About the Institute

Public Employees Leadership Institute
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The Public Employees Leadership Institute was designed to help employees develop the skills they need to become strong leaders and supervisors for public agencies.

Course Development

Development of the Institute was led by the Iowa Local Technical Assistance Program (LTAP) at Iowa State University’s Institute for Transportation. Detailed technical input was provided by a core group of expert practitioners/trainers and an advisory committee consisting of city, county, and Iowa Department of Transportation public representatives. The project was funded by the Iowa Highway Research Board, TR-606.

An existing American Public Works Association (APWA) outline provided the initial framework for the Institute. The authors supplemented the basic APWA content with information about current best practices, research, and new technologies. In addition, three specific courses were added.

After the content was developed, each course was conducted as a trial workshop for a live audience, then revised and improved based on speaker and participant feedback. Finally, the courses were videotaped and edited for online presentation.

Note: The courses are delivered via, and basic information about the Institute is provided by, the Iowa State University Extension.


“The Extension online delivery of educational opportunities makes it possible for public employees to get training as they have an interest or need. Learners will be able to identify with course content, because each one is taught by people who have on-the-job knowledge and daily experience with public works issues.” —Bret Hodne, Public Works Director, City of West Des Moines


Course Delivery and Oversight

Each course consists of several modules, most of which are less than 45 minutes long. All together, the modules for one course are generally equivalent to a 6–8 hour, face-to-face workshop.

In addition to a videotaped presentation, each module includes required review questionnaires and printable presentation slide handouts.

Participants have 90 days to complete each course. During that time they can stop and start at their convenience, study the modules in any order, and review modules as often as they want.

Participants can take one course or some or all of them, in any order.

The Institute coordinator tracks participants’ progress online and issues course completion certificates.

Participant whose agencies are members and who complete all 15 courses will receive an official APWA leadership certificate.

Enrollment Cost

The cost is $75 per course per participant to cover ongoing administrative expenses.


“The APWA-accredited ISU Public Employees Leadership Institure was invaluable as I look to further my career. The web-based format was perfect for working courses into my hectic schedule, while the course content was well worth my time.” —Dwayne R. D’Ardenne, GCM


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