Head Start Management Fellows Program


We strengthen the entrepreneurial management and leadership skills of Head Start executives.

Al Osborne, UCLA Anderson and the Price Center's Headstart Management Fellows Program
Early childhood education professionals face management and strategic challenges in an increasingly changing environment. By developing an entrepreneurial mindset and competence, our participants will be able to achieve and exceed their goals of raising families out of poverty, and preparing children to be healthy and ready for school and life.”

Al Osborne, Ph.D.
Faculty Director, Senior Associate Dean

The Fellows Experience


About the Program

UCLA Anderson Head Start Management Fellows ProgramDesigned from a strategic planning perspective, the UCLA Head Start Management Fellows Program provides a unique opportunity for Head Start executives to participate in a 12-day intensive leadership and management development training session at UCLA Anderson School of Management. Since 1991, the program has trained over 1,400 Head Start directors and managers who provide comprehensive services to nearly 1 million economically disadvantaged children and their families each day. The program was previously funded by Johnson & Johnson from 1991 to 2015.


The competency-based curriculum focuses on the leadership and management skills, knowledge and abilities most relevant to Head Start/Early Head Start programs. Key curriculum components include:

  • Accounting
  • Communications
  • Data Analysis
  • Decision Making
  • Economics
  • Finance
  • Negotiations
  • Operations Management
  • Organizational Design
  • Group Design & Development
  • Human Resources
  • Leadership Styles
  • Leasing
  • Management Effectiveness
  • Marketing
  • Project Management
  • Strategy Development
  • Strategy Implementation

Al Osborne of UCLA Anderson with several Head Start Management Fellows participantsSeveral case studies from actual Head Start programs are used to illustrate key concepts and enhance learning. The curriculum is taught by faculty from UCLA Anderson and other universities and is supplemented by professionals in the wider community, based on the needs of each year’s participants.

Special Program Features

The Management Improvement Project (MIP)
The MIP is the practical application or experiential component of the program, allowing participants to immediately translate the UCLA program curriculum to improve performance at their own organizations. It identifies and addresses an organizational weakness or external opportunity through the development of a strategic plan for tackling an issue.

Individual Consultation by MBA Students
The program employs MBA students as Teaching Associates (TA) who lead small study groups to clarify and discuss session content with participants and act as consultants as participants develop their strategic projects.

Technology-Enabled Online Learning Community
A Web-based "learning management system" coordinates the education process and delivers some of the program content. An easily accessible information source for online presentations, reading and useful links, the system is available to Fellows as a resource upon completing the program.

Upcoming Program Details

July 7–18, 2019

PMFO-UCLA Head Start Management Fellows Program

The UCLA Head Start Management Fellows Program is a partner in the National Center on Program Management and Fiscal Operations (NCPMFO), which is funded by the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), Office of Head Start.

As part of NCPMFO, the Fellows Program will be offered from July 7-18, 2019, at UCLA Anderson School of Management.
Criteria for Admission:
  • A minimum of 2 years’ tenure as a director or manager in a Head Start/Early Head Start program or an executive who currently holds a leadership role in a regional or state Head Start association
  • Documentation of a leadership role in a local, state or regional community organization for a minimum of 2 years
  • A commitment from a co-participant who is the applicant’s supervisor, to participate for the final two and one-half days of the program
  • Demonstrated competence in working within community organizations and a pledge to work with other Head Start/EarIy Head Start programs in the future through training workshops and/or mentoring opportunities
  • Participants are responsible for a registration fee of $3,100 plus travel expenses for themselves and their co-participant. We do select a limited number of two-person teams from the same program.
Applications must be submitted by April 26, 2019.

Learn more...

PMFO-UCLA Head Start New Director Mentor Initiative

The National Center for Program Management and Fiscal Operations (PMFO) is pleased to offer a unique opportunity for new Head Start directors to expand their knowledge and practice through a mentor-mentee relationship with an effective and experienced Head Start director. New Head Start directors (those in the position for fewer than three years) will be partnered with veteran Head Start directors, who are also graduates of the UCLA Head Start Management Fellows Program.

As a result of the PMFO-UCLA new director/mentor relationship, new Head Start directors will develop the following core capabilities:
  • An entrepreneurial mindset: Increase ability to plan, lead and control effective delivery of comprehensive services
  • Decision-making based on data to plan program operations: Allow for critical thinking and mission-driven planning
  • Openness: Remain curious, ask questions, defer judgment and seek out diverse perspectives
  • Ability to engage and inspire: Listen well, build teams, create allies, develop talent and offer your best
  • Growth: Reflect often, share insights, push boundaries and raise the bar continuously
Head Start directors chosen must commit to the following:
  • Attend a 3-day intensive leadership and management training institute at the UCLA Anderson School of Management March 12-14, 2019 (travel and per diem will be provided)
  • Access pre- and post-institute online learning opportunities (dates TBD)
  • Participate and engage in a year-long, one-on- one interactive relationship with your mentor

Applications are no longer being accepted for the 2019 program.

Learn more...

The Alumni Network


UCLA Anderson Head Start Management Fellows ProgramThe learning process does not end with the conclusion of the UCLA Head Start Management Fellows Program. Fellows will continue to benefit from a community of program alumni that fosters support around common objectives. Networking during and after the program will create and strengthen relationships that will enhance the management education and entrepreneurial skills of Head Start/Early Head Start grantees nationwide. An e-mail list allows participants to stay informed about strategic, operational and policy issues, as well as to share information with other alumni of the program.

Get Involved: Current Anderson MBAs


Head Start Management Fellows program at UCLA AndersonAs Teaching Associates (TA), MBA students work closely with participants and faculty and use problem solving, strategic planning and facilitation skills in a consulting environment. Working in small groups, the TAs assist participants through the strategic planning process with rigor and help them prepare an action plan to implement when they return to their organizations.

TAs are also assigned a professor to assist with the preparation of course materials, which may involve researching, writing or rewriting case studies before and after the summer programs. This is a competitively paid position with the bulk of responsibility during the summer.

Download the TA Brochure

Contact Us

Jeanette Boom, Director, UCLA Head Start Management Program

Jeanette Boom, Director
UCLA Head Start Management Fellows Program
110 Westwood Plaza, Ste C-305
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1481
Phone: (310) 825-6306
Email: jeanette.boom@anderson.ucla.edu


Management Development for Entrepreneurs