MPOWER U logo Southeast Iowa Youth Leadership Academy

Learn to lead in your school, in your community, and in life with MPOWER U.

M Power U is a college-level honors program in leadership that offers high school Junior's opportunities to experience leadership in action within the communities in the Great River Region of Southeast Iowa. The program consists of two 3 credit hour courses.

Students learn the skills and traits that make a good leader. The M Power U participants are chosen by their respective administration and guidance counselors. Two students are selected from each of the 14 participating high schools in Des Moines, Henry, Lee, and Louisa counties.

M Power U students travel throughout the region during the year to meet various community, business, civic, and elected leaders. The class also accompanies area leaders to Southeast Iowa Days, an annual trip to Des Moines to meet with legislators and governmental leaders about the needs of the region.

HUM287 – Leadership Development Studies is a 3-credit hour course developed by Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society that provides emerging and existing leaders the opportunity to explore the concept of leadership and gain a basic understanding of the concept of leadership theory while developing a personal philosophy of leadership, an awareness of the moral and ethical responsibilities of leadership, and an awareness of one's own ability and style of leadership.

HUM290 – A Call to Lead is a 3-credit hour course designed to put leadership into practice by exploring the concepts of self-leadership and servant leadership. The curriculum of this class will improve and expand on current leadership skills by building a strong foundation in values clarification, communication skills, group development, conflict management, and diversity education.
Prerequisite: HUM287

Course Objectives & Details

What: An opportunity for high school students to develop effective leadership skills, network with business partners and earn six SCC college credits (HUM287 Leadership Development Studies and HUM290 A Call to Lead).

Who: Two High School Juniors per school are selected by their respective schools. Names are due to Leanne Krogmeier by mid-June each year. (Schools are encouraged to give strong consideration to students who may not currently hold leadership roles, but who exhibit potential in this area.)

Instructors:  Carlene Woodside is the instructor certified by Phi Theta Kappa to teach the curriculum. Matt Giberson, a former SCC student and Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society member, is the assistant.

When:The course format includes an orientation session for participants and their parent/guardian, a weekend retreat, and approximately 17 program days throughout the year, Southeast Iowa Days, and graduation. The complete schedule is available through your high school guidance counselor.

Topics & Themes:

  • Personal Leadership Philosophy
  • Criminal Justice/Law Enforcement
  • Business and Technology
  • Health Care and Social Services
  • Government
  • Arts/History/Culture
  • Environment
  • Agriculture

Concepts Explored:

  • Developing a Personal Leadership Philosophy
  • Leading by Serving
  • Applying Ethics to Leadership
  • Articulating a Vision
  • Building a Team
  • Leading with Goals
  • Making Effective Decisions
  • Guiding through Conflict
  • Realizing Change
  • Empowering Others
  • Communication

Course Locations:

The program schedule with specific dates and locations is available through your high school guidance counselor.

Business and industry partners:

  • Assist in coordinating the sessions
  • Serve as guest speakers at the sessions
  • Provide opportunities for service learning
  • Provide support through a variety of sponsorships

Students will grow leadership skills through:

  • Attendance and full participation in all sessions. Absences must be made up with the instructor prior to the next class session.
  • Group discussions
  • Class projects and presentations
  • Community service
  • Unit assignments

Honors Program:

M Power U is part of the SCC Honors Program. To be considered for M Power U and the Honors Program, applicants must have a minimum GPA score of 3.5 and have meet assessment criteria (ask the Admissions Office for details).

The Honors Program provides mentoring, priority registration, special honors-only classes, community learning, and lots more. Participants should complete and submit the online Honors Program application.

How the course is supported:

School districts, families, and sponsorships provide for the costs associated with the course, such as instruction, travel, meals, meeting expenses, graduation, etc. Students should check with their high school guidance counselor about the procedure for getting the textbook. Families/students will be asked to provide the registration fee for Southeast Iowa Days. There will be some program days that students will be expected to provide their own lunch (sack lunch or eating out).