Supervisor Foundation Skills Program

The Supervisor Foundation Skills (SFS) Program provides supervisors with the fundamental skills needed to successfully manage their staff. Topics include effective communication, coaching, delegating, and performance management. Supervisors complete the courses online at their own pace within a designated time period, practice the skills learned, and then share the application of those skills with a cohort of colleagues from across campus in a classroom setting. This program is applicable for those new to supervision as well as those 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 directly 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, apply, and reinforce skills and concepts through a combination of online learning modules and intereactive onsite sessions. 

Logistics and Requirements

  • Supervisors must be nominated by their manager to participate in SFS.
  • Typically, two SFS cohorts are offered every year: Fall (Oct-Dec) and Spring (Mar-May).
  • Each cohort is capped at 20 participants, so submit your nomination form early to ensure a place in your preferred program.
  • Nomination Form: complete, save, and email to
  • Nominees will receive an email confirmation of acceptance into the program.
  • The program consists of a blend of six (6) web-based modules and four (4) classroom meeting sessions to support learning and real-world application.
  • Participants must attend all onsite sessions and have completed individual learning modules prior to each scheduled session.

Upcoming Program

  • Spring 2020 cohort nomination deadline: Friday, January 31, 2020.
  • Meeting dates are March 5, March 26, April 16, and May 7, 1:30-4:30 p.m.
  • Contact if you have questions on submitting a nomination form.

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."