Iowa Council for the Social Studies

Mission Statement
ICSS promotes, supports and provides leadership to improve social studies education

Vision Statement
​Our vision is to be the premier organization of Iowa Social Studies professionals, ensuring that all students have a high quality Social Studies education.

2023 ICSS Conference 

Conference Schedule at a Glance

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Participant registration:

The 2023 ICSS Fall Conference, ""Standing Up for Social Studies."," is scheduled for Monday, October 16th at the Graduate Hotel in Iowa City. 

Graphic Novelist Tim Smyth named Keynote Speaker for Fall Conference

Tim Smyth is a high school social studies educator of more than 20 years who travels the country giving professional development on the power of teaching with comics. Tim has been a part of a global online comics in education program through the US State Department, uniting students through pop culture and shared experiences. He has been published by many outlets sharing his experiences in the classroom and also shares many of his resources on his website, In July 0f 2022, his first book was published from Routledge - Teaching With Comics and Graphic Novels. Additionally, he works with publishers, such as Scholastic, MacMillan, and PBS to create teacher guides and curriculum. In his work with educators, Smyth has also facilitated coursework through the University of Pennsylvania Graduate Studies program, using his book as the core text. Tim is a true comics in education evangelist, knowing the importance of this medium as his own three nerdy kids have come to love all things literacy through comics.

Questions? Contact ICSS at

Iowa Journal for the Social Studies - Summer Issue

Iowa Journal for the Social Studies Summer 31(2).pdf

Questions? Contact ICSS at

Why Join ICSS?

  • ICSS Newsletter shared electronically each month during the school year, provides timely information regarding ICSS, lesson ideas, tips and opportunities for Iowa social studies teachers.
  • ICSS Annual Conference provides professional development in Social Studies curriculum and instruction.
  • To represent the social studies profession.  
  • Advocacy tips
  • Questions?? Contact Kelsey Hudson at 
Join us

   ICSS has been recognized as a Gold Star Council by the National Council for Social Studies

This recognition was based on the following criteria:

1. Have democratic procedures for the election of officers.
2. Have demonstrated professional activity, such as workshops, conferences, and generally, programs that promote the social studies within their region.
3. Have actively participated in NCSS programs, such as brokering, submitting nominations for NCSS awards, attendance at the Summer Leadership Institute and legislative networking .
4. Have actively participated in social studies legislative advocacy efforts at state and/or at Federal level by: responding to NCSS legislative advocacy calls, disseminating calls to council members, building relationships with legislators,
having an active legislative liaison, and developing a legislative advocacy plan.

5. Have contributed to NCSS fundraising efforts, such as the First Timer Scholarship Fund for the NCSS Annual Conference, the Fund for the Advancement of Social Studies Education, or the Christa McAuliffe "Reach for the Stars" Award Fund
6. Have 100% NCSS membership of council officers.
7. Have a specific plan for increasing NCSS membership in their state and underrepresented groups in their council.
8. Have shown an increase in the number of joint members.
9. Submit affiliation materials by deadline.

Image left: ICSS Executive board members Catherine Mein and Todd Hospodarsky accept the Iowa Council for the Social Studies award as an NCSS Gold Star Council.

The Iowa Council for the Social Studies is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. 

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