Supervisor Foundation Skills Program

The Supervisor Foundation Skills (SFS) Program provides every supervisor the skills needed to successfully manage their staff. Topics include communicating effectively, coaching, delegating, and managing performance. Supervisors complete the courses online at their own pace in a designated time period, practice the skills learned, and then share the application of the skills with colleagues from across campus in a classroom setting. This program is applicable for both those new to supervision and who have supervised for some time.

"All (of my supervisors) talked extensively with me about the many benefits they have derived from your Supervisor Foundation Skills training. In our annual performance appraisal meeting, each of them had examples of how they are applying their new skills. One is even working on their empathy!" - Manager of a participant


Open to supervisors who oversee a minimum of one University of Pittsburgh staff employee


  1. Build competence and confidence to effectively interact and manage direct reports
  2. Prepare supervisors to have effective conversations with staff on their performance, both positive and developmental.
  3. Practice and apply skills and concepts learned through online and onsite learning sessions.


  • Supervisors must be nominated by their manager to participate in SFS
  • Two SFS programs are offered every year: Fall (Oct-Dec) and Spring (Feb-Apr).
  • Each cohort is capped at 20 participants, so submit your nomination form early to ensure a place in your preferred program.
  • Nomination Form: save PDF and email to OR print.
    • Nominees will receive an email confirmation of acceptance into program.
  • Participants must attend all onsite sessions and have completed application pieces prior to each scheduled session.

Upcoming Program

The nomination period for the Fall 2018 SFS cohort is closed. Contact for information on submitting a nomination form for the Spring 2019 SFS cohort.

Program timeframe and course topics

Course descriptions

Note: The SFS program can be run for supervisors with intact departments. For more information, please contact to discuss this option.

"I recently had a great compliment sent on to my supervisor about how well I lead my team. I really believe this can be attributed to what I learned in the Supervisor Foundation Series. I was able to increase my confidence as a supervisor, improve communication with my team, as well as be a better example to them."