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Frequently Asked Questions


What are the minimum requirements for candidacy for the Onward Leaders Program?
  • Practicing Catholic with Basic Catechist Certificate
  • Minimum 5 years teaching experience, at least 2 of those years in a Catholic school
  • Earned Masters degree AND California Credential (teaching and/or administrative)
  • Commit to 4 years of service to the Archdiocese of Los Angeles (1 residency year, and three years as principal of an Archdiocesan school that meets OLP requirements) starting July 1, 2021.
What is the selection process for the Onward Leaders Program?

Applicants working in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles are encouraged to participate in the CAPP (Catholic Aspiring Principals Program) prior to applying or while applying to the OLP and submit an interest form.

Applicants outside of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles may submit an interest form directly to the Onward Leaders Program Director.

Applications with all required documents must be submitted to the Archdiocese of Los Angeles by December 15, 2020 for early consideration in the Onward Leaders Cohort 6 for 2021-2022 and no later than February 25, 2021. Candidates with strong applications will be invited to interview in January and February of 2021.

Selected candidates will be offered a residency in Cohort 6 of the Onward Leaders Program for 2021-2022 by March 15, 2021 and must notify the Onward Leaders Program Director by March 20, 2021 of their acceptance.


How is the residency school chosen and as a resident principal do I have input into my residency school?

Residency schools are selected based on two factors. The residency school must serve a population that has a minimum of 30% free and reduced lunch and the principal must qualify as a mentor principal. The Onward Leaders Program matches the most highly qualified resident with the most highly qualified mentor principal.

How are Mentor Principals chosen?

Mentor Principals are invited to become Onward Leaders Schools by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles Superintendent and Assistant Superintendents based on their documented success in creating a culture of learning at their schools.

What is my schedule as a resident principal?

As an Onward Leaders resident principal you will have administrative duties based on both your learning goals and the authentic needs of the school in the areas of Faith, Excellence and Stewardship. Weekly meetings with your mentor principal and bimonthly meetings with the OLP Director both individually and as a cohort are required. As a resident principal you are required to participate in all events within the parish and school as directed by your mentor principal.

When does the residency begin?

Cohort 6 will begin July 1, 2021 and finishes June 30, 2022. Residents must be available during July for training even if the residency school is not in session.

What is my commitment after my residency year?

Onward Leaders serve in an Archdiocesan school identified by the Archdiocese and the Onward Leaders Program for three years as part of the Onward Leaders Program. Actionable goals focused on student learning are set for the school by the principal and director and monitored during the three year Onward Leaders Principalship.

Do I have to apply for my position after my residency or is my school assigned?

Onward Leaders must apply and interview at Archdiocesan schools that meet the 35% free and reduced lunch minimum and have been approved by the Archdiocese. The Onward Leaders Program Director will assist with the application and interview process for each resident principal.

Will I receive a Masters or Administrative Credential if I complete the OLP residency program?

The Onward Leaders Program is not affiliated with any university and residents do not receive a Masters or credential upon completion. The Onward Leaders Program follows the framework of the Archdiocesan Leadership Formation Program.

Can I be enrolled in another program while a resident principal?

Residents should not be enrolled in any other programs that conflict with the requirements of Onward Leaders Program (credential, MA, MS, or doctoral) during the residency year or the first year as principal. Onward Leaders Principals are encouraged to pursue advanced credentials and or degrees in years two or three of the Onward Leaders Principalship.


How much does the program cost?

There is no cost to the Onward Leaders resident principal or the school of residency.

What is the compensation for the Resident Principal?

The salary, funded by The John H. and Cynthia Lee Smet Foundation, is between $54,000 and $58,000 for the residency year depending on qualifications. Benefit package is the same for the residency principal as any principal in the Archdiocese and is also funded through the Smet Foundation.

What is the compensation for the Mentor Principal?

Each Mentor Principal receives a stipend of $5,000 for the coaching and mentoring of the Onward Leaders Resident Principal also funded by The John H. and Cynthia Lee Smet Foundation.

If you have any further questions, please contact:
Margaret Samaniego,
Onward Leaders Program Director
Danielle Forillo,
Onward Leaders Program Assistant Director