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About the course

The UCLA Head Start Management Fellows Program is a partner in the National Center on Program Management and Fiscal Operations (NCPMFO), which is funded by the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), Office of Head Start.

About the Program

Designed from a strategic planning perspective, the UCLA Head Start Management Fellows Program provides a unique opportunity for Head Start executives to participate in a 12-day, intensive leadership and management development training session at UCLA Anderson School of Management. Since 1991, the program has trained over 1,400 Head Start directors and managers who provide comprehensive services to nearly 1 million economically disadvantaged children and their families each day. The program was previously funded by Johnson & Johnson from 1991-2015.


The competency-based curriculum focuses on the leadership and management skills, knowledge and abilities most relevant to Head Start/Early Head Start programs. Key curriculum components include:

  • Accounting
  • Communications
  • Data Analysis
  • Decision Making
  • Economics
  • Finance
  • Negotiations
  • Operations Management
  • Organizational Design
  • Group Design & Development
  • Human Resources
  • Leadership Styles
  • Leasing
  • Management Effectiveness
  • Marketing
  • Project Management
  • Strategy Development
  • Strategy Implementation

Special Program Features

  • The Management Improvement Project (MIP) The MIP is the practical application or experiential component of the program, allowing participants to immediately translate the UCLA program curriculum to improve performance at their own organizations. It identifies and addresses an organizational weakness or external opportunity through the development of a strategic plan for tackling an issue.

  • Individual Consultation by MBA Students The program employs MBA students as Teaching Associates (TA) who lead small study groups to clarify and discuss session content with participants and act as consultants as participants develop their strategic projects.

  • Technology-Enabled Online Learning Community A Web-based "learning management system" coordinates the education process and delivers some of the program content. An easily accessible information source for online presentations, reading and useful links, the system is available to Fellows as a resource upon completing the program.

Who should attend

  • A minimum of 2 years’ tenure as a director or manager in a Head Start/Early Head Start program or an executive who currently holds a leadership role in a regional or state Head Start association
  • Documentation of a leadership role in a local, state or regional community organization for a minimum of 2 years
  • A commitment from a co-participant who is the applicant’s supervisor, to participate for the final two and one-half days of the program
  • Demonstrated competence in working within community organizations and a pledge to work with other Head Start/EarIy Head Start programs in the future through training workshops and/or mentoring opportunities.

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