June 22, 2001

Los Angeles — To meet strategic challenges facing Head Start professionals, UCLA Anderson and the Los Angeles County Office of Education have launched an innovative training program designed to provide core management tools to those entrusted with ensuring school-readiness of Los Angeles County children.

The UCLA/LACOE Head Start Leadership Institute, which begins on Saturday, July 7 and continues for the next six months, will give Head Start professionals the foundation for managerial and entrepreneurial competence in areas ranging from operations to profit management, said Alfred E. Osborne Jr., director of UCLA Anderson's Price Center for Entrepreneurial Studies.

Funded by LACOE, the Institute will provide training for five-member management teams from 10 Head Start agencies, which oversee nearly 159 Head Start sites serving 8,314 children throughout Los Angeles County. Communities represented range from the San Fernando Valley to the north, Pomona to the east, the Harbor area to the south and Los Angeles and Inglewood to the west.

"This program is about giving all of our children the best possible head start by empowering those entrusted with the early development of tomorrow's adults," said Osborne, who serves as the Institute's director. "We are instilling Head Start professionals with the tools to become social entrepreneurs to meet their changing needs — whether that means finding suitable facilities, raising funds, providing training and development for staff, or marketing their programs. We are producing socially desirable outcomes for children and their families"

The training is taught by the same award-winning faculty who teach UCLA Anderson's top-ranked MBA program as well as experts in the fields of public policy and early childhood education.

Participants in the UCLA/LACOE Head Start Leadership Institute will engage in opening and closing retreats along with eight all-day classroom sessions, meeting about once a month through February. Topics include organization and strategy, management theory and practice, systems thinking, marketing, and finance and accounting. In addition to a custom-tailored curriculum of lectures, participants also engage in group strategy sessions, applied workshops, case discussions, and networking opportunities.

One of the key components of the program is a Leadership Improvement Project. Designed to address specific issues within each agency, the project is a blueprint for action that uses the skills and knowledge a participant has gained in the program to make significant changes within his or her agency.

The 10 agencies selected include: Bassett Unified School District in La Puente, Bellflower Unified School District in Bellflower, Inglewood Unified School district in Inglewood, Pomona Unified School District-Child Development Programs in Pomona, the Child Care Resource Center in Van Nuys, the Federation of Preschool and Community Education Centers, Inc. in Carson, the Foundation for Early Childhood Education, Inc. in Los Angeles, the Latin American Civic Association in San Fernando, Plaza de la Raza Head Start, Inc. in City of Commerce, and Volunteers of America Head Start in North Hollywood.

The program is based upon the highly successful Head Start - Johnson & Johnson Management Fellows Program, conducted by UCLA Anderson for the past 10 years, which has reached more than 650 Head Start directors nationwide.

Media Relations