Current GP-IDEA programs

Current online graduate programs offered through GP-IDEA at ISU include:

Dietetics Master of Family and Consumer Science

Family Financial Planning Master of Family and Consumer Sciences

Family Financial Planning Certificate

Financial and Housing Counseling Certificate

Gerontology Master of Family and Consumer Sciences

Gerontology Certificate

Youth Development Master of Family and Consumer Sciences

Youth Development Specialist Certificate

Youth Program Management and Evaluation Certificate

Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance (GP-IDEA) is a consortium of universities that have come together to offer fully online degree programs. Each university brings a unique strength to the multi-institution academic programs.

GP-IDEA university members provide access to the best educational opportunities by collaboratively developing and delivering high-quality, fully online academic programs in high-demand professional fields.

How it works

Who teaches the courses?

The courses in these programs are taught by the same instructors who teach on campus at the participating universities (regardless of where you are admitted). Curriculum is specially adapted for the online environment to ensure students receive the same quality education as they would experience on campus.

How/when do students participate?

Course schedules are determined by the teaching institution, but do not have set class times, allowing students to access course content when it is convenient for them. Students meet deadlines as outlined by the instructor and interact with instructors and other students through email, chats discussion boards, and other interactive methods.

Where do students enroll?

For online GP-IDEA degree programs, you apply and are admitted to Iowa State University, enroll in all your courses at ISU, and graduate or receive a certificate from ISU. Your online courses are taught by the best faculty in each discipline, across GP-IDEA alliance universities, including ISU.

What do graduates have to say?

Information collected in 2012 from graduates of the MFCS Youth Development program showed:

  • The majority of students found a new job opportunity and/or salary increase upon graduation from the program. 

  • Graduates have found work in the nonprofit sector, supervisory roles, research, tenure track position, and extension to name a few areas.
  • Students identify that they work in education, government, and social services/human services fields. 

  • The majority of students are working full time and worked full time while earning their masters degree.

Feedback from ISU MFCS - Youth Development graduates

“I have the same position, but an increased salary as a result of my degree.”
“I was able to enter a tenure-track position on completion of my masters, changing my academic rank from Adjunct Instructor to Assistant Professor.”
“This program has allowed several doors to open for me. I am a professor at the local junior college, and I have my own youth development summer program for 100 children in the local area involving agriculture and where their food comes from.”
“This degree program played a significant role in my ability to make a case to be promoted to senior staff status within my organization. My promotion was approved and I will receive an additional $2,500 raise this fall and new title. “
“I fully support this program and what it does for working professionals.”
“I have taken many skills from this program and developed my own YD program in my area. My program has been very successful and have a wait list every summer. This summer will be five years I have been directing my own summer program.” 
“This was an excellent program. Thank you!”
“I have repeatedly recommended this program to colleagues. I appreciate the rigor, flexibility and general course quality.”
“Thanks to all the professors that have worked so hard to put this program together. My education is still on the forefront of where youth development programs are in our society. I was one of the first 6 students to graduate from this program.”


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