Regional career and technical education planning partnerships (RPPs) are established to assist school districts in providing an effective, efficient, and economical means of delivering high-quality secondary career and technical education programs. Achieving equitable access to high-quality CTE programming for all students requires a strong, consistent commitment to collaboration and regional partnerships on the part of all education stakeholders across the state including secondary, postsecondary, community, and business partners. By sharing capital, resources, and talent, with the goal of establishing and providing students with consistent access to high-quality CTE programs, RPPs play an active and prominent role in the planning and delivery of Iowa Quality CTE programming within their region.

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Role of RPPs

  • Provide for the active participation of local school districts and community colleges in the delivery of career and technical education in the region.
  • Provide for the participation of representatives of business and industry and representatives of sector partnerships and community stakeholders.
  • Promote career and college readiness through thoughtful career guidance and purposeful academic and technical planning practices.
  • Promote high-quality, integrated career and technical education programs of study, including career academies, comprised of secondary preparatory and transitory coursework to prepare students for higher-level, specialized academic and technical training aligned with labor market needs.
  • Afford students the opportunity to access a spectrum of high-quality work-based learning experiences through collaboration with a work-based learning intermediary network.
  • Provide for increased and equitable access to high-quality career and technical education programs through the planning and development of a system of regional centers.
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RPP Responsibilities

  • Ensure compliance with standards adopted by the board for regional career and technical education planning partnerships.
  • Develop a multi-year plan addressing the delivery of quality of career and technical education programs by school districts that is updated annually and submitted to the Bureau of Career and Technical Education.
  • Secure collaboration with secondary schools, postsecondary educational institutions, and employers to ensure the creation of high-quality career and technical education programming, for students that aligns career guidance, twenty-first century career and technical academic curricula, and work-based learning opportunities that empower students to be successful learners and practitioners.
  • Review career and technical education programs of school districts within the region based on standards adopted by the Board of Education, and recommending CTE programs to the Department for approval through a program self-study process.
  • Coordinate and facilitate local advisory council for career and technical education programs.  As necessary, establish regional advisory councils to serve in the same capacity as local advisory councils.
  • Plan for regional centers with the purpose of achieving equitable access to high-quality career and technical education programming and concurrent enrollment opportunities for all students.
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RPP Membership, Meetings & Funding


  • The superintendent of a school district within the regional planning partnership, or the superintendent’s designee.
  • The president of a community college within the regional planning partnership, or the president’s designee.
  • The chief administrator of an area education agency within the RPP, or the chief administrator’s designee.
  • Representatives of a regional work-based learning intermediary network.
  • Representatives of regional economic and workforce entities including regional advisory boards established under section 84A.4.
  • Representatives of business and industry, including representatives of regional industry sector partnerships established pursuant to section 260H.7B.
  • Career and technical education teachers and faculty.


Meetings are the joint responsibility of the area education agency and the community college located with the region and must occur, at minimum, twice per year.  Stakeholders from each member district of the partnership are to be included in the meetings.


RPP funds may be used to convene, lead, and staff the RPP, offer CTE professional development opportunities, coordinate and maintain a career guidance system and purchase equipment and certain consumable supplies on behalf of school district and community college participating in the RPP.  Prioritizing expenditures is the responsibility of the RPP.  Accounting guidance for RPP provides general directions regarding the accounting of Secondary CTE RPP funds.

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Regional Centers

“Place” matters when delivering high-quality advanced CTE coursework. Maximizing the impact of collaboration and regional planning requires a “place” that is able to deliver high-quality advanced CTE coursework by internalizing the high capital costs to cohesively offer structured programming and garner the necessary, yet scarce, teacher and other professional talent so that all students in Iowa are able to consistently access high-quality advanced CTE coursework all across Iowa. Regional centers have proven to be an effective means of delivering high-quality advanced CTE programs to high school students, especially in rural communities.

Regional centers must be a product of regional collaboration and partnerships. Secondary, postsecondary, community, and business partners must collectively agree to arrangements which take into consideration the unique circumstances of their institutions and communities. A regional center shall comply with standards adopted by the board and shall consist of minimum of four career academies.  A regional center shall be compatible with development of a statewide system of regional centers serving all students.  A regional center shall serve either of the following:

  1. A combined minimum of one hundred twenty students from no fewer than two school districts.
  2. A minimum of four school districts.

Regional centers should establish integrated CTE curriculum based on career pathways with thoughtful career guidance as well as meaningful work-based learning experiences that give practicality to an integrated curriculum. The Career Academy Incentive Fund is a competitive opportunity for regions to gain funding for regional centers.

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