Leadership Programs

Outside of the myriad of specific professional development opportunities provided to the community, the Costa Leadership Institute also spearheads a number of comprehensive leadership development programs:

Leadership Okaloosa

Leadership Beyond

Collegiate High School at NWF Leadership Class



Leadership Okaloosa

Leadership Okaloosa is an esteemed leadership training and development program with a 27 year history of being a vital part of Okaloosa County’s growth and development of its leaders. This 9 month experience is designed to enhance the participant’s leadership skills and provide community awareness.

Hosted from September to May, participants receive classroom training by certified instructors and are given opportunities to interact with various key community leaders throughout the process. Tours of key areas such as Destin, Crestview, Niceville, Valparaiso, Fort Walton Beach, Eglin Air Force Base, Hurlburt Field and Legislative Days in Tallahassee provide participants with a better understanding of the community. Additionally, each participant takes part in a group project to benefit the community while focusing on project management, time management and team building skills.

Another important aspect of Leadership Okaloosa is the networking relationships forged that lead to long lasting personal and professional relationships. Leadership Okaloosa is hosted by the Northwest Florida State College Costa Leadership Institute; with the support of the Crestview Area Chamber of Commerce, Destin Area Chamber of Commerce, Greater Fort Walton Beach Chamber of Commerce, and Niceville Valparaiso Chamber of Commerce. 


Leadership Okaloosa Application 2017-2018 [pdf]


2017-2018 Leadership Okaloosa Schedule*
September 19, 2017 Orientation and Training Day
October 10, 2017 Training Day
November 2, 2017 Crestview Tour
December 5, 2017 Training Day
January 10, 2018 Niceville Valparaiso Tour
January 30, 2018 Training Day
February 20, 2018 Training Day
February (TBD) Tallahassee Legislative Days
March 2, 2018 Fort Walton Beach Tour
April 24, 2018 Training Day
May 8, 2018 Destin Tour
May 10, 2018 Graduation Celebration
Training Days 8:30 am - 2:30 pm
September 19 Will last until 4:30 pm
Tour Days 7:30 am - 3:30 pm
Graduation Celebration 5:30 pm
Attendance Policy
  • Attend at least 4 training days
  • Attend Tallahassee Legislative Days (Mandatory)
  • Attendance at Graduation Celebration is encouraged!
*Note: This is a tentative schedule and is subject to change.



Destin Chamber of Commerce Niceville Chamber Crestview Chamber FWB Chamber


Leadership Beyond

Leadership Beyond is the next step for graduates of the Leadership Okaloosa program. Hosted February through August, participants meet quarterly to receive classroom training and exposure to current topics impacting Okaloosa County. Each training session is designed to expand on the themes and concepts introduced in Leadership Okaloosa.

In addition to forging and reaffirming professional relationships through this unique experience, participants will also:

  • Enhance leadership skills through professional training
  • Be equipped and motivated to build strong partnerships in Okaloosa County
  • Interact with Community Leaders
  • Further awareness of the region and current trends

 Leadership Beyond is hosted by the Costa Leadership Institute at Northwest Florida State College with the support of the Crestview Area Chamber of Commerce, Destin Area Chamber of Commerce, Greater Fort Walton Beach Chamber of Commerce, and Niceville Valparaiso Chamber of Commerce.


Collegiate High School at NWF Leadership Class

As part of the innovative structure that students follow through the Collegiate High School at Northwest Florida State College, 11th and 12th grade students may enroll in the Collegiate High School Leadership Class. This class is offered in the Spring each year.

Throughout the semester, students will learn key leadership skills and develop a better sense of their unique strengths through classroom instruction and interactive activities. As part of the curriculum, students will also attend at least one professional community networking event and will conduct a class project.


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