FREE career training. Land a new career in just 6 Months.

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Change Course


Change Course is a career development program that provides training in highly sought-after skills along with leadership and personal development, to give people in Des Moines a way to stop living paycheck to paycheck and launch a career.

Affordable, effective, and short-term career training is almost impossible to find. Change Course has identified highly sought-after careers in our community. We offer free training and pay you to start a new career in as little as four months. Students who have completed the program in other areas of the country are earning on average more than $18 per hour in jobs with upward mobility and full benefits, including health care and paid vacation time.

Freedom Awaits

Change Course graduates complete the program with a new job skill, a livable wage career, and a strong sense of community and support. After graduation, Leaders join the Alumni Association where they will receive continued services, including financial coaching, professional development opportunities, and the opportunity to give back to future Leaders.

Change Course CEO, Joseph Johnson’s testimony


Leaders apply and are accepted into a six-month-long program broken into three phases.

Icon representing personal and professional growth


The first 6 weeks of the program is dedicated to personal and professional growth. We don’t just want Leaders to land a job—we want them to be the best version of themself, so they can find a career that lasts!

Icon representing professional certification


Leaders work to complete a professional certification or pre-apprenticeship course in their selected career track.

Icon representing professional landing job with their skill set


Once Leaders complete the certification stage, they graduate the program by landing a job in their career track. We’ll work to connect them with employers and jobs that fit their skill set.

Tools for Development

  • One-on-one coaching sessions
  • 100+ hours of personal development
  • Up to 35 life and career skills taught

If you’d like more information regarding Change Course, click the button below.


A better future awaits our leaders after they complete their chosen six-month career training program. Change Course offers 35 life and career skills that can be adjusted according to the need of the Des Moines area job market. Our corporate partners keep us informed of the skills they look for in good job candidates as their needs change.


A better future awaits our leaders after they complete their chosen six-month career training program. Change Course offers 35 life and career skills that can be adjusted according to the need of the Des Moines area job market. Our corporate partners keep us informed of the skills they look for in good job candidates as their needs change.

Energy Career with Change Course


Medical admistration

Medical Administration

Semi driver with CDL (Commercial drivers license)

Commercial Driver (CDL)

Information Technology (IT) Worker

Information Technology

Customer Service Representative

Customer Service

Construction Trades - Electrician working on building

Skilled Trades

Administration Assistant

Administrative Assistant

Certified nursing assistant (CNA)

Medical Healthcare

Culinary Services - Future Course

Culinary Services

Animal Care - Future Course

Animal Care

Customer Service Representative

Customer Service

Animal Care - Future Course

Animal Care

FREE career training with Change Course. Land a new career in just 6 Months.

If you’d like more information, click the button below.

Our Instagram Feed

We are kicking off our Love in Action Kindness Challenge! All of February, we will be highlighting acts of kindness throughout our communities, and we need YOUR help.

We want you to join our Love in Action Challenge. Share things with us that brought big smiles to people in your sphere of influence or day-to-day life. Message us your stories, pictures, anything you are inspired by or did for someone recently, and we will feature your stories on our social media and in our upcoming newsletter! (You can also tag us on social media at @changecourseiowa.) Let's make a positive impact together!
February is the Change Course ‘Love in Action’ kindness month! For 28 days, we will be highlighting the power that loving those around you can have on a community. At our last two family gatherings, two Life Groups from @valleychurchdm each brought meals and served our participants and allies. We are so thankful for these wonderful individuals coming together to kick off our Love in Action month the right way! These people are proof that an overflow of love and service can make a huge difference in the lives of others. Thank you to both groups!
Seeking volunteers for childcare on Monday nights! 6:00-8:00p.m. once a week. Dinner is always provided! Please DM us or email nicole@change-course.org if you’re interested. Thank you!
In his younger years, Carl found himself caught up with the wrong crowd, a consequence of his mother's  lifestyle. This would lead him down destructive pathways into his adult life. For many years, Carl blamed his struggles on his mother, which created lingering resentment.
Carl finally found his turning point during a stay in a treatment program in Missouri. A fellow participant offered a perspective that resonated deeply: "You can't keep blaming others for the bad decisions you make. Not everyone had a rough life growing up, but everyone has a time when they become their own adult."
This statement acted as a catalyst for a profound shift in Carl's mindset. It signified the realization that, regardless of a challenging upbringing, a pivotal moment arrives for everyone to assume responsibility for their actions and decisions. Formerly attributing his struggles with drug addiction to his mother, this newfound awareness compelled Carl to reassess his outlook.
Acknowledging that he couldn't hold his mother responsible for choices made as an adult, Carl embarked on a journey of self-accountability. No longer burdened by misplaced blame, he turned over a new leaf, determined to forge a path of personal responsibility and growth.
As part of taking control of his own destiny, Carl is now enrolled in our program at Change Course, where he aspires to kickstart a career in welding. His determination extends beyond personal success; he also envisions starting a recovery program of his own, channeling his experiences into helping others navigate the path to redemption. Carl's journey is now characterized by resilience, self-discovery, and a steadfast commitment to shaping a brighter future for himself and those around him. We love you Carl!

If you would like to send Carl a note of encouragement, feel free to send us a message and we'll make sure it gets to him. 

Interested in getting involved with Change Course? Go to the link in our bio!

There is HOPE in this city!
It is difficult to express with words how thankful we are for all of you who have committed to being a part of this journey God has put us on to make a difference in our community. In his book, Ministries of Mercy, Tim Keller gives one of the simplest definitions of the ministries of mercy: "...it is the meeting of felt needs through deeds."

That is the essence of what we all do together at Change Course. Meeting felt needs through deeds. The greatest need for those we serve is to gain the skills and confidence that can lead them to sustainable employment. We put our arms around them and help them navigate their way to becoming self-sufficient and no longer stuck in a cycle of hopelessness.

We are finishing the year stronger than ever, and we have more support than ever. You are a part of the Change Course family—and we witness the significance of every single contribution, big or small, made to make this mission of impacting our community a reality in Des Moines. We are so thankful, but most of all, every class of new graduates, like our Beta 2023 Class that graduated on December 16, are evidence that you are all truly making a difference!

These last few days of the year, we are working hard to finish the ALL IN campaign, right up to the 31st, so we can hit the ground running in 2024! Even small gifts help us bring hope to this beautiful city. To help us finish the year strong, go to the link in our bio. 

We are so grateful for you, and we can't wait for the new year to begin. We love working side by side with you all!
Joseph & Karin Johnson
From us and our Gamma ‘24 class, Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones! 🎄
Today, we want to highlight our financial partner, Midland Credit Union. Beyond their support of Change Course, they provide financial literacy training to our participants in need of basic financial skills. They also created a “second chance checking account” for our participants who typically would not be able to open a bank account due to their past. It is business partners like Midland who allow us to provide a wide range of services to our participants. You help us provide hope in seemingly hopeless circumstances. Thank you for all you do, @midlandcreditunion! We look forward to a long and prosperous partnership.
Graduation is underway!! 

#changecourse #beta2023 🎉
You're invited to the Change Course Beta Class of 2023 Graduation! 🎓 Join us for an unforgettable afternoon as we release our incredible graduates to the next steps in their journey through life transformation. 🥳 This in-person event will be held in the Hope+Elim auditorium on Saturday, December 16 from 2-4pm! Get ready to witness these amazing people receive their diplomas and embark on their next exciting adventures. 🌟 Come and share the joy, pride, and laughter with us on this special day. Don't miss out on this incredible milestone in our graduates' lives! Save the date and let's celebrate together! 🎉 

To attend, please RSVP for free tickets at the link in our bio.
We've raised almost half of our ALL IN campaign goal! We are on track to hitting our $200,000 goal by January 1, but we can't slow down now! Even if you can't give, please consider sharing this post with friends and family who may be interested in getting involved. We have huge goals for 2024, and would love to get more people on the front lines of our fight against pain & poverty in Des Moines. A small sacrifice can make a huge difference in the lives of our participants and their families.

To donate, go to the link in our bio.
We believe we have found the formula to alleviate poverty in Des Moines over time. We’re making huge leaps towards that goal—faster than we anticipated— but that has created a greater need than we planned for, and we are asking for your help.
We want to raise $100,000 more before the end of the year. This will help us finish 2023 strong, and turbo charge our efforts entering 2024. Your radical generosity will fuel and continue the radical change in this city we’re witnessing daily, one life at a time. Because of you, There is HOPE in this city!
Professional Glow-Up! 🧳

One of our favorite days- transforming participants into empowered professionals. From chic ensembles to power suits, swipe left for the magic! ⬅️✨ A big shout out to our local community partners @dressforsuccess and Men on the Move Clothing @evelynkdaviscenter for helping us make this day so much fun and successful! #thereishopeinthiscity #styletransformation #confidenceboost #professionalglowup


Foster Group - Change Course Founding Sponsor
Emerge Academy logo with bird
Foster Group - Change Course Founding Sponsor
Shindler Anderson Goplerud and Weese PC Logo
Foster Group - Change Course Founding Sponsor