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 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 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.

Logistics and Requirements

  • Supervisors must be nominated by their manager to participate in SFS.
  • Typically, two SFS programs are offered every year: Fall (Oct-Dec) and Spring (Mar-May). In Summer 2019, an additional summer cohort is being offered (July-Sept). 
  • 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

  • Nominations for the Fall 2019 cohort are now being received and must be submitted no later than Friday, September 20, 2019
  • Contact if you have questions on submitting a nomination form.
  • Fall 2019 cohort onsite session dates are Wednesdays, October 9, October 30, November 20, and December 11, 1:30-4:30 p.m. Prior to submitting nominations, managers and participants should be sure participants will be available to attend all of the sessions.

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."