Frequently Asked Questions

Application Questions

What is the application process?

  1. Complete the Get Started form.
  2. Talk to a team member (we’ll call you after you complete step 1
  3. Start Application Process by completing the following:
    1. Application Form
    2. Complete a Background Check
    3. Submit ID and SSC
    4. Math and Reading Assessments
    5. Background Check
    6. 3-Minute Typing Test (if required by Skills Track)
  4. Complete a Phone Interview with a Career Coach
  5. Once the application is approved, orientation will be scheduled. 

Questions? Use our Contact Form to send us a message.

Do you offer support for the math and reading assessments?

We offer online study resources and one-on-one tutoring for all applicants upon request. Applicants have two chances to pass each test. If an applicant does not meet the minimum score on the first attempt, he/she must wait seven days before re-testing.

What are you looking for in applicants?

We are looking for candidates who display determination, motivation and excitement for the program, desire to set personal and professional goals, and demonstrate a basic knowledge/understanding of the program.

What is the turnaround time between application and acceptance?

After you’ve completed your application and submitted all of your required documents, you will know if you are accepted within two to four weeks from when you submit your materials.

How often do classes begin?

Upcoming Class Schedule:
November 2022 – Class of 25
July 2023 – Class of 50

How big are the classes? Do they fill up quickly?

The first class will be limited to 25 but normally, class sizes range from 50-60 people. Waitlists typically begin 3-4 weeks before the class start date, so be sure to apply as soon as possible!

What are the days and times of classes?

Classes meet Monday-Thursday from 9:30am – 1:30pm and every Monday from 6:00 – 8:00pm.

Will a felony record affect my ability to enroll?

At this time, there are not any felonies that we don’t work with, but depending on the felony on your background, it could prevent you from participating in the skill training of your choice.

I have heard Change Course is faith-based. Do I need to be religious?

We are not registered as a Christian non-profit, but there are optional faith components in our program. We believe there are six areas of whole person development: emotional intelligence, physical, spiritual, social, psychological and professional and we address each one of these in the first six weeks of personal development. Many of our staff will talk about their relationship with God as part of their story during class, but it is not required to be religious.

Are you accepting non-English speaking Leaders?

No, Leaders must be able to speak English to enroll in our program.

Program Questions

Are classes online or onsite?

At the onset of COVID-19, we began conducting our program online. Now, we’re confident in our ability maintain an onsite experience where you will feel safe and comfortable in compliance with state protocol and DPS guidelines.

Do I need a computer? What computer skills are necessary?

No, we will provide a computer with a camera/microphone built into it for our classes but it stays on sight and cannot be taken home. A basic understanding of how to maneuver a computer and use its functionalities is required (powering it on/off, opening up Google and using Google Docs/Slides/Powerpoint/etc.)

What skills can I get trained in?

Skills offered vary by class. Your pre-coaching session, a phone call with a Coach before the class begins, will give you exact details for the skill tracks offered for your class.

Current Career Track list:

  • Medical Billing and Coding
  • Medical Assistant
  • Certified Nursing Assistant
  • Medical Administrative Assistant
  • Customer Service and Tech
  • Culinary Services
  • CDL (Commercial Driver’s License)
  • Administrative Assistant
  • Trades (Plumbing, Electrician, HVAC, Carpentry, and more)
  • Construction

Do I pay for any of the skills certifications?

No, this program is at zero cost to you.

What are my expectations while in the program?

  • You are engaged: Sitting down at a “desk”, camera on, focused on your online or onsite classes.
  • You are communicating and participating with other Leaders and teachers during class and at Family Gatherings.
  • Contact your Coach weekly as you work together to meet your goals.
  • You complete assignments and Skill Track Certification.
  • You get a job within your Skill Track.
  • You attend Graduation.

What is the job search process? Does Change Course give me a job? When do I need to get a job?

When you have completed 70% of your Skill Track studies, you will begin actively looking for a job. While we have a Career Professional actively building networks within our Skill Tracks, you will need to apply for these jobs. It is up to you to look, apply and land the job. You need to get a job before the class graduation date.

What are the graduation requirements?

You need to be working full time in the skill track you were trained for in order to graduate.

What is the stipend? How much is it and when is it paid out?

The stipend is a financial gift from us to you that is performance based. You can earn UP TO $100 every two weeks, or UP TO $200/month. It is paid every two weeks (twice/month on Fridays). You must have a bank account for the stipend to be directly deposited.

Who is a Leader?

A Leader is a program participant or student. You are leading the change in your life.

Who is a Coach? How often do I meet with them?

Coaches are Change Course staff who are here to walk the road with you. You will check in weekly with your Coach and will have at least one extended meeting time with your Coach monthly.

Who is an Ally?

Allies are community volunteers who serve as an added layer of support to you. You will meet them and engage with them the most during Family Gathering.

What is Family Gathering? When is it? Is it required?

Family Gathering is a mandatory time where our classes come together for dinner and community building every Monday from 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm.

Will childcare be provided?

Childcare will not be provided during normal class hours. Childcare will be limited, but will be provided during every Monday night Family Gatherings on a NEED-ONLY basis. If you need childcare on those Monday nights (if you have no other childcare options), please fill out a childcare application. If approved, you would be able to take advantage of childcare during those Monday nights. If you have other options for childcare (i.e. family members, babysitters, friends, etc.) we ask that you utilize those other options so that those who really need childcare can access it.

What are the reasons people drop out of the program? Do I have to pay you back if I drop out of the program?

The main reason that people drop out is because the required schedule is not conducive to their life and they cannot comply with attendance requirements. You do not have to pay us back if you drop out.

COVID Questions

Do I need to show a negative COVID test?

No. You do not need to provide a negative test in order to attend on campus classes. If you are experiencing COVID symptoms, we will ask that you do not attend on campus classes until your symptoms have resolved OR you obtain a negative test.

Are face masks required?

No, face masks are not required at this time.

What happens if I or one of the other students contracts COVID?

We will follow state protocols and continue classes virtually via Zoom for at least 10 days after a positive test. After completing 10 days of virtual Zoom classes, we will resume classes onsite, assuming all students complete health checks, and the individual who tested positive is cleared (per state protocol) for in-person contact.
If additional students contract COVID during the 10 day virtual Zoom class period, we will continue classes on Zoom until all students are cleared to return in-person (per state protocol).

Corporate Application Form

Corporate partnership form

Your Name(Required)

Kim SmithBoard Member

Kim L. Smith grew up in the Des Moines area and has practiced law in West Des Moines for over 30 years. He also spent over 5 years with an international CPA firm. He is President of K. L. Smith, P.C., a successful law firm that handles tax planning and compliance, estate planning and documentation, and helps small businesses in planning and organization.

He and his wife, Carol, enjoy time with their 2 children and 3 grandchildren, who all live nearby. They also assist their parents, who also live in the area.

Kim is on the Board of Hope Ministries. He volunteers on the worship team at church also sharing his love of singing with local assisted living centers. He also enjoys playing tennis.

Ally Application

Thomas BudlerBoard Member

Tom Budler retired from the Berkshire Hathaway Energy Company family of businesses in February 2022 after 35 years of service. Tom worked for MidAmerican Energy Company for 25 of those years in various capacities including generation construction and operations, gas and electric operations, and wind generation development, construction, and operations. In 2012 Tom transitioned to BHE Renewables, LLC where he was responsible for growing its nationwide wind generation portfolio. In 2015 he also assumed additional responsibility to initiate, grow and manage BHE Renewables’ tax equity investment portfolio.

Tom has been married to his wife Cindy for 25 wonderful years and they reside in Norwalk, Iowa. He is a member of Valley Evangelical Free Church and volunteers regularly with the Hand-In-Hand Special Needs Ministry and the Valley Disaster Relief team.

Jerry & Nancy FosterBoard Members

Jerry and Nancy Foster have been married for 44 years and reside in Des Moines, Iowa. They have four children and numerous grandchildren.

Jerry is the founder of Foster Group, which is a wealth management firm, serving over 1,500 families and organizations. He is also the author of LifeFocus; Achieving a Life of Purpose and Influence. Nancy has dedicated her life to pouring into her family and mentoring women all over the world.

Together, Jerry and Nancy spoke with FamilyLife marriage conferences for over 22 years. They’ve also been involved in the development of a sustainable economic and personal development model in El Rosario, Guatemala with several other couples. They are passionate about helping change the paradigm for others and creating sustainable life change.

Karin JohnsonChange Course Director of Programs & Board Member

Karin and Joseph have been married for 42 years with four kids and six grandchildren. Karin was a gymnastics coach for 25 years with a passion to help young people achieve their goals through structure and hard work. Her love for the kids made her very successful in developing very competitive teams.

Responding to a conviction that the next generation of leaders needs to understand how to use the bible as their guide, Karin began teaching a weekly millennial generation bible study over 15 years ago which still continues today.

Using her gifts of teaching and mercy, Karin has counseled women and struggling marriages for many years after experiencing many challenges in her own family from marriage struggles to family member addiction, recovery, and incarceration.

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