Professional Development Program (PDP)

PLEASE NOTE: Due to the COVID-19 crisis, the 2020-2021 recruitment cycle has changed.

The application deadline for the 2020-2021 cohort has been extended to Friday, April 24, 2020. All applicants will be informed of any changes that may impact the traditional timeline and format of the program that is described below. 


PDP was launched in 1994 to provide the University with highly trained and qualified staff prepared to move into leadership positions. This one-year leadership development program provides participants in PSS 2-6 classifications with opportunities to enhance professional and management skills, build professional networks, and learn about the structure and culture of the University. By grooming future leaders, we assist UCLA with its succession management needs and safeguard its continued success.   

Close association between participants, their supervisors and the program coordinator is maintained to ensure that individual career development plans and program activities remain consistent with the University's needs. Supervisors can expect that participants will need approximately 10-12 hours of paid release time each month. There is no cost to either the department or program member.

Program Components

  • Retreat – 2½ day off-site at the beginning of the program year to begin leadership training
  • Monthly Seminars – workshops on management competencies, leadership issues and UC/ UCLA organizational information
  • Buddy Program – pairings of current year participants with program alumni
  • Site Visits – field trips to participants’ departments to learn about the impressive variety of organizations and employment roles on campus
  • Brown Bags – field trips to participants’ departments to learn about the impressive variety of organizations and employment roles on campus
  • Mentoring – pairing of current year participants with senior leaders
  • Team Projects – group projects sponsored by campus departments identified as important to university operations
  • Career Coaching – sessions with the program coordinator to strategize individual career plans

Eligibility Requirements

  • Full-time career employment at UCLA in the Professional & Support Staff (PSS) Grades 2-6
    • Equivalent classifications include Information Technology Professional (ITP) 1-4, Management & Senior Professional (MSP) 1, and Advancement Officer (AO) 1-3
    • To verify your classification consider using the Title and Pay Plan tool
      • Use the “Search by Title Name” or “Search by Title Code” options > scroll to your payroll title name or title code > refer to “Pay Structure” on the results page
  • At least one year of service at UCLA as of August 1, 2020, is required. At least one year of service in current role is preferred
  • Department endorsement for participation

Program Timeline

  • Recruitment begins in March 2020. The selection committee reviews applications and recommends selected staff for in-person interviews. A final cohort of approximately 30 staff is selected and notified by June 2020
  • Orientation is in August and a three-day retreat at the UCLA Lake Arrowhead Conference Center is held in October each year
  • Program activities and events are attended throughout the year and a final celebration is held in June

Application Submission Process
Three application materials must be submitted in order to be considered for participation: the Participant Application, a current resume, and the Supervisor Recommendation.  

  1. Applicants must complete the Participant Application via SurveyMonkey
  2. At the end of the Participant Application, applicants must upload a current resume
  3. Supervisors must complete the Supervisor Recommendation via SurveyMonkey

For additional information contact:
Campus Human Resources, Training and Development
Phone: (310) 794-0872
Email: [email protected]