How to Apply

Become a part of a diverse network of leaders, working to make Ventura County even better!


Our application process has ended for the 2021-22 year.  

We look forward to accepting applications for our 2022-23 year starting in January of 2022.

Ventura County Leadership Academy connects and cultivates a diverse network of passionate, capable leaders through an immersion in both critical issues shaping Ventura County and opportunities for personal and professional growth. VCLA’s comprehensive program ignites awareness and inspiration, helping cohort members discover their individual pathway toward impacting our region.

Specific objectives of Ventura County Leadership Academy are:

  • To create a leadership development program incorporating, business, social services, education, community, government, and cultural issues throughout Ventura County;
  • To promote the inclusion of diverse groups of individuals;
  • To broaden the awareness, understanding and appreciation of a variety of critical issues affecting life in Ventura County, through contacts with community leaders, and participation in workshops, field studies, and related programs.

There is a $25 application fee and all applications are due by Friday, May 14th at 5:00pm.

Interviews are held in June of 2021.  Once accepted into the VCLA program, a tution of $2,000 is due.

Additional costs for the Sacramento sessions in February will be required.

What can you expect from participating in VCLA?

  • Ten focus sessions, including a trip to Sacramento.  Topics may include (but not limited to):
    • Public Safety
    • Social Services & Healthcare
    • Local Government & the Legislative Process
    • Education
    • Housing & Transportation
    • Water & Agriculture
    • Economics
    • Arts & Culture
    • Environment
    • Infrastructure
  • Leadership Training
  • Community Explorations - Cohorts are divided into small groups & assigned a community to explore, then report back to the full Cohort
  • Immersion Activity 
  • Get Togethers with Cohort and Alumni – optional monthly happy hours and annual mixers
  • Cohort Ice-Breakers and Community Building - get to know your fellow Cohort members
  • Graduation Ceremony - Attended by family, friends, alumni with certificates of commendation on behalf of VCLA and numerous elected officials

What is expected from you?

  • Attendance - We have a strict attendance policy.  You are allowed 2 absences (including graduation and half days) throughout the program.  Should you miss a combined total of more than 2 sessions, you will not graduate with your cohort.  Any absences should be communicated in advance (if possible) to the VCLA Director.  Please communicate and coordinate in advance with your employer and/or consider any other obligations you may have that may affect your participation.
  • Engagement with other Cohort members.  Previous alumni have gone on to organize service projects or volunteer together as a team
  • Participation at monthly focus sessions – Use the VCLA introduction, discuss & ask questions of presenters, and be present in session exercises and group activities
  • Immersion in Ventura County - Completion of an immersion activity


Cohort XXVII Dates (2021-2022) 

Cohort Connection – September 8th, 2021 (via Zoom)

Cohort Mixer - September 9, 2021 (Thurs eve) (does not count for overall attendance)

First Session - September 17, 2021

Second Session - October 7, 2021 (Thurs)

Third Session - November 12, 2021

Fourth Session - December 3, 2021

Fifth Session - January 7, 2022

Sixth Session - February 4, 2022

Seventh Session - Sacramento – February 27-March 1, 2022 (Sun-Tues)

Eighth Session - March 18, 2022

Ninth Session - April 8, 2022

Tenth Session - May 6, 2022

Graduation - May 12, 2022 (Thurs eve)