Iowa Walking College

posted on Monday, January 21, 2019

Applications open for 2019 Iowa Walking College

Fellows receive training to become walkability advocates in their community

The Healthiest State Initiative invites Iowans to apply to join the Iowa Walking College. The Iowa Walking College is a six-month program where fellows will explore ways to improve walkability around the state through online and face-to-face meetings.

Iowa Walking College fellows will learn how to evaluate built environments, conduct walk audits, and secure funding for projects to improve walkability in their community. They’ll also learn how to act as community change agents and build relationships with diverse stakeholders.

LEARN MORE: Iowa Walking College application and information

“The goal of the Iowa Walking College is to increase the number of local walkability advocates across the state,” said Jami Haberl, executive director of the Healthiest State Initiative. “We want fellows to take what they’ve learned and use it to make their communities more walkable, livable and ultimately healthier.”


A pair of Iowa Walking College participants evaluate a built environment during a walking audit in Ames. 

The Iowa Walking College also acts as a unique opportunity for fellows to meet and learn from transportation and walkability experts from across the state, as well as be part of a network of like-minded individuals.

IWC ALUMNI: How the 2017 fellows are putting walkability plans into action 

“The Iowa Walking College was a great way to connect with others from across the state and learn what others are doing to support walkability in their own communities,” said Stephanie Schrader, community well-being liaison for the City of Cedar Rapids, and 2018 participant. “The knowledge I gained has enabled me to engage professionals across multiple fields on the impacts walkability can have on their priorities.”

IWC logo

The program was launched in 2017 and built around the National Walking College curriculum created by America Walks. So far, 27 fellows have completed the program. Up to 20 fellowships will be awarded for the 2019 class.

The fellows may come from a variety of backgrounds. Citizens, including those working alone or with organizations, or in professions such as public health, urban planning, transportation, economic development or education, are encouraged to apply.

A $100 program fee is required upon acceptance into the program to cover administrative costs. The Healthiest State Initiative is accepting applications until March 1, 2019.