The Emerging Leaders Network ended in 2011. These pages are no longer updated, but are online for archival purposes.

Frequently Asked Questions About ELN

Please click on a question below to jump to its answer.

  1. Overview: ELN basics for applicants
  2. What is the Emerging Leaders Network of Minnesota (ELN) program?
  3. Why was ELN created?
  4. Who created ELN?
  5. What does the Collaborative Council do now?
  6. What does it cost to run the program?
  7. Who pays for the program's operations?
  8. How much is tuition?
  9. Do I have to live in an urban area to participate?
  10. What is "Collaborative Leadership?"
  11. Working with leaders and other health professionals feels intimidating to me. Will I be comfortable in this program?
  12. Who applies to ELN?
  13. Who gets accepted to ELN?
  14. Who are the instructors?
  15. What do participants learn?
  16. How do you assess the program's results?
  17. What impact does ELN have on public health leadership?

1. ELN Basics for Applicants

The ELN is a year-long leadership training program designed to identify and improve collaborative leadership skills.

  • You can apply at any stage of your career or any age. As long as your current job influences or includes public health, you're eligible.
  • For information and applications, visit How to Apply or call 651-201-3875.
  • Twelve to fourteen participants are accepted each year.
  • Applications are typically accepted for 6-8 weeks, with results 6-8 weeks later.
  • Tuition is $750; some scholarships are available.
  • Participants commit to four 2.5-day retreats located throughout Minnesota. Between retreats, the program requires about 2-4 hours per week.
  • You'll learn key collaborative leadership skills, meet top leaders in public health, identify the values that you want to exhibit in your leadership, assess and grow your network, and learn the complexities of building ethical and resourceful relationships.
  • Most alumni continue to follow their development plans and pursue and attain leadership opportunities they say they might not have sought otherwise.

2. What is the Emerging Leaders Network of Minnesota (ELN) Program?

It's a year-long leadership development program that trains potential leaders in public health. The ELN serves as a catalyst for emerging leaders to expand professional networks in order to accomplish public health goals.

3. Why was ELN created?

The initial steering committee saw a significant turnover in public health leadership, but there weren't the resources for organizations to train the emerging workforce to take on these roles. They wanted to address the cultural disparity in the health workforce, and wanted leadership teams to reflect the diversity of their communities.

4. Who created ELN?

The ELN was designed and founded in 2002 by public health leaders from grassroots and community-based organizations, non-profits, advocacy and professional groups, academia and government.

5. What does the Collaborative Council do now?

It formulates policies, reviews evaluation data, develops program objectives, advises program staff, and oversees the program's services and financing.

6. What does it cost to run the program?

Staff:   $25,000
Retreats/Graduation:   $20,000
Faculty:   $15,000
Supplies:   $1,000
Total:   $61,000


7. Who pays for the program's operations?

The ELN is primarily dependent on grants, donations and in-kind support.

8. How much is tuition?

$750 plus travel expenses. If tuition is prohibitive, applicants may apply for a scholarship.

9. Do I have to live in an urban area to participate?

No. Participants come from around Minnesota to our retreats, which take place in different locations each year.

10. What is "Collaborative Leadership?"

A "collaborative leader" is one who facilitates an environment where each individual's contributions are valued and supported, and who can lead a team's efforts to accomplish agreed-upon goals together.

11. Working with leaders and other health professionals feels intimidating to me. Will I be comfortable in this program?

Our diverse instructors cultivate a trusting, safe environment for all participants. They encourage applicants who work to achieve public health goals, who want to become more proficient in collaborative environments, and who want to feel more confident as a public health leader.

12. Who applies to ELN?

Applicants have range in age from 20s to 50s, and come from non-profit, community-based, health care, private, academic and governmental settings.

13. Who gets accepted to ELN?

Applicants who stand out demonstrate integrity, dependability, and a belief in sharing power and recognition. They seek new ways to grow and improve. We consider a diverse range of ages, gender, geographic location, cultural background and professional discipline when selecting each year's group of new participants.

14. Who are the instructors?

Current leaders and ELN alumni who demonstrate an understanding of community building and leadership development, who value alternative views and the lessons of experience necessary to help participants use the information.

15. What do participants learn?

The Six Key Practices of Collaborative Leadership:

  • Assessing the environment for collaboration
  • Developing trust and safety
  • Developing clarity (visioning and mobilizing)
  • Sharing power and influence
  • Mentoring and coaching
  • Self-reflection

There are learning sessions, opportunities to meet current leaders, group exercises and projects, individual assignments, opportunities to practice skills, and networking.

16. How do you assess the program's results?

ELN staff conducts surveys and phone interviews to evaluate diversity, development, opportunities, impact and achievements.

17. What impact does ELN have on public health leadership?

ELN alumni often transition to new jobs, return for additional education, expand networks, take on new responsibilities, submit papers for publication, and increase community outreach, strengthen project teams, and are better able to serve their communities. Eighty-two percent say their ELN experience influenced their success rates; 92% continue using the career development plan they created during the program.