Application Period: Closed

Academy Dates: September 13 – November 22, 2019

What Is PMLA?

The Project Management Leadership Academy (PMLA) is a 10-week program for state IT professionals with a focus on developing project management leadership skills. The program targets project managers with limited experience and current project support personnel. Support personnel are defined as those who have worked in project support functions (e.g. test manager, business analyst, contract manager) and aspire to lead projects for the State of California.

PMLA Testimonials
How It Works

This year’s PMLA has a new program model to better accommodate student and mentor schedules while still providing an enriching, meaningful experience.

The first five weeks of the program PMLA participants will develop their project management skills through formal classroom training provided by certified trainers and subject matter experts within the state. Classes average 3-4 days per week. Program participants also learn from their PMLA class Sponsor, Program Coaches, and their fellow students. When students are not in class, they return to their home departments.

Weeks 6-10 of the program students will participate in an internship with a receiving department where they will be paired with a mentor who provides guidance, support, and coaching as interns contribute to an active project. So that interns gain the most from their experience, the internship component requires a full-time commitment. Therefore, interns do not return to their home departments until after graduation.

Mentor and Intern Partnership Component

The internship component takes place during Weeks 6-10 of the program and reinforces classroom training by providing on-the-job practical project experience and assignments to sharpen skills in the following areas:

  • Relationship Management
  • Stakeholder Engagement
  • Team Dynamics
  • Leadership

To reduce the impact on participating departments, if a candidate is accepted into the program, that department will also receive an intern in return to be placed with a designated mentor within their department.

Professional Development

Students will interact with peers, class instructors, subject matter experts, and executives throughout the duration of the Academy. During the internship component, students will directly partner with seasoned experts in the project management discipline and benefit by actively participating within a designated project.

How To Apply

The PMLA application period is now closed.

Please contact the Office of Professional Development for questions and further information at

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the cost for the PMLA?

The cost is $4,200 per participant.

When does the PMLA start and end?

The PMLA runs from September 13th to November 22nd.

What level of expertise and experience are you seeking from a candidate?

The PMLA welcomes applications from any candidate having having a strong interest in project management. The program develops project managers with limited experience and current project support personnel who aspire to lead projects within the State of California. While it is helpful to possess some background in project management, candidates need not be highly experienced to apply.

How many days per week are the training sessions for this academy?

Formal classroom training occurs during Weeks 1-5 of the program. While the training schedule varies depending on the week, students can generally expect to be out of the office 3-4 days per week on average. When not in class, students will return to their home departments. During Weeks 6-10, students report to their internship sites full time for the rest of the academy.

What are the core hours for the training?

Training sessions are held from 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

What specific topics are covered in the curriculum, and how in depth is the training?

The course topics have been carefully selected to provide a meaningful blend of both technical and soft skills critical for the state’s project management workforce. Below is a tentative course listing for the 2019 program. Please note that course topics may be subject to change:

  • California Project Management Framework (CA-PMF) (5 days)
  • Agile (2 days)
  • Business Chemistry (1 day)
  • Leadership for Project Managers (1 day)
  • Risk Management (1 day)
  • Organizational Change Management (1 day)
  • MS Project (1 day)
  • Governance (1 day)
  • Project Planning and Procurement (1 day)
  • Contract and Vendor Management (1/2 day)
  • IT Project/Budget Timeline (1/2 day)
  • Top Project Challenges: The Dirty Dozen (1/2 day)
  • Professional Skills Development for Project Managers (1/2 day)
  • Getting to Know You (1/2 day)

What happens once my formal training is over?

Beginning in Week 6, students will report to their internship site where they will participate in an active project under the guidance of their mentor. Receiving departments are carefully selected so students are exposed to meaningful projects within the State that align with program curriculum. As the internship is such a critical component of the academy, students are expected to report to their site for the entire duration of their internship (October 21st through November 21st).

How is my internship determined?

In order to reduce the impact to participating departments, if a candidate is selected to participate in the program, that department will receive an intern in return. Interns are matched with their mentors based on their application submissions and via a skills assessment they are asked to complete upon acceptance. Program staff coordinate the placement of interns based on how the intern’s current skill set would best suit the host department’s designated project assignment.

How are mentors selected?

Mentors are selected based on their background in project management, interest/experience in mentoring, and whether their current project assignment will provide the opportunity for interns to learn and grow professionally. In addition, since departments who sponsor an intern will also be receiving an intern in return, the program expectation is that the host department will provide a mentor for that student.

Where will the training be held?

All training sessions will be held at the California Department of Technology’s Training and Education Center in Rancho Cordova, located at 10860 Gold Center Drive. Parking is free.

Do I have to attend all the training sessions to remain in the academy?

The PMLA covers a great deal of curriculum during the first five weeks. In addition, it is important that students understand their receiving departments are also expecting full attendance during their internships in order to provide a valuable experience. Therefore, a significant time commitment is expected and required for this academy upon enrollment. It is understood that some absences are unavoidable (e.g. illness) so the maximum allowable absences is three. Students who exceed this limit will be withdrawn from the program.

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