The Iowa Online Advanced Placement Academy (IOAPA) was established in 2001 and is administered by the University of Iowa’s Belin-Blank Center. The program provides advanced placement (AP) courses to all high schools in Iowa with an emphasis on small/rural schools. IOAPA also provides training for Iowa teachers to deliver AP courses in their home schools and is critical in helping Iowa meet the requirements of the Senior Year plus statute.
At the beginning of the 21st century, Iowa’s students were limited in opportunities for AP courses and exams because of the large numbers of rural and small schools. According to the National Center of Education Statistics, 70% percent of public school districts in Iowa are in rural communities. Approximately 42% of all public school districts in the state of Iowa have a K-12 enrollment of 599 or fewer. It is not cost effective to offer AP courses in rural and small schools because of too-small class sizes. As a result, a culture of knowledge about and appreciation for AP continues to be developed in these schools.
In response to the inequitable access to AP coursework, the University of Iowa’s Belin-Blank Center for Gifted Education has made a concerted effort since 2001, through the Iowa Online Advanced Placement Academy (IOAPA), to bring AP and advanced learning opportunities to schools throughout Iowa. IOAPA has a special focus on serving rural and small schools so that Iowa geography does not determine educational opportunity.
Salaries and Benefits: Salaries and benefits are estimated at $133,736 for FY 2021. This includes costs for 1.3 FTE in addition to graduate assistants who provide support to the program.
Supplies and Services: In FY 2021 the budget is estimated at $329,880. Included in this total is travel, curriculum guides for teachers, pre-AP and post-AP curriculum materials, online course contracts, and expenses for mentors and teacher training institutes.
Travel is required for the continuation of local school partnership development, program improvement, pursuit of external funding opportunities, and updates on the cutting edge resources/technology and requirements for the Advanced Placement Program.
Key to IOAPA activities is the purchase of four online products from Apex Learning and Edhesive, leading providers of digital curriculum for secondary education. The company’s comprehensive, standards-based online courses help schools successfully engage all students in rigorous coursework and prepare them for high school graduation and beyond.