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Individual Plans of Study (IPS) - Student

In January 2014 the Kansas State Department of Education went to the State Board of Education strongly recommending that all districts implement individual plans of study for students in grades 8 through 12 for the following reasons:

1) Individual plans of study should be considered a “best practice” for districts, can help all Kansas students obtain a suitable vision of their path toward college and career readiness, and will address the gap between the percentage of students enrolling and the percentage of students earning credit during their first year of enrollment in 2- and 4-year postsecondary institutions.

2) Individual plans of study are addressed as part of the “Career Awareness and Guidance” criteria in the current draft version of Kansas’ new accreditation model.

3) The Kansas State Department of Education can provide support to educators, as well as to vendors of student information systems to ensure that individual plans of study are implemented in ways that will be cost-effective and not unreasonably taxing to students or educators.

As students navigate through high school and into career and college, it is imperative that students set educational goals and create a roadmap for success in high school and beyond. This roadmap, or individual plan of study, includes development of a flexible career focus and an education plan that is clearly-defined, rigorous, and relevant to assure a successful and efficient transition to postsecondary education and/or the workforce.

The foundational elements of the individual plan of study are the career interests identified by the student through an authentic career interest survey or assessment. A roadmap based on the student’s interests and talents can then be developed. Other parts of the IPS include graduation requirements, approved coursework for the student's educational and career goals, and developmentally-appropriate, work-based learning experiences.

An IPS is developed cooperatively with the student and the student's counselor, teachers, and family members. The plan is reviewed at least twice annually and is revised as needed.

Final KSDE Recommendation to State Board of Education 

IPS Resources

Kansas Post-Secondary Exploration GuideA resource to help Kansas high school students make post-secondary decisions.PDF

IPS Implementation Toolkit

Alignment of MTSS and CTEHow Career Technical Education looks in a three tiered model.PDF
Career CruisingInterest Inventory 
Career Information ServicesA one-stop shop to assist schools in implementing individual plans of study for every student.Link
Employability Skills: Measuring and Reflecting Student LearningIncludes work sample reflection samples.PDF
Essential Conversations for IPS Success: ResourcesThis is a padlet of resources related to the IPS Roadshow: Essential Conversations for IPS SuccessLink
Family IPS Resource A guide to engage families around a student's IPS from the Kansas Parent Information Resource Center (KPIRC)PDF
Individual Plan of Study (IPS) TemplateA template for schools to use that will allow them to customize their own Individual Plans of Study.PDF
IPS Fact SheetJuly 2020. A quick reference concerning the product and process of IPS in KansasPDF
IPS Implementation Reference Sheet PDF
IPS One Page RubricThe one page rubric is a brief overview of the IPS Implementation Process. 
IPS Rubric (Detailed Version)The IPS Rubric provides a deep review of the implementation process. This tool is useful for reflection on practices to determine where improvement could take place. 
Kansas Career Advising ModelThis document provides schools with guidance relative to implementing a career advising model.PDF
Kansas DegreeStats - Kansas Board of RegentsThis is a resource schools can use when planning post-secondary options.Link
Kansas Individual Plans of Study Implementation NarrativeA document that explains the IPS and offers suggestions as to how to implement it.PDF
March 2017 IPS Implementation Survey ResultsResults from a recent survey of all middle & high schools regarding the level of IPS implementation in each district.Link
MyACTCreate a MyACT account and explore college majors and career paths.Link
NavianceInterest Inventory 
Online Career Interest Inventory ProvidersInterest Inventory 
Promoting Quality ILPs: A "How to "Guide"The How to Guide is as follows: This document was developed by the National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth, (NCWD/Youth), in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Labor, and Boston University. It is designed to serve as a "How toPDF
Suggested Guidance Activities for the Career DomainExamples of classroom activities and guidance lessons that embed the career domain into the chool's curriculum.PDF

ACT, WorkKeys and PreACT 8/9

Benefits of WorkKeys and NCRC CertificatesDescription of benefits for students for WorkKeys results and NCRC Certificates. Additional resources regarding WorkKeys also are included.
Kansas ACT WebpageInformation about the state paid ACT, WorkKeys and PreACT 8/9.

IPS Coordinator
Natalie D. Clark
(785) 296-4916


IPS Lead
Stacy Smith
(785) 296-4351

Deputy Commissioner
Division of Learning Services
Brad Neuenswander
(785) 296-2303

Career, Standards and Assessment

Scott Smith
(785) 296-3142

Assistant Director
Career and Technical Education

Stacy Smith
(785) 296-0979

Assistant Director
Curricular Standards
David Fernkopf
(785) 296-8447

Assistant Director
Beth Fultz
(785) 296-2325

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The Kansas State Department of Education does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, or age in its programs and activities. (more information...)

To accommodate people with disabilities, on request, auxiliary aides and services will be provided and reasonable modifications to policies and programs will be made. To request accommodations or for more information please contact the Office of General Counsel at ogc@ksde.org or by 785-296-3201.