Multiple Education Pathways


In 2007, the Greater Des Moines Partnership reported that central Iowa might experience a shortfall of 60,000 workers over the next decade. Later that same year, a group of community leaders began working together to examine the services, governance, policy and climate of greater Des Moines in regards to a targeted population of struggling and out of school students ages 14 to 24. The concerned Des Moines "partners" applied for Multiple Education Pathways Blueprint (MEPB) funding and began drafting an action plan to address the problem.

The Blueprint for Success is the product of a full year of work, during which community partners explored the scope of the problem, learned more about the reasons for student failure and dropout, and obtained a deeper understanding of the current service system - and gaps in that system. The end result was the committee's recommendations of the top 5 community-wide priorities and goals of those priorities which are outlined in the Blueprint for Success.

Community Priorities

  • Creation of early warning and intervention systems, development of a centralized resource and referral intermediary, and data sharing among community stakeholders.
  • Community involvement in development of multiple pathways to high school graduation—to include youth, business and youth-serving organizations.
  • Coordinate efforts to align education (K-16) and community service providers with Central Iowa Works.
  • Create public awareness of the dropout crisis and the need for intervention.
  • Involve school and community leadership with policy and reform that promotes and develops multiple pathways to high school graduation for our young people.

Next Steps

The MEPB leadership team and the DMACC Center for Community & Workforce Partnerships are currently providing oversight for the programs that have been established to meet the recommended community priority goals. The committee is in the process of developing a "score card" for each program so that the community may assess how well the programs are meeting the identified priorities and goals.

For more information, please contact:
Dr. Mary Chapman, Vice President, at 515-697-7701 or Marlana Schnell, Team Lead, at