Supervising@IOWA is designed for relatively new supervisors or as a comprehensive overview for more experienced supervisors. This certificate program provides supervisors with professional development that focuses on the everyday practices that create a productive and respectful work environment. Participants will learn practical skills and knowledge that enable them to increase their effectiveness in managing their team's everyday performance with special focus on achieving results, service excellence and collaborating with others.

The Supervising@IOWA learning experience emphasizes practical application and includes case studies, group activities, online learning opportunities, group discussions, and presentations. Our core and elective presenter team is comprised of a diverse array of UI professionals to best meet the needs of all of our campus supervisors. Join us and become a part of the community of Supervising@IOWA graduates!

Program Requirements

The Supervising@IOWA program requirements are intended to support the development of the key competencies and components critical to success for those who supervise at the University of Iowa.

To complete the certificate program, participants are required to complete the:


To enroll in the Supervising@IOWA certificate program, please complete the online application. The application will be available at the top of this webpage, typically in January/February for the spring semester or June/July for the fall semester. For questions, contact

Prior to submitting the Supervising@IOWA certificate program application, applicants are encouraged to meet with their supervisor to discuss the series requirements and how the Supervising@IOWA certificate program aligns with their development plans.


Online Course

Participants must complete the New UI Supervisors: Starting Successfully course prior to Part 1: The Fundamentals of Being an Effective UI Supervisor. Enroll in this online course in Employee Self Service | My Training | Enroll in Courses | and enter WNUSSS in the "Search" box.

Core Program

Instructor-Led Core Courses

The Fundamentals of Being an Effective UI Supervisor

  • February 28, 2019 | 9:00 am - 12 Noon (west side location)
  • March 7, 2019 | 9:00 am - 12 Noon (east side location)

This course is intended to welcome, excite and provide series participants with foundational leadership resources. It is our people that create our excellence in education, research and creative work, outreach, and health care. Our role as supervisors is to manage talent in a way that creates a respectful and productive environment. We hope you join us as we kick-off the Supervising@IOWA series with a fun, interactive class that focuses on the best practices of UI supervision. Also in this class, instruction will be provided for completing the Personal Style Assessment, which will be discussed in the second class, Understanding & Applying Work Styles as a Supervisor.

Managing Talent - The Engaged Employee 

  • March 28, 2019 | 9:00 am - 11:30 am (west side location)
  • April 4, 2019 | 9:00 am - 11:30 am (east side location)

There is growing interest in employee engagement, and with good reason. Engaged employees are more productive, more positive and more motivated about the work that they do. Unfortunately, 21% of employees today identify themselves as highly disengaged, a three-fold increase since 2007. (The Corporate Executive Board, Employee Engagement Study, 2010). In this session, we will explore what drives and influences employee engagement, and discuss the things leaders can do to create an environment where engagement can flourish.

Managing Talent - Developing and Leading A Diverse Team

  • March 28, 2019 | 9:00 am - 11:30 am (east side location)
  • April 4, 2019 | 9:00 am - 11:30 am (west side location)

Managing Talent- Developing and Leading A Diverse Team is a course designed to assist managers and supervisors in developing key leadership diversity skills designed to mobilize diverse groups of team members around a shared vision. The course will cover inclusive best practices and what a truly inclusive organization looks like. We will also identify common pitfalls to inclusion, and strategies to reduce bias in the workplace. Finally we will explore how diverse groups transform into teams and how a leader can foster that transformation.

Managing Talent - Coaching for Improved Performance

  • April 11, 2019 | 9:00 am - 11:30 am (west side location)
  • April 18, 2019 | 9:00 am - 11:30 am (east side location)

When an employee’s performance diminishes or motivation wans, it is the supervisor responsibility to address the situation. In this class supervisors will begin to develop skills such as identifying causes, coaching, and delivering effective feedback to help employee performance improve. Learn from a supervisor what has been effective in developing these skills.

Understanding and Applying Work Styles as a Supervisor

  • April 18, 2019 | 9:00 am - 11:30 am (west side location)
  • April 25, 2019 | 9:00 am - 11:30 am (east side location)

Working with people has always been a supervisor’s key responsibility. Recent trends indicate this job has grown harder, as supervisors are encouraged to increase productivity through influence rather than authority. How can this course help? By gaining a greater understanding of yourself and those you work with through the People-Styles Behavioral Inventory. Within the framework of your style, learn practical strategies for relating effectively with others, thereby increasing engagement and productivity of your workgroup.

Building Strong Relationships - Upward, Peer & With Those You Serve

Please note: The final core class will be held at UCC for both east and west side participants.

  • May 2, 2019 | 9:00 am - 11:30 am

Building strong relationships is a necessary component for supervisors to get things done. This course focuses on several components of relationship building, including networking (knowing yourself, meeting people, and sharing ideas), building influence (how to increase your levels of influence and use it in a positive way), and how to manage upwards (understand how your boss operates and make your boss aware of how you operate).


Participants must complete four of the Supervising@IOWA elective courses within two years of beginning the program. Elective courses offer more detail to additional topics that are relevant to successfully supervising in a diverse university environment. Elective courses will be held at various times throughout the year.

Instructor-Led Elective Courses

Enroll in the instructor-led elective courses in Employee Self Service | My Training as they become available. Available sessions default to alphabetical order and all elective courses connected to this series will be listed as S@I.

Introduction to Conflict Management for Supervisors

  • April 25, 2019 | 9:00 am - 11:00 am (west side location)
  • May 9, 2019 | 9:00 am - 11:00 am (east side location)

Supervisors deal with conflict every day. This course highlights the positive effects conflict can have in a work environment and prepares supervisors to manage these conflicts directly and effectively. Topics include characteristics of conflict, conflict management styles, communication skills, and different options for resolving conflicts.

Leave Management and the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

  • May 9, 2019 | 9:00 am - 11:30 am (west side location)
  • June 20, 2019 | 9:00 am - 11:30 am (east side location)

Increase your effectiveness in supporting employees with disabilities; learn when you should be talking and how to talk with employees about health conditions; gain leave management strategies including strategies to increase attendance and options to benefit your employees and your department.

Road to Resilience: Strategies to Increase Energy and Resilience in the Workplace

  • May 16, 2019 | 9:00 am - 10:30 am (east side location)
  • May 23, 2019 | 9:00 am - 10:30 am (west side location)

Today more than ever, resilience is a skill that is needed in the workplace. Employees and Supervisors are experiencing on-going change, taking on new responsibilities, learning new skills, and handling more in general.  Resilience is the ability of people to respond appropriately to challenges and stress, and then move forward.  Highly resilient people cope well with adversity and learn valuable lessons from challenging experiences. This class offers skills to increase resilience so we’re more satisfied and productive - on or off the job.

Managing Talent - Addressing Performance

  • May 16, 2019 | 9:00 am - 12:00 Noon (west side location)
  • May 23, 2019 | 9:00 am - 12:00 Noon (east side location)

Build a performance culture that addresses issues before they escalate. Consider the impact you want when taking informal and formal disciplinary actions:  preventing the performance problem from reoccurring, sending the right message to other employees, and protecting the integrity of the department/unit and organization. While employees experience many types of performance issues, they tend to fall into one of three general categories: conduct (behavioral standards), attendance, or productivity (quality, timeliness). Supervising employees in a public organization requires holding employees accountable for carrying out their work responsibilities. Strategies for addressing performance issues are essential for creating a performance culture that reinforces the value that performance makes a difference. This session’s focus is on specific and practical principles and strategies that assure a consistent and non-arbitrary employment experience, address issues early, comply with university policy, state and federal law, and focus on an ultimate goal of success for the employee, management, the unit, and the university.

The Driving Forces of Change Management

  • May 30, 2019 | 9:00 am - 11:00 am (east side location)
  • June 13, 2019 | 9:00 am - 11:00 am (west side location)

Want to be in the driver’s seat when initiating change? This course will offer you the basics of change management, so your new initiatives don't get lost in the dust. Just like every road trip needs a good map, so do agents of change. In this class, participants will identify the predictable patterns of change and strategies for effectively leading your team through change initiatives. Participants will also discuss possible barriers that can derail your change efforts and techniques to overcome them. While this class won’t eliminate all the bumps that come with change, it will allow you to help make the transition as smooth as possible for your team.

Helping the Troubled Employee: What Every UI Supervisor Should Know

  • May 30, 2019 | 9:00 am - 11:00 am (west side location)
  • June 6, 2019 | 9:00 am - 11:00 am (east side location)

From time to time, supervisors may have concerns for a staff member. Maybe they are struggling with a personal problem or maybe there is a decline in their work performance. Recognizing the signs and learning what you as a supervisor can do to assist are essential to productivity and morale. Learn about what you can do to help a troubled employee and where to go for needed resources.

Difficult Conversations for Supervisors

  • June 13, 2019 | 9:00 am - 11:00 am (east side location)

Supervisors often need to have difficult conversations with employees to address concerns about performance, behavior, attendance, and other sensitive issues. This workshop is designed to help supervisors develop the skills to have more productive conversations about challenging topics.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Supporting Employees with Disabilities

  • June 27, 2019 | 9:00 am - 11:30 am (east side location)

Increase your understanding of the Americans with Disabilities Act and your effectiveness in supporting employees with disabilities. Learn how to identify disability triggers, how to talk with employees about their health conditions, the interactive process, and implementing reasonable accommodations in the workplace.

ICON Elective Course

Creating a Welcoming Workplace (ICON) - Enroll in this ICON course in Employee Self Service | My Training | Enroll in Courses and enter Creating a Welcoming Workplace or W00CWW in the Search box.