UC Management Skills Assessment Program (MSAP)

"Investing Today in the Leaders of Tomorrow"

The UC Management Skills Assessment Program (MSAP) is designed to assess the management skills of high potential, early career supervisors, managers, and professionals for future leadership opportunities at the University of California. This year the integrated MSAP program is continuing with both northern and southern locations participating in one program that will include participants from the entire UC system. The program is scheduled for April 23-26, 2018 at the UCLA Conference Center in Lake Arrowhead.  

Applications are now being accepted to fill three (3) slots in the Spring 2018 program. It is strongly recommended that department heads discuss the program with supervisors, managers, and professionals who exhibit potential for management development and encourage them to apply.

Program Dates

MSAP is offered twice each year, once in the spring and again in the fall. The upcoming program dates are:

  • 2018:     April 23 - 26 & October 8 - 11
  • 2019:     April 8 - 11 & October 14 - 17

Should you have additional questions about this program please send an e-mail to the UC Merced MSAP Coordinator to: ynavarro@ucmerced.edu.

The program guides participants through a series of structured exercises observed by trained assessors who offer feedback about observed strengths and development areas. Subsequent, collaborative work after the program between the assessee participant and his/her sponsoring manager fine-tune a professional development plan designed to optimize assessment feedback.

Program Application

An online application must be completed and can be found at http://msap.ucr.edu. The application requires information regarding your education, employment history and a self-statement. The supervisor of the applicant is also required to complete a supporting statement and commit to participate in the required post-program activities.

MSAP is offered twice each year, once in the Spring and again in the Fall. Applications are typically accepted once a year for both the spring and fall programs.

At MSAP, UC Managers observe assessees in UC-related exercises and give feedback on management skill dimensions. MSAP highlights include:

  • Residential program at UCLA Conference Center in Lake Arrowhead
  • 42 participants from University of California campuses, labs, medical centers, and  Office of the President
  • Aligned with the University of California core competencies
  • Simulated UC management scenarios
  • 360 Degree Assessments
  • Assessment of core competencies and skill dimensions by UC managers and peers
  • Career development follow-up opportunities

Core Competencies and Skill Dimensions

The following core competencies and skill dimensions are assessed through a variety of simulated management scenarios, including case studies, small group activities, and 360 Degree Assessment instrument. These competencies align with the UC Core Competencies.


  • Active Listening
  • Providing Feedback
  • Oral Communication
  • Oral Presentation
  • Written Communication

Critical Thinking

  • Decision Making
  • Delegation
  • Planning, Organizing and Scheduling
  • Strategic Problem-Solving
  • Judging (including political acumen)
  • Administrative Controls
  • Initiative

     Diversity Awareness


  • Awareness
  • Respect
  • Legal knowledge

Emotional Intelligence

  • Self-development
  • Adaptability/stress management
  • Self-control
  • Trustworthiness
  • Achievement orientation
  • Building strategic relationships
  • Conflict Management
  • Leadership/influence

Benefits to Assessees

  • Enhance awareness of management competencies and skills
  • Participate in an experiential UC program
  • Practice giving and receiving feedback
  • Collaborate with system-wide colleagues
  • Participate in pre-and-post program sessions
  • Work on an individual plan for career development

Benefits to Assessors

  • Enhance performance management coaching skills
  • Use 360 Degree Assessments
  • Work with high-potential employees who are eager for feedback
  • Network with a community of UC system-wide managers

Benefits to Sponsoring Supervisors

  • Retain and motivate highly talented staff
  • Strengthen management competencies and skills of staff
  • Empower employees
  • Demonstrate that career development is “the right thing to do”

Benefits to Your Organization

  • Develop a pool of staff with strong potential for management
  • Increase employee retention rates
  • Develop UC managers of the future
  • Increase sense of belonging and commitment to UC

Selection of Assessees
The program is best suited for high-potential individuals who learn through a variety of experiences, including case studies, discussion and reflection, small group activities, and extensive feedback. Applicants must have one or more years of service at UC (past probation, career status) as of application deadline. Supervisor support is essential to the success of MSAP. Highest priority will be given to individuals with:

  • Demonstrated management career path (through education and/or experience)
  • One to five years experience supervising or managing people or projects
  • One to five years in current job

Selection of Assessors
Assessors have found the MSAP experience to be valuable, personally and professionally, in addition to providing support to junior managers. Assessors receive a 2-day training prior to the program and additional training on-site to prepare them for their role. Assessors are expected to be senior managers who meet most of the following criteria:

  • Coaching experience
  • Employee development experience
  • Experience leading or working with groups

If you are interested in serving as an assessor, please contact the UC Merced MSAP Coordinator at ynavarro@ucmerced.edu.

Program Cost
The cost of the program is $1,350 (including all program materials, room and board for three days and two nights). This fee does not include transportation or other related travel costs. There is no registration fee for assessors.

Further information and the 2018 online MSAP application form (including applicant and supervisor components) can be found at http://msap.ucr.edu.

Completed Spring 2018 applications must be submitted online by 5 p.m. on Friday, January 19, 2018.

For additional information, please contact the UC Merced MSAP Coordinator via email at: ynavarro@ucmerced.edu.