • Update their academic information at the end of each term to see how this has impacted their college/career readiness
  19. How do I tailor MAP to the amount of time we have for our career exploration unit? Does it come with specific lesson plans?
  20. Technical Issue: What should I do if some of the links within the MAP system are not working?
  21. How do my students create their MAP account?
  22. This is our second year of using MAP, what should our students be doing this year?