How to Apply

Applications for Cohort XXX are closed

Ventura County Leadership Academy is no longer accepting applications for our XXX cohort. ADD THE DATES BELOW for our upcoming year beginning in September of 2025.

VCLA Cohort XXXI Dates (2025-26)

  • Orientation Session (Via Zoom) - September 4, 2025 (Thurs @ 5:30)
  • First Session - September 12, 2025
  • Second Session - October 9, 2025 (Thurs)
  • Third Session - November 14, 2025
  • Fourth Session - December 12, 2025
  • Fifth Session - January 9, 2026
  • Sixth Session - February 6, 2026
  • Seventh Session - Sacramento Trip – February 22- 24, 2026 (Sun-Tues)
  • Eighth Session - March 20, 2026
  • Ninth Session - April 17, 2026
  • Tenth Session - May 8, 2026
  • Graduation - May 14, 2025 (Thurs eve)

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:


a leadership development program incorporating, business, social services, education, community, government, and cultural issues throughout Ventura County;


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.


the inclusion of diverse groups of individuals;

What to Expect as a VCLA Participant

A unique and engaging experience, Ventura County Leadership Academy brings an unmatched depth of knowledge and local leadership perspective. This program includes:

  • Ten Focus Sessions
    Topics such as p
    ublic safety, social services & healthcare, local government & the legislative process, education, housing & transportation, water & agriculture, economics, arts & culture, environment, infrastructure, and more.
  • Cohort Ice-Breakers and Community Building
    Get to know your fellow Cohort members
  • Leadership Training
  • Community Explorations
    Cohorts are divided into small groups and assigned a community to explore
  • Trip to Sacramento
  • Get Togethers with Cohort and Alumni
    Optional monthly happy hours and annual mixers
  • Graduation Ceremony
    Including certificates of commendation on behalf of VCLA and numerous elected officials

What is expected of you?

Each person who participates in the VCLA brings unique and valuable knowledge, skills, and experience to discussions about our community.  With that in mind, during the time you spend in VCLA sessions, we ask that you:

  • Participate at monthly focus sessions –  Be present and engage in active listening, and consider ideas from different perspectives.  Be open to your blind spots and mindful of the intersectionality of privilege and disadvantage.  Discuss & ask questions of presenters utilizing the "VCLA introduction", and approach challenges from a place of curiosity.
  • Attendance -  Honor time commitments. Each VCLA session is packed with opportunities to learn, engage with our speakers and cohort members.  Because of this, VCLA limits the number of absences to two (2) sessions throughout the program.  Please refer to the session dates before you apply, as should you miss a combined total of more than two sessions, you will not graduate with your cohort.
  • Engage with other cohort members throughout the year. Previous alumni have gone on to organize service projects or volunteer together as a team.

There is a $50 application fee and all applications are due by Friday, May 17, 2024 at 5:00 pm. Interviews are held via Zoom in June of 2024. Once accepted into the VCLA program, a tuition of $2,500 is due before the start of the program. Additional costs (travel, hotel, meals) for the Sacramento session in February are not included in the tuition costs and must be paid individually.

Scholarships are available through our Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) and can be applied for once a person is accepted into the program.