Application Deadline: Closed

Program Dates: January 12 – May 5, 2022

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 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), ideally with at least five years’ experience in one or a combination of both levels combined. Less experienced IT managers or supervisors are strongly encouraged to attend our Emerging IT Leaders Boot Camp (EITL BC) first or instead, which has been specifically designed to address the leadership challenges and best practices for this demographic. To learn more, please visit our EITL BC webpage, which describes the program in greater detail.

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 at the time of this writing (September 29, 2021) training sessions scheduled during the months of January and February will be conducted online using Zoom as the primary instructional platform.  As the circumstances related to COVID-19 continue to evolve, some training sessions after February 28 may be offered in-person with the option to still attend virtually, if desired. However, due to the continued uncertainty related to COVID-19 protocols, 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 strategic planning, Agile for leaders, coaching and mentoring best practices to ensure good succession planning, and systems thinking. This year’s program will also incorporate best practices and strategies needed to lead successfully in a remote/hybrid environment throughout the curriculum. 

ITLA 29’s delivery model 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.

Professional Development

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

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 29?

The cost for ITLA 29 is $3,800 per student and is paid for by their department/agency.

When does ITLA 29 start and end?

ITLA 29 starts on January 12, 2022 and ends on May 5, 2022.

How many class sessions are scheduled each week?

Students should expect to attend class sessions 2-3 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.

How will class sessions be conducted, and what are the technical requirements for attending?

All class sessions scheduled for the months of January and February will be delivered exclusively using a remote format (and possibly beyond this date). Therefore, students should possess a microphone and camera for virtual sessions. ITLA 29 will be using Microsoft Teams to house all program-related documents and Zoom will be the primary delivery medium for virtual delivery. Therefore, students must be able to access these platforms.

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 for those who wish to attend. However, this is not expected to occur at the onset of the academy, and students who wish to attend virtual sessions exclusively will be given the opportunity to do so.    

What are the core hours for the program?

Core hours for ITLA 29 are 9am – 4:30pm, whether remote or potentially 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. Students are selected based on the quality and thoughtfulness of their application responses.

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 five years of experience in one or a combination of both levels. Less experienced IT supervisors and managers should consider registering for the Emerging IT Leaders Boot Camp (EITL BC) first or instead, which is typically offered every fall.

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 2022 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).

  • Exemplary Leadership for IT Professionals
  • Business Chemistry
  • Managing Virtual or Hybrid Teams
  • Organizational Change Management
  • Strategic Planning: A Tactical Approach for Leaders
  • Innovation for Leaders
  • Creating a Coaching Culture
  • Enterprise Communications
  • Agile for Leaders
  • Systems Thinking
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Rapid-Based Procurement
  • What Executives Need to Know about IT Projects, Procurement, Security, and Budgets
  • Executive Presentation Skills
  • Lab for Leaders & Building Trust to Accelerate Change
  • Diversity and Inclusion

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.

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 (or most) planning and execution remotely as well as develop a final presentation collaboratively that will be delivered to a statewide audience.

CIO Academy:

The 2022 CIO Academy is scheduled to take place in early March. The delivery format, however, is still to be determined. Last year’s effort was conducted remotely and students were still able to play an active and meaningful role in the experience; therefore, whether this experience is remote or in-person, students will benefit from assisting with a breakout session, learning from some of the state’s most seasoned IT executives, and promoting their Class Exercise with their teammates.

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 or remote) will be determined by the student and executive in each pairing, based on their availability and comfort level.

Do I have to attend all sessions to remain in the program?

 Attendance is mandatory throughout the 17-week program; however, students are allowed three absences. There are no make-up sessions for missed classes.  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 about the commitment level associated with this academy and the possibility that their workload may need to be redistributed if accepted.

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 from 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 Class Exercise Workshops will be scheduled throughout the program to allow time for teams 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 with their team. 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.

Students should anticipate completing these assignments remotely unless there are changes in the Governor’s directives related to COVID-19.

Where do I direct my questions?

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

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