June 14, 2001
UCLA Anderson Faculty, Students Provide High-Level Management Training for Head Start Directors Across the Nation
Los Angeles — Directors of Head Start programs serving pre-school children across America — from migrant families of the San Joaquin Valley to urban dwellers in Cleveland, Ohio — will come to UCLA Anderson at this summer for a comprehensive management training program, the most well-known and longest-running program of its kind at a university.
The Head Start-Johnson & Johnson Management Fellows Program provides two weeks of intensive management training each summer for 80 Head Start directors and their teams, many of whom have had little formal training in business or executive management skills. Taught by UCLA Anderson faculty and MBA students, the program strengthens executive and entrepreneurial management skills, and is funded through a $600,000 annual contribution from Johnson & Johnson, supplemented by the Head Start Bureau.
This year's sessions, which begin June 17 and July 9, will bring together Head Start leaders throughout the nation's urban and rural areas — from Long Beach, Calif. to Cleveland, Ohio, and from the San Joaquin Valley in California to Nome, Alaska. Each Head Start program faces its own set of challenges and management needs. For example:
Deborah Peguero Clipper of Modesto, Calif. runs a Head Start program for 2,480 children of migrant families in the rural San Joaquin Valley who have difficulty affording child care.
Peggy Price directs a Cleveland Head Start program serving some 8,435 children at more than 100 centers. Her community continually suffers from a dearth of trained staff who can serve Head Start and Early Head Start children.
Onsomu Onchonga oversees a Head Start agency serving about 200 children of Alaska native villages in the remote region of Nome, Alaska. To address the challenges of hiring and retaining employees, Onchonga wants to develop an individualized training plan and other new management skills to share with his fellow Alaska Head Start directors.
A management team from Charles R. Drew University Head Start Program in Long Beach, Calif. faces the complex challenges of a large, urban Head Start Program serving 1,774 children from 22 centers. The team seeks to improve its synergy in order to develop an organizational strategic plan.
"Our goal is to instill Head Start agency leadership with entrepreneurial competence and a firm understanding of core management theories and principles," said Alfred E. Osborne Jr., director of the Head Start-Johnson & Johnson Management Fellows Program and the Harold Price Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at UCLA Anderson.
"Head Start agencies are giving all of our children the best possible head start and we are empowering them with the early development of tomorrow's adults. But they face serious business needs, such as finding suitable facilities, raising funds, providing training and development for staff, marketing their programs and more," Osborne added.
While drawn from UCLA Anderson's renowned Executive Education Programs, the curriculum tailors management training to unique problems facing Head Start agencies. Faculty members use many case studies from Head Start programs to illustrate key concepts and enhance learning.
Throughout the sessions, Head Start directors and management teams engage in lectures, workshops and group discussions led by the faculty and MBA graduate students. Subjects include human resource management, organization design and development, financial management, strategic planning, data analysis, operations management and marketing. The June session is designed for Head Start directors while the July program trains management teams.
An essential part of the program is the Management Improvement Project. Under the guidance of faculty and teaching assistants, the Head Start directors (along with their management teams during the July session) develop an improvement project which they can implement upon returning to their organizations. Examples include: building a new facility, reorganizing the program for site-based management, designing a parent-training program, providing special staff training and development opportunities, and more.
Myra Brown, senior program manager, said the fellows often develop long-lasting relationships with the MBA students, who enjoy serving as mentors.
"The teaching assistants work closely with the participants both individually and in study groups to guide them through the course work and Management Improvement Projects," she said. "This gives the MBA students an opportunity to gain practical experience while applying their management knowledge. The students and fellows often stay in touch after the program."
Now in its 11th year, the program has served 670 Head Start directors from around the U.S. as well as Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Marshall Islands. Graduates receive a certificate from UCLA and have the option of receiving academic graduate-level credits. Fellows are often called upon to share their management training with their Head Start colleagues.
For further information about the Head Start-Johnson & Johnson Management Fellows Program, contact Myra Brown at (310) 825-6306 or visit the web site at www.anderson.ucla.edu/community/headstart.