The Iowa Department of Education and Iowa College Aid have awarded six $50,000 competitive grants to help establish new college and career transition counselor positions that will focus on preparing more high school students for success in college, postsecondary career training and the workforce. Des Moines Area Community College is among the half-dozen Iowa community colleges receiving a grant. The funding will support new college and career transition counselors who will work in partnership with area school districts and their students and families to support career exploration and transitioning to college and career training. The grants will support 13 new college and career transition counselors who will work with students in 22 school districts across the state: ADM, Ames, Ankeny, Boone, Cedar Rapids, Collins-Maxwell, East Marshall, Estherville Lincoln Central, Grinnell-Newburg, Interstate 35, Johnston, Knoxville, Okoboji, Ogden, PCM, Perry, Sioux City, Southeast Polk, Spencer, Van Meter, Waterloo and West Des Moines. “Our research shows that about 1 in 5 high school seniors who intend to start college don’t actually get there,” said Mark Wiederspan, Iowa College Aid’s executive director. “These counseling positions will be crucial to helping more young Iowans follow through on their college plans.” This is the first year of awards. Applications for future three-year grant cycles will be open in 2022 and 2023. More information is available on the Iowa Department of Education’s website.