MAP-Works® (Making Achievement Possible)

A comprehensive student retention and success program designed for first-year students utilized by Iowa State University (ISU) since Fall 2008.

MAP-Works® is a survey administered beginning the third week of the fall semester to help new freshmen assess their transition into college including questions about their college expectations and experiences. This survey integrates four components together including:

  • Student characteristics (gender, entrance exam scores, high school GPA)
  • Academic integration (self-efficacy, academic behaviors, commitment)
  • Self-assessed skills (communication, time management, stress), and
  • Social integration (peer connections, living environment, roommates, homesickness).

MAP-Works Implementation Timeline 2014 

  • Classes begin: Monday, August 25, 2014
  • MAP-Works launch date: Wednesday, September 10, 2014
  • Last day for incentivized completion: Friday, October 3, 2014
  • Last day the survey is open: Friday, October 31, 2014


Benefits for Students

  • Identify areas in which they are struggling
  • Normalizes their experience with comparison to peers
  • Offers suggested ISU resources and invested personnel at ISU that could help

Next Steps: Students can learn more about how they can can participate in MAP-Works by visiting:


Benefits to Faculty and Staff:

  • Identify at-risk students early in their first semester
  • Provides ‘talking points’ and referrals for both students and faculty/staff to utilize
  • Proactively address student’s concerns rather than reactively (using midterm or final course grades)
  • Prioritize time by intervening with those presenting the greatest need first
  • Able to know information about the student before he/she enters your office
Next Steps: Consider attending a MAP-Works training geared towards faculty and staff. These trainings will specifically cover how to incorporate MAP-Works information into the classroom or advising appointments. In the following pages, faculty and staff can find information on the following subjects:

MAP-Works Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

MAP-Works Foundations Document


If you have any questions, feel free to contact:

Keith Robinder, Ph.D., Associate Dean of Students
Rachel Wagner Ed.D., Associate Director Residence