Oklahoma City, OK-– As Oklahoma high school students return to the classroom this month, they will participate in an initiative helping them prepare for life after graduation. For the third consecutive year, all incoming freshmen in Oklahoma public schools will begin a four-year Individual Career Academic Planning (ICAP) process.
ICAP guides students through a variety of academic and career development activities to create a personalized roadmap for each student to use when navigating college, career or military plans after high school.
In ICAP’s first year of implementation, Oklahoma students participated in more than 10,000 courses related to Advanced Placement, career technology education, concurrent enrollment and internships/pre-apprenticeships. This number represents a 12 percent increase over prior years.
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister said ICAP helps students develop individual goals and create a vision for their future.
“The successes we’re seeing with ICAP show that it is far more than a graduation requirement,” she said. “It represents a culture shift in how schools think about preparing students for the future and it puts students in the driver’s seat.”
Marissa Lightsey, executive director of college and career readiness for the Oklahoma State Department of Education, said the ICAP process actively engages students and helps them to understand their own interests, strengths and learning styles. She added that school districts have created partnerships with businesses, CareerTech centers and universities to provide accelerated career pathways for students.
“ICAP helps students and their families learn about career development opportunities and helps them understand the education and training required for students to meet their personal career goals,” Lightsey said.
A 2021 survey of Oklahoma high school educators showed that more than 90 percent of educators felt ICAP had a positive effect on a student’s hope for their future.
Lyndsay Watts, ICAP Coordinator at Enid High School, said she enjoys helping students learn about different careers.
“I love getting to research with them when they come across a career they have never heard of,” she said. “Many of them adjust their plans as we research more in depth within each career cluster.”
Jessi Masterson, exploration coach in the Center for Major and Career Exploration at the University of Oklahoma, said she is excited about the growth of ICAP in Oklahoma.
“ICAP is creating a space for students to understand their interests, connect to careers and have affirming experiences with those careers,” Masterson said. “It makes them ready to make more confident decisions.”
So far, more than 350,000 career assessments have been completed by Oklahoma high school students. For more information, visit www.okedge.com.
Additional information is available at: www.sde.ok.gov/sites/default/files/documents/files/ICAP-Snapshot_web15196%20%281%29.pdf