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?
  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?

    Because we know students’ interests, values, and skills evolve throughout their high school years, MAP is designed to allow students to repeat the same steps each year.  It all begins with the student’s work values and career interests.  Any changes in those will have a cascading impact on everything else that follows, such as choosing a career cluster/pathway/specific career, changing the 4-year plan to reflect the new career choice, selecting a college/university/training program that best fits the new career choice, etc.  (In fact, if students change their responses to the work values and career interest section, MAP requires the student to complete all of the subsequent steps again.) 

    So we encourage students to go back to the beginning each year and repeat all of the steps, including updating their high school cumulative GPA and ACT score in the College and Career Readiness section.  MAP keeps a record of these changes so the student and counselor can see how the student’s career exploration has evolved over the years.

    Finally, please keep in mind that MAP is just a tool to develop the student’s Individual Career and Academic Plan (ICAP).  While students might repeat these same steps each year, our hope is the school will have different types of lesson plans or classroom activities each year which are grade level appropriate. 

    Unfortunately, MAP does not come with a prescribed set of lesson plans or classroom activities.  However, we’re planning to reach out to all the schools across the state who are using MAP and ask if they’d be willing to send us sample lesson plans and classroom activities which they’re using in their own schools.  Then we’ll create a repository of these lesson plans and activities so that any counselor or teacher will be able to access them through the Counselor Portal.