Professional Development & Continuing Education Programs

The 2021 Cohort will be delivered virtually*!

About the Course

This innovative leadership development program provides senior leaders in PA State Government the opportunity to further develop their leadership abilities and succeed at the highest levels of their profession. Developed through a collaboration between Alvernia University, Harrisburg University of Science and Technology, and the Governor’s Office of Administration, this unique program gives participants the opportunity to enhance their understanding of their workplace culture and to learn strategies, tactics, and management techniques applicable to the unique challenges government employees face.

The program offers:

  • Mentorship & networking opportunities
  • Discussions on real life issues and concerns
  • Leadership skills assessment

The 2021 Cohort of the Leadership Development Program will be delivered via an engaging and dynamic virtual platform.

The plan is to allow the cohort to attend virtually.  However, if COVID-19 mitigation efforts end and CDC guidelines change, sessions may be offered in a hybrid format of in-person and virtual sessions for those choosing to continue using the virtual format.

This course is intended for senior leaders working in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, including both agencies on the Governor’s jurisdiction as well as independent agencies.

The program curriculum is based around case studies, team projects, role playing and scenario planning. Classes offer a “safe space” for senior leaders to discuss issues they may face in their positions while promoting inter-organizational collaboration.

Class Schedule:

  1. Classes meet online on Mondays from 8:30 am – 12:00 pm
  2. Program runs over a 4-month period 
  3. Each date provides a half-day of virtual classroom instruction. 

See full schedule at the bottom of the page for class dates

Below is a sample of topics that were included in past Cohorts.  The sessions for 2021 will be posted at a later date.

Previous Cohort Topics Included:

  • Leadership versus Management
  • Team Building and Motivating Employees
  • Next Generation Workers
  • Effective Communications
  • Understanding and Working within the Constraints and Culture of State Government
  • Successful Negotiation Techniques and Conflict Resolution
  • Strategic Planning, Setting Objectives, Measures and Initiatives
  • Performance through Excellence – Customer Service, Lean, Project Leadership and Project Management
  • Citizen-Centric Approach to Providing Services/Design Thinking
  • Data-Driven Decision Making
  • Leading Innovation 
  • Diversity and Inclusion

A full course syllabus with topics by module will be distributed at Orientation.

To prepare for the Leadership Development Program, each participant will:

  • Take a Personality Inventory
  • Take a Leadership Skills Assessment
  • Complete a short Personal Biography
  • Identify one cross-organizational issue with which they have been involved.

Program participants are divided in teams. Each team is assigned a mentor/coach. The mentor/coach meets (virtually) with the team at least once collectively and at least once with each program participant individually.

Attendance at a minimum of 90% of the sessions is required.

Awarding of a certificate of completion will be based on a pass-fail assessment of the program’s curriculum, attendance, and project-based requirements.

The following materials are included in the cost of the course:

  • PDF versions of slides presented
  • Speaker bios
  • Access to the session recording links in the Learning Management System


  • Commonwealth of Pennsylvania: $2,000


Candidate Application

The application form allows candidates to present their learning goals, past experiences, expertise, and knowledge they will bring to the cohort for consideration.  Candidates will be notified in a timely manner as to their acceptance into the Leadership Development Program cohort.

Nomination Letter

Candidates will demonstrate the support of their senior leadership by submitting a letter of nomination written on their behalf.  The nomination letter should include current position and responsibilities, along with skills, knowledge, and any special projects in which you are responsible.

The nomination letter should be addressed to “Leadership Development Program directors” and emailed to with the subject line as, “Leadership Development Program Nomination Letter for [YOUR FIRST AND LAST NAME]”  

Acceptance Notification

Applicants will be notified on/around March 1 regarding whether they have or have not been accepted into the 2021 program. At that time, accepted applicants will receive full course details and an invoice for the registration fee.

See the specific deadlines under “Next Cohort” at the bottom of the page. 


"One of the program’s biggest benefits is that I didn’t learn just from the guest speakers and my mentor; I also learned from the other participants. The program fostered so many eye-opening discussions that will help me be a better leader in my career moving forward."
Michael Gerber
Executive Assistant to the Secretary, Department of Community & Economic Development
"This is such a great program. We made great contacts in other agencies. We met some fantastic mentors. It was also an opportunity to learn a variety of leadership skills. We all have different strengths and weaknesses and this program really took that into account."
John Kaschak
Deputy Secretary, Department of Revenue
"I think that the curriculum was perfect. Each session was relative to my job. The strong emphasis on communication and leadership was great. Each speaker was absolutely wonderful."
2018 LDP Graduate



Online via Adobe Connect Platform


717-901-5100 |

Next Cohort:

April - August, 2021

Application Deadline: 

February 22, 2021

All applications and nomination letters are due by this date.

See the “Application Process” above for detailed information.

Acceptance Notification:  

Week of March 1, 2021

All applicants will be notified of whether or not they have been accepted into the program.

Full Class Schedule

Student Orientation – March 22, 2021 (Time TBD)

Module #1 – Monday, April 5, 2021

Module #2 – Monday, April 19, 2021

Coaching Session #1 – (Date/Time TBD)

Module #3 – Monday, May 10, 2021

Module #4 – Monday, May 24, 2021

Module #5 – Monday, June 7, 2021

Module #6 – Monday, June 21, 2021

Module #7 – Monday, July 12, 2021

Coaching Session #2 – (Date/Time TBD)

Module #8 – Monday, July 26, 2021

Graduation – Monday, August 9, 2021 (Time TBD)

 All modules are held from 8:30 am – 12:00 pm unless otherwise specified.