Upcoming Events

Recent News

November 16, 2020

In the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Professional Development workshop, Coming Together for Racial Understanding, we learn about and practice active listening. Active listening refers to a pattern of listening that keeps you engaged with your conversation partner in a positive way. It is the process of listening attentively while someone else speaks, paraphrasing and reflecting back what is said, withholding judgment and advice. Active listening serves the purpose of earning the trust of others and helping you to understand their situations.

September 19, 2020

Learn more about the internal service units that are part of ISU Extension and Outreach Operations. These units are here to support you as ISU Extension and Outreach professionals! 

This resource was created as a quick, 1-page guide to 8 internal operational units. 

eLearning Resources

Professional Development offers a series of classes (independent yet related), that help with the process of creating classes, programs, and workshops. The three online classes can be taken independently or sequentially. Join a cohort of learners as you learn about: Writing Clear Learning Objectives; Effective Instructional Design Methods; and Integrating Instructional Activities.

Everything DiSC Workplace on Catalyst is the Everything DiSC Workplace workshop offered virtually. Participants discover their DiSC communication styles and learn how styles affect their workplace priorities and relationships via a Zoom connect call, facilitators, and 11 other participants. 

ISU Extension and Outreach Professional Development invites you to participate in a Community of Practice. Community of Practice (CoP) is a “group of people who "share a concern or a passion for something they do and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly". As we refresh and dive deeper into our learning of DiSC communication, our workstyles, potential stereotyping, stress, and action planning.  

Community of Practice image

Coming Together for Racial Understanding (CTRU) is a Professional Development workshop created by the National Cooperative Extension Service Rapid Response Team to enhance communication and engagement by identifying barriers, countering bias and building trust across racial differences. And it is being offered virtually. 

This 50-minute online learning session (Zoom) will engage participants in the topic of emotional intelligence in a virtual world. Emotional intelligence refers to a distinct combination of emotional, social skills and competencies that influence our overall capability to cope effectively with the demands and pressures of work and life.

Creating Accessible Digital Documents will help participants to become more intentional about creating (and modifying) Word documents so that they are easily read by those with vision impairments (including use of assistive technology). While the class focuses on the use of MS Word, the concepts can be carried over into other MS Office products like Excel, PPT, and Outlook. Class material provides the step-by-step “how-to” approach for all Office products.

ISU Extension and Outreach Professional Development invites those who have completed the full Crucial Conversations (CC) workshop to attend our new “Crucial Conversations Refresher Series.” Neuroscience and learning transfer theory tells us that consistently practicing (new) skills is the biggest predictor to successfully integrating learning into your everyday environment. The Refresher Series will provide a highly engaging environment in which to share ideas and discuss experiences related to the skills and strategies learned in the original CC workshop.

Starting a new job can be overwhelming, especially within a complex organization like ours. Orientation is important and necessary. 

The onset of COVID-19 made it necessary to cancel the face to face New Staff Orientation in April. As a result of the cancellation, a virtual introduction to Extension and Outreach, 'Things You Need to Know on Day One' was created.

Virtual New Staff Orientation


ISU Extension and Outreach Professional Development staff have identified relevant and meaningful topics for staff to explore through LinkedIn Learning to strengthen their supervision and management skills. This structure provides an opportunity for self-paced learning. You may choose to complete all sections in a particular course, including quizzes throughout the sessions; if completing a full course, you will receive a certificate at the end that could be shared with your supervisor or added to a LinkedIn profile. Read the complete article for all the details.  

Professional Development for Managers and Supervisors Catalog


Iowa State University Diversity and Inclusion COVID-19 Resources

During this unprecedented time, we recognize that Iowa State University’s campus footprint has increasingly expanded into digital and virtual environments. The campus community should be aware that climate considerations continue to extend into all spaces where our members engage. Therefore, we ask that everyone be vigilant to uphold our Principles of Community despite our physical and social distancing. The University’s commitment and methods to respond to reports of campus climate incidents remain in place during COVID-19. Find professional development opportunities online

The events of the past few weeks have ushered in a deep sense of uncertainty. In the face of these fears, fostering a sense of safety and belonging starts with supporting each other. A great way to promote inclusion and support from afar is virtual team building!

For resources to use during the COVID-19 outbreak, please visit the 

Finding Answers Now page.

In Beyond the Basics and Advanced Features learn about polling, downloadable file options, recording, layering and much more.

Topics include: Joining, scheduling, and hosting a Webex meeting, navigating the meeting window, Canvas LTI integration overview. This webinar was also offered March 26 and March 27.

Topics include: joining, navigating, scheduling, inviting others, host controls, recordings, and Q&A.

Learn how to login, create a meeting room, use existing meeting rooms, conduct a webinar or meeting. 

An *introduction* to Connect, Zoom, and Webex will be given. You will learn which technology is best suited for what purpose.

Consider these online learning resources for your personal and professional development. Remember to visit with your supervisor prior to beginning a professional development opportunity. 

Learn@ISU Logo

LinkedIn Learning Logo

ITS logo

EFR logo


JOE logo

About Us

The Professional Development Unit directly supports Iowa State University Extension and Outreach’s strategic plan, aligning the professional skills of our people with the needs of our organization. We conceptualize, design and present development opportunities that will motivate, challenge, strengthen and enlighten county and campus-paid staff, faculty and elected council officials.

Read more about

Download the Professional Development Signature Programs Marketing Flyer

Signature Programs

Crucial Conversations - What is Crucial Conversations? It’s a course teaching skills for creating a positive environment for dialogue. A crucial conversation is a discussion where the stakes are high, opinions vary and emotions are strong. These conversations, when handled poorly, lead to negative results.

Navigating Difference Cultural Competency - The Navigating Difference series is designed to assist professionals in expanding their skills in working with diverse audiences. The curriculum consists of five modules developed by Washington State University Extension staffspecifically for extension professionals.

Everything DiSC Workplace, DiSC Management, Conflict Management and Work of Leaders - Everything DiSC Workplace is a full-day workshop offered to improve communication in the workplace by discovering your DiSC style, understanding the styles of others and how different styles can affect the workplace.

Emotional Intelligence: A Pathway to Self-Understanding and Improved Leadership - Emotional Intelligence refers to a distinct combination of emotional, social skills and competencies that influence our overall capability to cope effectively with the demands and pressures of work and life. This workshop utilizes an instrument that provides an intuitive framework to address questions at an individual, team, and organizational level. 

A flyer is available online and for download.