Application Deadline: Closed

Program Dates: January 6 – May 7, 2021

What Is ITLA?

The Information Technology Leadership Academy (ITLA) is a 17-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 ideal candidates for acceptance into this program.

Cost

The program cost is $3,800 per participant.

How It Works

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the Governor’s directives currently in place, training sessions will be conducted online using various platforms (e.g. Zoom, Cisco Webex, GoToMeeting, MS Teams). As the circumstances related to COVID-19 continue to evolve, some training sessions may be delivered using an in-person format. However, this is not anticipated for the onset of the program and students should expect to potentially complete the entire academy online.

ITLA participants expand their skills in leadership, executive presentations, and team building. As they hone their skills, students also learn about the legislative budget process, Organizational Change Management (OCM), Agile, and strategic planning. This year’s program will also incorporate best practices and strategies needed to lead successfully in a remote environment throughout the curriculum. 

ITLA 28’s delivery model includes classroom sessions via virtual platform or in person taught by vendor partners, IT executives, and prior graduates. Throughout the program, participants 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.

Professional Development

Participants will meet interesting and dynamic peers who are recommended by their department’s Chief Information Officer (CIO) and selected into 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

The ITLA application period is now closed.

Please contact the Office of Professional Development for questions and further information at ITLA@state.ca.gov.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the cost for ITLA 28?

The cost for ITLA 28 is $3,800 per student and is paid for by their department/agency.

When does ITLA start and end?

ITLA 28 takes place from January 6 – May 7, 2021.

How often will I be away from my office?

Students can expect to attend class sessions on average two to three days per week. However, in an effort to avoid “Zoom fatigue,” many class sessions will be split and delivered in 4-hour time blocks, where feasible. A schedule will be provided upon acceptance into the program.

Where is the training held?

Training sessions will initially be conducted online using various platforms depending on the instructor. Platforms may include, but are not limited to: Zoom, Cisco Webex, and GoToMeeting. In order to gain the most from their experience, participants will be expected to have access to a camera and microphone.

If, based on the Governor’s and our local health officials’ directives, it is deemed acceptable for gatherings in larger groups to occur, training sessions may be converted to an in-person format. However, this is not expected to occur at the onset of the academy.

What are the core hours for the training?

Training sessions are held from 9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

How many candidates will be accepted into the program?

With only 30 spots in the program, the application process is highly competitive. Candidates are selected based on the quality and thoughtfulness of their application responses.

Do I need to have supervisory/managerial experience to be accepted?

While it is preferable for students to possess 1-3 years of supervisory/managerial experience based on the training sessions offered, it is not a requirement for acceptance.

What are some additional events 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.

Class Exercise:

All students are expected to actively contribute to a team Class Exercise where they will work collaboratively to complete an assignment related to an IT leadership challenge in state government. Students should anticipate completing all planning and collaboration remotely.

CIO Academy:

In year’s past, our students have played an important role in planning for the State CIO Academy. However, due to the COVID restrictions this year, the CIO Academy participation is undetermined at this time. More information will be shared with the students once we have it.

Walk Like a Leader:

Students will also shadow an Executive (either remotely or in person) for a day through our “Walk Like a Leader” experience. Each student is partnered with an Executive from various state agencies/departments to spend a day walking in her/his shoes. 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. This will be scheduled during the cohort and will need to take place outside of class time. The “Walk Like a Leader” experience can take place over one or several days, depending on the leader and student’s preferences.

What is your attendance expectation?

Attendance is mandatory throughout the 17-week program; however, students are allowed three absences. There are no make-up sessions for courses missed.  If you have vacation 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.

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 2021 program. Please note that course topics may be subject to change.

  • Leading in a Remote Environment
  • Innovation for Leaders
  • Executive Presentation Skills
  • Lab for Leaders/Building Trust to Accelerate Change
  • Agile Essentials
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Strategic Planning: A Tactical Approach for Leaders
  • Business Chemistry
  • Organizational Change Management (OCM)
  • What Executives need to know about IT Procurements, IT Projects, Security and Budgets

Will I be expected to work outside my regular schedule?

Classes are held 9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., so please adjust your schedule and commute, as needed, for this timeframe. There may be occasions when you will need to spend time outside of the classroom to work on your Class Exercise with your assigned team, as well as participate in your “Walk Like A Leader” experience. Students should anticipate completing these assignments remotely unless there are changes in the Governor’s directives related to COVID-19.

Please contact the Office of Professional Development for questions and further information at ITLA@state.ca.gov.