ELA Candid

Emerging Leaders Academy (ELA)

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Invest in Your Next Leaders

The Emerging Leaders Academy is a professional development program for public sector employees. The program prepares promising, non-managerial staff for leadership roles in their departments and organizations. 

This work has never been more crucial, as many organizations are facing leadership retirements or vacancies without succession plans to promote existing staff into those roles.

Participants learn the qualities of good leaders, participate in coaching sessions with mentors, and develop personal leadership philosophies that they bring back to the workplace in the form of new ideas and a renewed sense of commitment. Employers often comment on the growth in skills and engagement they see in their ELA graduates.

About the Emerging Leaders Program (ELA)

Emerging Leaders At GraduationDeveloped by practitioners for practitioners, the Emerging Leaders Academy is more than just a series of professional development classes. Each class builds on the ideas from previous meetings to create a broad, practical understanding of working in public service environments that meet the needs of our communities and residents.

Grounded in hands-on activities, each meeting offers valuable takeaways focused on both immediate practical use and long-term career success.

We work to ensure an immediate return for agencies in skill enhancement and engagement.

ELA graduates bring new ideas and a renewed sense of commitment to their work, and this is evident to their supervisors. Once an organization or department sends one or two staff members to ELA, they generally prioritize sending additional staff to future sessions because of the results they see.

Time Commitment

ELA hosts sessions in the Spring and Fall.  Participants meet together nine times, approximately every other week from February - June, or for the Fall cohort August to December.  Classes are a full day, 9:00-4:00. Online classes are broken up throughout the day to account for Zoom fatigue. 

Investing in ELA

Agencies that invest in sending staff to ELA gain a more prepared and engaged talent pool to draw from for the future, a critical need as many leaders in public service organizations move toward retirement. ELA participants gain knowledge and skills in leadership, organizational dynamics, communication, and career planning to help them identify and achieve their professional goals while equipping them with tools to make even stronger contributions to their organizations.

ELA for Planners

KS Chapter of APA LogoWe are thrilled to announce the PMC's Emerging Leaders Academy is offering American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) Certification Maintenance (CM) credits through a partnership with the Kansas Chapter of the American Planning Association. The course counts for 20 CM credits and one required equity credit. For more information about ELA please visit this link. Thank you, KS APA Chapter!



The cost for the Emerging Leaders Academy is $1,550 per person. 

The fee covers tuition, materials, and end of session graduation ceremony. Most commonly, agencies sponsor their employee's participation. Sponsoring agencies are billed by the PMC once classes have started.

The current list of ELA classes is located here: ELA Classes

ELA has taught me that leadership is a verb. It's about listening, learning, and focusing your strengths to be an inspirational force for positive change. - Amanda Halstead, Program Analyst, US Environmental Protection Agency, Region 7

Learning about my top strengths was a huge benefit of participating in ELA. That knowledge has provided wonderful insights for my professional and personal life and will continue to be beneficial to me for years to come. - Linda Bruce, Accounting Services, KU Center for Research

ELA was a really transformative experience for me. It helped me get out of just thinking about my own projects to the bigger picture of my department, library, and the valuable qualities of my coworkers in a conscious way. I feel happier at work after this and think I'm a better coworker too. Thanks for all you did to make it so meaningful and valuable for us all. - 2023 Participant

Your class has several fascinating and helpful theories and thought processes.  It was great to be exposed to those that were new to me and a good refresher for those that I had come across before.   All those added up to help me deliver a performance during my promotional exam and interview that was apparently enough to convince them that I was worth promoting. - 2023 Participant

Questions? - Emerging Leaders Academy

Kate Nygren, Program Manager

Jessica Franz, Project Coordinator