1994 – Dr. Joan Laughlin, associate dean of human resources and family sciences at the University of Nebraska, brought together deans of human sciences colleges in the Midwest to identify potential partner universities to gage interest in offering a master’s degree together. Seven institutions that took part in this initial meeting would subsequently become founding members Great Plains IDEA.

2000 – The first distance courses were offered in the Family Financial Planning program.

2000 – Eight Great Plains IDEA universities received a three-year FIPSE LAAP* grant to create a policy and practice infrastructure.
*U.S. Department of Education Fund for the Improvement of Post-Secondary Education Learning Anytime Any Place

2001 – The ten founding universities formalized the alliance with bylaws and a memorandum of understanding.

2003 – The finance team created the common price model which was implemented during the fall semester.  Learn more about the common price.

2003 – Faculty and staff began using the “Members Only” restricted web pages to store documents.  This would soon give way to a new website.

2003 – Iowa State University developed the first centralized student information system using a Microsoft Access database that was accessed through a Virtual Privacy Network (VPN).  The Institute for Academic Alliance would later receive a U.S. Department of Education grant that included funds to develop an inter-institutional web-based student information system.  Using the original database as a model, in 2006 K-State’s Office of Mediated Education created a secure web-based system named ExpanSIS. 

2003 – Graduate programs in Gerontology and Youth Development were added.

2004 – The Institute of Academic Alliance (IAA) was established at Kansas State University.

2005 – Graduate programs in Merchandising and Community Development were added.

2006 – Graduate programs in Family & Consumer Sciences Education were added.

2008 – AG IDEA joined the Great Plains IDEA organization, leading to a second board of directors and the formation of the Cabinet.

2008 – A master’s degree in Dietetics was added.

2009 – The Cabinet, responsible for overall policy and direction, convened for the first time.

2010 -- Great Plains IDEA was awarded a grant sponsored by the U.S. Department of Defense and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  The Military Academic Advancement Program (MAAP) provided funding to engage land grant universities in supporting military-connected students. 

Our timeline is under construction!  New information coming soon: the addition of the Family and Community Services progrm and the first bachelor’s program, Early Care & Education in a Mobile Society.

2017 – Great Plains IDEA upgraded to a new website.