The Front Line Supervisor Program offered through Duke's Professional Development Academy focuses on developing newly and/or recently appointed Duke staff who are entry-level, front-line supervisors (team leaders, administrative leads, shift supervisors, etc.) and are new to coordinating, directing and planning the work of others. The program provides a structured development program in the areas of business acumen, people management, project management and selected supervisory competencies.

For more information, please see the Applicant FAQ and Manager FAQ.

Application Period

Manager nominations will be accepted between March 1 - April 28, 2023.

The deadline for completed Applicant packets is April 28, 2023 at 5 p.m.

Target Audience

  • High-performing Duke staff who are newly appointed supervisors with up to two years of experience,
  • who have direct responsibility for coordinating, directing and planning the work of other staff, and
  • who have been identified by his/her manager as a person who would benefit from structured, ongoing supervisory development.


To develop and retain high-performing supervisory/management staff at Duke and to enhance intrapersonal, interpersonal and organizational awareness

Program Features

  • Classes will include a variety topics designed to facilitate participants’ knowledge and skill of intrapersonal, groups and teams, and organizational dynamics.
  • Bi-monthly coaching sessions with Professional Development Academy staff.
  • Coursework with immediate application to the work environment.
  • Individual and 360-degree assessment and development planning.
  • Participants commit to a retention agreement of 24 months of post-graduation employment at Duke
  • Manager's Role
    • Agree to allow staff to participate as part of their regular work schedule
    • Managers actively support training and coaching of participants
    • Managers will complete assessments
    • Managers will identify and/or create developmental assignments within the department
    • Managers will empower self-directed learning
    • Manager will partner with participant to identify an appropriate next level up mentor
  • Mentor's Role
    • Conduct monthly meetings
    • Actively provide support throughout the program
    • Attend Mentor Development training sessions

Training Time Commitments

  • Individuals will be asked to participate in classroom training up to two days a month for 6 months. During the program, participants will need to be released from their regular work schedule to cover this training time.
  • Additional training time will be scheduled during regular work hours for coaching, departmental assignment, individual development plan assignments, and mentoring.

Selection Criteria and Process

The Front Line Supervisor program will include a diverse class of up to 15 participants. The following are the minimum requirements to be considered for the program:

  • Full-time Duke Employee with minimum of three years of continuous service.
  • Actively serving in an entry-level supervisory role where you have direct responsibility for directing the work of people.
  • Less than two years of experience in the role.
  • Performance, currently in good standing as defined by the department, with "fully achieves or meets standards.” Applicants with "exceeds standards" will be given priority consideration.
  • Nomination and full endorsement from current manager including the completion of manager assessment and nomination forms.
  • Acceptance of a retention agreement for two years following completion of program.

Because of the competitiveness of the program, the highly selective application process will include the following:

  • Identified as eligible through HR Targeted pool.
  • Nomination by manager.
  • Completion of electronic manager nomination form to be submitted by the manager (requests information about the participant's accomplishments, career goals and understanding of the program).
  • Forward typed, completed participant application and manager nomination form must be received by the Professional Development Academy by 5pm on Friday, April 28, 2023.
  • Manager and participant must identify at least one next level up mentor for participant, who does not directly supervise the nominee.
  • Final review and endorsement of nominations by senior HR administrator for school, entity or functional area.
  • Successful completion and recommendation by interview team (based on program application and structured interview, as deemed necessary).

Mentor/Mentee Partnership Component

  • Manager must identify at least one next level up mentor (experienced manager/supervisor with at least five years of service at Duke).
  • Mentor nomination will be based on his/her role in the organization, commitment to meet with participant at least once per month, and willingness to participate in required training and check-in sessions.
  • Mentors will, for example:
    • Provide guidance on setting and achieving developmental goals.
    • Share insight into building and maintaining effective professional relationships.
    • Reinforce and expand classroom content and concepts.

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