Application Deadline: October 30, 2023
Program Dates: January 11 – April 11, 2024
What Is ITLA?
The Information Technology Leadership Academy (ITLA) is a 14-week program for public sector IT professionals with a focus on developing the critical leadership skills needed by the state’s IT workforce.
Participants in the academy are selected from state and other public agencies and departments that work in information technology programs. Individuals with a vision for enterprise-wide thinking, strong potential for career advancement into executive or senior management positions, and experience carrying out their organization’s mission and vision are encouraged to apply.
To be considered for acceptance, candidates must be currently serving in an IT managerial or IT supervisory capacity (or similar classification levels within our state’s cities and counties) and should ideally possess at least three years experience in one or a combination of both levels combined and/or have completed the Department of Technology’s (CDT) Emerging IT Leaders Boot Camp (EITL BC).
Less experienced IT managers or supervisors are strongly encouraged to attend our EITL BC first or instead, which has been specifically designed to address the leadership challenges and best practices for this demographic and is now offered biyearly. To learn more, please visit our EITL BC webpage, which describes the program in greater detail.
The program cost is $4,900 per participant.
This cost does not include a 17% cost distribution fee charged by the Department of Technology (CDT) which is our standard practice and will be included in the direct billing. For more information, please see CDT’s Service Rates webpage.
How It Works
ITLA participants expand their skills in leadership, executive presentations, and team building. As they hone their skills, students also learn about strategic planning, coaching, and mentoring best practices to ensure good succession planning. ITLA also incorporates best practices and strategies needed to lead successfully in a remote/hybrid environment throughout the curriculum.
ITLA includes classroom sessions taught by vendor partners, IT executives, and prior graduates. Throughout the program, students contribute to lively group discussions, share their experiences, and collaborate to address real-life scenarios that address the state’s unique leadership challenges. To ensure participants have a positive experience, each academy class also has two carefully selected Program Coaches who are typically prior graduates of ITLA. Coaches attend class sessions, share their leadership best practices and challenges, and provide guidance and support to students along the way.
Before applying for acceptance, candidates should carefully consider the time commitment associated with this academy, which includes not only attending scheduled courses three (3) days per week for the duration of the program but also the completion of several additional program activities which are discussed below in more detail within the Frequently Asked Questions section. Since some student workload will likely need to be redirected to accommodate ITLA’s programmatic expectations, candidates are strongly encouraged to discuss the commitment level with his/her direct supervisor/manager first and ensure he/she has the full support of their management team.
Due to continued student interest in completing our training academies primarily using a remote platform, most class sessions for the 2024 program will be conducted online using Zoom. However, due to the high value associated with completing certain courses in person, students should anticipate attending a few sessions in person at the CDT’s Training and Education Center (TEC), located in Rancho Cordova, CA. Classes scheduled to be in-person are the ITLA 31 Kickoff/Getting to Know You, Business Chemistry, Building Your Leadership Brand, Human-Centered Design, Executive Presentation Skills, Team Class Presentations, and Graduation. Dates for class sessions are to be provided if accepted into the program.
It is important to note that while CDT always encourages non-local (outside the Sacramento area) students to apply for ITLA, the expectation is that all students should make arrangements to attend in-person classes regardless of location. To assist with planning, the ITLA 2024 Program Schedule and Calendar will be provided to all students accepted into this year’s program for careful review before formally committing to the program and will identify which sessions will be conducted online versus in-person only so appropriate arrangements can be made.
Participants will meet interesting and dynamic peers who are recommended by their department’s Chief Information Officer (CIO) and selected for the program. In addition, they will also have the opportunity to collaborate with guests and experts from other state agencies and leaders in the state’s IT community.
How To Apply
ITLA 31 is open to candidates who are currently serving within IT managerial or IT supervisory classifications (or similar classifications within our state’s cities and counties) who possess at least three years of experience in one or a combination of these roles and/or who have completed the CDT’s Emerging IT Leaders Boot Camp (EITL BC).
The ITLA application period is now open and closes at 5:00 p.m. on October 30, 2023. The following documents must be submitted for your application to be considered complete:
- Formal application
- A signed Chief Information Officer (CIO) Authorization form – Please secure this prior to beginning your application as you will be unable to save information once you begin the process.
Please note that a formal letter of recommendation from your CIO is no longer required; however, CIOs may provide additional commentary regarding the worthiness of their nominated candidate within the CIO Authorization Form. It is also important to note that acceptance is based on the quality of application responses. Therefore, submissions should thoroughly address each question and should be carefully and thoughtfully reviewed before final submission.
For questions and further information, please contact the Office of Professional Development at ITLA@state.ca.gov.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the cost for ITLA 31?
The cost for ITLA 31 is $4,900 per student and is paid for by their department/agency.
When does ITLA 31 start and end?
ITLA 31 starts on January 11 and ends on April 11, 2024.
How many class sessions are scheduled each week?
Students should expect to attend class sessions three (3) days per week, on average, for the duration of the program. The Office of Professional Development (OPD) will provide the Program Schedule and Calendar to students upon acceptance into the program for their review and will identify which sessions are scheduled to be conducted in-person versus remotely.
How will class sessions be conducted, and what are the technical requirements for attending?
Due to continued student interest in completing our training academies primarily using a remote platform due to many departments’ incorporation of a remote/hybrid workforce model, the majority of the class sessions for the 2024 program will be conducted online using Zoom. However, due to the high value associated with completing certain courses in person, students should anticipate attending a few sessions in-person at the CDT’s Training and Education Center (TEC), located in Rancho Cordova, CA. Classes scheduled to be in-person are the ITLA 31 Kickoff/Getting to Know You, Business Chemistry, Building Your Leadership Brand, Human-Centered Design, Executive Presentation Skills, Team Class Presentations, and Graduation. Dates for class sessions are to be provided if accepted into the program.
It is important to note that while CDT always encourages non-local students to apply for ITLA, the expectation is that all students should make arrangements to attend in-person classes regardless of location. To assist with planning, the ITLA 2024 Program Schedule and Calendar will be provided to all students accepted into this year’s program for careful review before formally committing to the program and will identify which sessions will be conducted online versus in person so appropriate arrangements can be made.
ITLA will be using Microsoft Teams to house all program-related documents and Zoom will be the primary delivery medium for all remote class sessions. Students must be able to access these platforms. In addition, students are expected to possess a fully functioning camera and microphone so they can actively participate in class sessions.
What are the core hours for the program?
Core hours for ITLA 31 are 9 a.m. – 3:30 p.m, whether remote or in-person. In order to verify connectivity, virtual class sessions will be open at 8:30am. Students are also encouraged to log in to sessions early to network and chat with one another.
How many candidates will be accepted into the program?
With only 30 spots in the program, the application process is highly competitive. Student selection is based on the quality and thoughtfulness of application responses. Therefore, before submitting their application, students should carefully craft and review their answers to ensure they thoroughly address each question.
Do I need to have managerial or supervisory experience to be accepted?
Candidates must currently be serving in a managerial or supervisory capacity to be considered for acceptance, ideally with at least three (3) years of experience in one or a combination of both levels and/or have completed CDT’s Emerging IT Leaders Boot Camp. Less experienced IT supervisors and managers should consider registering for the EITL BC first or instead, which will now be offered biyearly.
What topics are covered in the curriculum?
The course topics have been carefully selected by the Executive Sponsor and take into consideration the recommendations of past ITLA students to provide the leadership skills critical for the state’s IT workforce. Below is a tentative course listing for the 2024 program. Please note that course topics may be subject to change and that circumstances beyond our control may require adjustments to the program schedule. In addition, it is important to note that refunds will not be provided after the onset of the program (see below for further details on our refund policy).
- ITLA 31 Kickoff Event & Getting to Know You*
- Exemplary Leadership for IT Professionals
- Business Chemistry*
- Human-Centered Design*
- 360 Leadership Workshop with 1:1 Coaching Session
- Building Your Leadership Brand*
- Organizational Change Management
- Strategic Planning: A Tactical Approach for Leaders
- Enterprise Communications
- Conflict Management Strategies
- What Executives Need to Know about IT Projects, Procurement, Security, and Budgets
- Executive Presentation Skills*
- Lab for Leaders & Building Trust to Accelerate Change
- Transformation Through Communication
- Managing Performance
- Generative Artificial Intelligence (AI)
- Executive Speaker Sessions
- Team Class Presentations*
- ITLA 31 Graduation Event*
*These sessions will be conducted in person only and will not be recorded; therefore, students are expected to make arrangements to attend.
What are some additional activities we will be participating in?
In addition to the formal training sessions, there are several events that help make ITLA a unique and rewarding experience.
All students are expected to complete a Class Exercise where they will work in small teams to complete an assignment related to a leadership topic that is personally meaningful to them. Students should anticipate completing all (or most) of this assignment remotely and will be expected to deliver a presentation at the end of the program.
The 2024 CIO Academy is anticipated to be fully in-person (delivery dates are still to be determined). Students will benefit from assisting with a breakout session, learning from some of the state’s most seasoned IT executives, and promoting their unique Class Exercise assignments with their classmates.
Walk/Zoom Like a Leader:
Students will also shadow an executive through our “Walk/Zoom Like a Leader” experience. Students not only benefit from the opportunity to see how a day in the life of a leader is spent, but also from the guidance and mentoring provided. Pairings will be assigned during the second month of the program, and students are expected to complete this assignment outside of class time. The “Walk/Zoom Like a Leader” experience can take place over one or several days and the desired format (in person, remote, or a combination of the two formats) will be determined by the student and executive in each pairing, based on their availability and comfort level.
1:1 Coaching Session:
As part of their 360 Leadership Workshop session, all students will be required to schedule and attend a coaching session with the instructor to discuss their specific leadership challenges and best practices for improvement. More details regarding this experience will be provided once the program begins.
Do I have to attend all sessions to remain in the program, and what is the commitment level?
Attendance is mandatory throughout the 14-week program; however, students are allowed three (3) absences. There are no make-up sessions for missed classes, and sessions are not recorded. If you have vacations or other planned time off during the academy that will significantly interfere with your participation, you are encouraged to apply to a future academy that will not have conflicting dates.
In addition, before applying, it is strongly recommended that interested candidates have a frank conversation with their immediate supervisor/manager about the commitment level associated with this academy and the probability that their workload will need to be redistributed if accepted. Due to the combination of courses, the Walk/Zoom Like a Leader experience, CIO Academy, and the Class Exercise component, students should expect to spend a significant amount of time outside of class working on related assignments or tasks either independently or with assigned teammates.
If I drop out of the academy after it starts or if I am withdrawn due to excessive absences, will my department receive a refund?
Students who wish to drop out must do so no later than ten business days before the academy’s start date or your department will be charged the full program amount. Those who drop from the academy less than ten days before the program start date, or who are withdrawn due to excessive absences, will also incur charges to their department for the full amount of the program.
Will I be expected to complete assignments outside my regular work schedule?
Both the “Walk/Zoom Like a Leader” and CIO Academy experiences will require time outside of class to prepare and/or complete. In addition, while some Class Exercise Check-Ins will be scheduled throughout the program to allow time for students to collaborate and discuss their efforts with Program Coaches and Sponsors, students should still expect to spend time outside of scheduled sessions to complete this assignment. Finally, to allow for significant time for personal feedback and discussion, the Executive Presentation Skills class will also require students to prepare a speech before their scheduled session.
Where do I direct my questions?
Please contact the Office of Professional Development for questions and further information at ITLA@state.ca.gov.