frequently asked questions
What qualifications do you look for in successful applicants?
Demonstrated leadership experience in your campus or community and a commitment to expanding knowledge about politics and civic engagement are primary considerations. We look for participants with diverse backgrounds and experiences who will contribute to the knowledge of the group by offering different perspectives. Whether or not you view yourself as a leader now, if you desire to create positive change in your community, then YOU should apply!
Is this a Campaign School?
No; NEW Leadership focuses on a variety of aspects related to civic engagement, advocacy and the political process. While there are sessions on fundraising, diversity, strategic communication and running for various levels of office, it is not specifically designed or focused on providing a course in how to run a campaign or run for office.
My major is not in political science, policy or law, do my academic major(s)/minor(s) matter?
There is no specific academic profile for the successful NEW Leadership™ participant. Participants come to the Institute with a variety of experiences and understanding of the political process and policy advocacy; there is no expectation to be a political expert prior to attendance. Past participants have represented a wide range of majors including: African-American studies, biology, business, social work, music, engineering, environmental studies, education, criminal justice, public health, medicine, nursing, language studies, women and gender studies, political science and others.
Where does the program take place?
The Institute takes place on the University of Iowa campus in Iowa City, IA. Sessions take place in various academic buildings. All participants stay on campus in the Iowa House Hotel and room with one other participant during the week. Free parking for the week is also available.
Can I take classes or work during Iowa N.E.W. Leadership?
No. Iowa N.E.W. Leadership is a full-time residential program, and participants are required to participate in all sessions and activities. Participants must also reside on the University of Iowa campus for the duration of the Institute.
Do I have to stay on campus, even if I live in Iowa City or close to campus?
Yes. All Iowa N.E.W. Leadership participants are required to stay in the Iowa House Hotel during the program. The residential requirement is crucial to sustaining the program focus, building community and developing strong bonds among the participants. What if I am accepted and change my mind or am unable to attend? Can I get a refund? No, the University of Iowa cannot process a refund for the program fee. Each student who is accepted must confirm her attendance at least 30 days before the program begins. If you are unable to attend, your deposited will be forfeited.