The Imagine America Foundation (IAF), formerly the Career College Foundation, was established in 1982 as the research, scholarship and training provider for the nation's career colleges. IAF's mission is to:
- Establish scholarship award and grant programs.
- Demonstrate the value of specialized career education and improve public understanding of the role of career colleges and schools.
- Prepare reports and other up-to-date information on various aspects of career education for the use of schools, educators, researchers, government officials and the public.
- Conduct technical studies and surveys, either directly or by grant, dealing with the technical, legal, administrative and economic aspects of career education.
- Present instructional opportunities for career school staff training and development.
- Recognize individuals and organizations for their outstanding contributions to the field of career education.
IAF sponsors various scholarship and award programs, including:
- Imagine America®, for graduating high school students.
- Imagine America Military Award Program, for active duty, reservist, or honorably discharged U.S. military veterans.
- Imagine America Adult Skills Education Program (ASEP), for adult learners.
More than $110 million in scholarships and awards have been provided for career college and university students! In addition to the Imagine America scholarship and award programs, IAF also coordinates special award programs like the Lifetime Achievement Award, which honors achievements of career educators in the postsecondary sector.
IAF sponsors research that elevates the public’s understanding of the vital role of career colleges and their students nationwide. The Foundation, through financial support from the 21st Century Workforce Fund, has initiated research including our annual Fact Book: A Profile of Career Colleges and Universities, Graduating At-Risk Students: A Cross-Sector Analysis (2009-10), Filling America's Skilled Worker Shortage: the Role of Career Colleges (2008), and Economic Impact of America’s Career Colleges (2007).