General Development Opportunities Outside the Classroom
Learning experiences outside the classroom that promote continuous professional growth are an integral part of the Academy's professional development framework. The Academy provides career development opportunities that guide program/project managers and engineers through a sequence of professional experiences and courses that address learning needs at each career level. Individuals and teams have the opportunity to assess their development and take advantage of:
Hands-On Project Experience (HOPE)
Project HOPE is a cooperative workforce development program sponsored by the NASA Academy of Program/Project & Engineering Leadership and NASA's Science Mission Directorate (SMD). Project HOPE provides an opportunity for a team of early entry NASA managers and engineers to propose, design, develop, build, and launch a suborbital flight project over the course of a year. The purpose of the program is to
enable practitioners in the early years of their careers to gain the knowledge and skills necessary to manage
NASA’s future flight projects. The Science Directorate at Langley Research Center manages the program. The Office of the Chief Engineer and SMD establish an annual budget, and participating NASA Centers are free to add funding. The Academy conducts an evaluation effort and develops a case study and articles about the learning that takes place over the course of the year.
On-the-Job Learning Experiences
NASA practitioners report that 90% of learning takes place on the job. Therefore, the Academy facilitates on-the-job learning experiences, including developmental assignments and learning from mentors, supervisors, and other senior personnel. Top performers are intrinsically motivated to seek out professional development opportunities—whether in the form of courses, work assignments, or mentoring relationships—simply because they see continuous learning as part of the job.
The Academy encourages participants to work with their managers to identify appropriate on-the-job learning experiences that reinforce and supplement classroom learning.