• The January 2015 Report Falling Short? College Learning and Career Success by the Association of American Colleges and Universities highlights the discrepancy between students’ and employers’ views on job readiness. Read more.

    To help close the gap between what the business needs and education delivers, IEE has formed a strategic partnership with The Robert D. and Billie Ray Center at Drake University. We work together to develop and deliver a range of instructional, professional development, and assessment resources in support of the following capability platforms of:


    Employability Skills are the behaviors above and beyond technical skills that enable employees to function in teams, to develop leadership skills, to ‘sell’ their ideas to others, to develop business acumen, and so forth.

    Innovation Excellence calls for re-framing of the collective thinking about invention and innovation in which the culture of innovation and collaboration for innovation are becoming critical.

    Read more about STEM 2.0.

  • Excellence with Integrity:

    21st Century and STEMconnector® 2.0 Career Readiness Instructional Resources are available for use in a classroom, certification, or other course-type applications, as well as internships, on-the-job trainings, and similar practicum-type structures and experiences.


    Facilitator Guides distill the latest research — including topics on social and emotional development, positive psychology, and resiliency — on the core workforce competencies, and introduce replicable strategies, applied practice and real-world simulation activities for coaching on the targeted skills.

    Student Workbooks feature class activities for skill development, followed by strategies for self-reflection, goal setting, and monitoring one’s progress.

    The Internship and Practicum Handbook shares knowledge about targeted competencies in a professional journal article format, with links to relevant videos, articles, or books for expanded learning; guides practice for skill development with replicable strategies, and introduces Optimal Performance™ assessment instruments for self-reflection and mentor coaching on the simulated or real-world implementation of the targeted skills.

  • Implementation Partnerships

    IEE and The Ray Center partnered with a consortium of the leading employers in the state of Iowa to design and implement the Human Capital Survey. Aligned with 21st Century and STEMconnector® 2.0 Career Readiness competencies, the survey has now gathered two years worth of data for the Greater Des Moines Partnership, its 22 chamber affiliates and 4,700 business organizations.

    Funded in part by philanthropic support form Hy-Vee Inc., the partnership of IEE, The Ray Center, and the Iowa Area Education Agencies has made available the school version of the Excellence with Integrity curriculum to every K-12 Iowa school at no cost via AEA PD Online and the Iowa Personalized Learning System. This curriculum is also available to education organizations outside of Iowa on a low-cost fee-for-service basis.

    A partnership collaboration with Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) has resulted in the development and field-testing of the Leadership Excellence at DMACC - the LEAD program. LEAD utilizes Excellence with Integrity: 21st Century and STEMconnector® 2.0 Career Readiness curricular resources in a variety of programs and learning environments. Field testing has proved successful in degree programs, internship seminars and technical skill certification programs.

    The following video clip shares experiences of the LEAD participants. Use password ‘dmacc’ to access.

    DMACC STEM Video from Silver Shutter Productions on Vimeo.

  • Here is what they are saying:

    “The rigorous and research-based, yet practical and user-friendly, Excellence with Integrity resources provide our instructors engaging educational knowledge that they can easily adapt for integration in their work. This cutting-edge educational experience, we believe, affords our students an advantage in their formation and workplace marketability through real-world development of the essential career readiness skills. More than a course or a curriculum, the EWI Knowledge, Tools, and Strategies can be used every day—in and out of the classroom. I am particularly impressed with the engagement and enthusiasm of our faculty in delivering this curriculum and their success in engaging students in STEMConnector STEM2.0 Capabiliy Platforms.”

    ~ President Rob Denson, Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC)

    “It has been such an exciting journey working with the team from the Institute for Excellence & Ethics, The Robert D. and Billie Ray Center, and the DMACC faculty on this curriculum. Employers tell us they need employees with critical professionalism skills and this program helps us to respond to that challenge. Faculty report that by implementing these practical and engaging exercises in the classroom it has completely changed the dynamics of the learning experience: student are communicating and problem solving with each other, working in teams, and using the tools to set challenging and meaningful goals as they transition into the workforce.”

    ~ Karen Stiles, Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC), Business/Student Connections Consultant

    The Excellence with Integrity instructional framework is “in direct alignment with the Iowa Business Council's focus on Education and Workforce Readiness calling for the preK-16 education system to promote excellence and ethics in all aspects of performance and moral character strengths needed for 21st Century skills.”

    ~ Elliott Smith, Executive Director of the Iowa Business Council

    IEE career readiness materials “proved timely and on target with practical strategies our students understood and could easily utilize… the students really connected with [IEE] message.“

    ~ Eileen Baldassarre, CSTEP Coordinatory, SUNY ESF

  • To order Excellence with Integrity Career Readiness resources please call 315-692-8054 or email us.