P-20  Education and PathwaysIndividual Career & Academic Plan (ICAP)

When students take ownership of their educational options and connect them to their future, their motivation increases and they progress further. Individual Career & Academic Plans (ICAPs) are plans that students develop to personalize their education in order to meet their learning, earning and living goals. ICAPs provide opportunities to build relevant educational pathways to students’ preferred future careers.

ICAPs guide students in their class choices, encourage students to think about and plan for their futures and provide students with a seamless transition into their postsecondary choices. ICAPs are initiated at the middle school (6th-8th grade) level and are coordinated by school counseling programs. In middle school, students will take the following steps to begin planning for the future:

  • Develop initial ICAP
  • Select clusters of interests and strengths
  • Explore a variety of postsecondary options along with corresponding entrance requirements
  • Register for coursework using ICAP
  • Plan extended learning and extracurricular opportunities using ICAP

After their initial completion, ICAPs are reviewed and updated annually. High school students use the ICAP when registering for courses or planning school activities, extended learning and/or part-time employment. In 9th and 10th grade, students will do the following:

  • Prioritize selected career clusters based on interests and strengths
  • Consider preferred cluster Pathways
  • Identify postsecondary goals
  • Use ICAP to plan school coursework

P-20  Education and Pathways

As students progress through high school, their educational plan becomes more focused. In 11th and 12th grade, students will take the following steps:

  • Choose single career cluster focus
  • Prioritize Pathway preference
  • Determine postsecondary plans and apply for college
  • Explore, understand and prepare for the financial requirements of college, including college loan repayments

ICAPs are flexible. In some instances, students may find their initial career cluster choices are no longer a good fit. This is part of the career development process. If a student finds themselves in this spot, all they need to do is take a look at a plan of study for a new career pathway and update their individual plan. Parental participation and input is encouraged throughout the planning process.



Sample ICAP Template

Sample ICAP Template



Quick Facts

  • Studies show that students with coursework related to career goals tend to have higher educational aspirations and higher self-esteem.
  • On average, students that set career goals are more satisfied with their education than students who are indecisive about their future careers.

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