The Leadership Academy meets one full-day per month for six months (September – March, off in January).  There will be a maximum of 30 participant slots available for each of the three levels. Participants will be evaluated on a combination of their applications and resumes. The three levels the Leadership Academy will offer to meet the various needs of professionals in our field include:

Personal Level: Participants will learn skills such as networking and decision making to help grow as a leader.  

Team Level: The focus will be on developing teams and maximizing results.  

Agency Level: An intense focus on developing a positive work culture where excellence is the norm.

Each level’s course curriculum includes topics such as leadership methods, accountability, strategic thinking, panel discussions, hot topics and financial strategies. These topic areas focus on the skills leaders need to be successful at all stages in their career.  

2017-2018 Program Information-pdf                       2017-2018 Application

 Certification Sponsor


The Office of Recreation & Park Resources and the Recreation, Sport & Tourism Department of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign are the proud certification sponsors of the IPRA Leadership Academy.

As one of the first colleges to offer a degree in parks and recreation, the University understands the importance of leadership and continuing education in our field. At the completion of each level, individuals will receive a Certificate of Completion from the University of Illinois. 



"The Leadership Academy offers an opportunity for high level training at an affordable cost and convenient locations for one day trainings. The smaller class size gave a great exposure to network with professionals that are at a similar career level which in turn provided great dialogue for discussions. Applying the skills has helped develop my team and establish a fresh brand and image for our community." - Nick T., Agency Level 

"My Leadership Academy experience not only connected me to some great speakers that helped me think out of the box or look at new ways to enhance our profession, but brought me networking opportunities that I still cherish today. It has offered me the opportunity to serve on the Board of Regents with professionals  I now consider to be friends and provided me with the tools to obtain a new position as an Executive Director. In our profession, I see a lot of passion and the Leadership Academy has allowed me the opportunity to share that passion with the future leaders of the great field of Parks and Recreation. Leadership Academy is about building future leaders and providing them with the resources to be successful and I am proud to be a part of that growth and excitement."  - Jim R., Agency Level


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