Professional Development Program (PDP)

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 manager 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. 

Due to COVID-19, PDP transitioned to a fully remote program in March 2020. At this time, all meetings, activities, and events will be held over Zoom. Plans to return to in-person participation and instruction will be contingent upon UCLA and CDC guidelines to ensure the safety of all participants.

Program Components 

  • Orientation & Micro Retreats – Three, 3-hour remote workshops, called micro-retreats, will be held at the at the beginning of the program year to begin leadership training and build professional networks.
  • Monthly Seminars – Skill-building workshops are held on the third Thursday of each month and are designed to prepare participants to successfully complete the program requirements and increase readiness for leadership at UCLA.
  • Buddy Program –Each participant is paired with a PDP alum and is required to meet with their buddy for at least one hour each month for six months starting in November.
  • Mentoring – Each participant is paired with a senior leader at UCLA and is required to meet with their mentor for at least one hour each month for six months starting in November.
  • Capstone Project – Participants will complete an individual project that improves a process, solves a problem, or otherwise provides a benefit to their department.
  • Consultation Teams – Participants will be placed on a consultation team comprised of five or six PDP peers. Team members will provide consultation, support, and feedback to one another over the course of the program, as well as facilitate a final group presentation summarizing their individual capstone project results.
  • Career Coaching – Participants will meet with the program manager at least three times during the year to receive individualized career planning and performance coaching. 

Eligibility Requirements 

  • Full-time career employment at UCLA in the Professional & Support Staff (PSS) Grades 2-6 
    1. Equivalent classifications include Information Technology Professional (ITP) 1-4, Management & Senior Professional (MSP) 1, and Advancement Officer (AO) 1-3 
  • At least one year of service at UCLA as of August 1, 2021, is required. At least one year of service in current role is preferred. 
  • Department endorsement for participation 

Program Timeline 

  • Recruitment begins in March 2021. The selection committee reviews applications and recommends selected staff for in-person interviews. A final cohort of approximately 35 staff is selected and notified in June. 
  • Orientation and the micro-retreats are held in August.
  • Program activities and events are attended throughout the year and a final virtual celebration is held in June 2022. 

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 
[email protected]