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Alexandria City Academy

The Alexandria City Academy is a nine-week course that provides residents with the opportunity to learn about City government through first-hand experience with a wide range of government functions, services, activities and issues.

City Academy web page photo
Click here for more photos. 

(For Residents and Businesses)

The Alexandria City Academy 2015 Fall Sessions will begin on Thursday, September 10 and run for nine weeks, ending on Thursday, November 5. Each class will begin at 6:45 p.m. and ends at 9 p.m.; light refreshments will be provided beginning at 6:15 p.m. A graduation ceremony will be held on Tuesday, November 10 during the City Council meeting.

The Alexandria City Academy is designed to offer our residents and business owners (located within the city limits) the opportunity to learn how their local government works and how they can become involved in the City. This program will also prepare individuals for public service on a board, commission, task force or other involvement in the City’s governance.

Participants will learn about the many responsibilities and functions of the City Government, the relationships between the City Departments and the community and how services are provided. The Academy’s goal is to educate the public and to increase awareness about what their local government does for them, provide an inside look into government operations, and to develop a better understanding of their role in city government.

The Academy is open to any residents over the age of 18, or owner of businesses located within the City of Alexandria. Class size is limited to 22 students.

For additional information, contact Elaine Scott at 703.746.4317 or by email: 


Session 1: September 10

Getting to Know Your City Government 
City Hall - Council Workroom - 301 King Street
Presentation (8.9 MB)

  • Welcome
  • Meet The Mayor and The City Manager
  • Brief History of Alexandria
  • Overview of Government Organization and Council Appointed Boards and Commissions
  • Office of Communications and Public Information
  • City Employment
  • Voter Registration

Session 2: September 17

Community Development
City Hall - Council Workroom 
(21 MB)

  • Promoting the City's Economic Development: AEDP and ACVA
  • Housing and Housing Related Programs
  • Planning and Zoning - Process and Principles

Session 3: September 24

Public Safety - Fire
Fire Administration - Station 204 - 900 Second Street
(6.1 MB)

  • Emergency Preparedness
  • Fire and EMS Services

Session 4: October 1

General Services
Finance and Budget
City Hall - Council Workroom
(3.2 MB)

  • General Services
  • Finance Department
  • Overview 2015 Real estate Assessments
  • Office of Management and Budget - Overview of the City's Operating and Capital Improvement Program (CIP) Budgets 

Session 5: October 8

Community and Human Services
Alexandria Department of Health - 4480 King Street
(2.2 MB)

  • Public Health
  • Department of Community and Human Services

Session 6: October 15

Leisure and Cultural Activities
Charles Houston Center - 901 Wythe Street
Presentation (9.1 MB)

  • Parks & Recreation
  • Alexandria City Library
  • Historic Sites and Museums

Session 7: - October 22

Code Administration
Transportation and Environmental Services
City Hall - Council Workroom

Presentation (2.1 MB)

  • Building Controls/Code Enforcement
  • Resource Recovery
  • Maintenance and Operations
  • Traffic
  • Transit Services
  • Infrastructure and Environmental Quality

Session 8: - October 29

Office of Human Rights
The City's Judicial System
Alexandria Public Schools (ACPS)
Information Technology (ITS)

City Hall - Council Workroom 
(879 KB)

  • Human Rights
  • Round Table with members of the City's Judicial System
  • Overview of the Alexandria Public Schools System
  • Information Technology Services 

Session 9: November 5

Public Safety - Police and Sheriff
Alexandria Police Department - 3600 Wheeler Avenue
(5.6 MB)

  • Alexandria Police Department
  • Office of the Sheriff


“I have lived in the City of Alexandria for 20 years, and last Fall I took the Alexandria City Academy class. I highly recommend applying for and participating in the Academy, as it provides a broad overview of all City Departments and Services. Through the Academy, I gained a better understanding of how the City actually works!  I thought I knew a lot about the City of Alexandria before the class, however, I was enlightened.

I also recommended the class to a friend, and she applied for and participated in the class. If you want to learn more about the City of Alexandria and gain a better understanding of the impact of your City tax dollars, or find out more about Alexandria Economic Development Partnership, the Police Department, Fire Department, Transportation & Engineering Services, Recreation & Parks, or any other City service, you should definitely take this class.”

Shelli Vasser Gilliam, CMP
City of Alexandria Resident and Small Business Owner

"The City Academy presentations and handouts were interesting and informative. Even a 30-year resident like me learned many new things about the operations of the City of Alexandria."

 Anne B.- Spring 2015 Academy Session

"The Alexandria City Academy was a unique and enriching experience. I learned so much about the city, and the participants-students and educators alike-were super excited and informative. If you're interested in getting more involved in city affairs or simply learning more about them, I recommend you apply for this program."

Thomas S. -  Spring 2015 Academy Session


"The Alexandria City Academy affords citizens a detailed but personal perspective about the myriad city departments and services. Alexandria may be a smaller city, but it provides many services that citizens just don't know about. The academy outs citizens face to face with city officials and personnel who know the intricacies of our great town. I highly recommend the academy. I feel more informed, more in touch, and more knowledgeable."

Hendrick B.  - Fall 2014 Academy Session


"The 9-week course is so genuinely enriching and eye-opening regarding how the City operates that I would make it mandatory for all my employees if I could."

"With the class-size limit, it is a privilege and an honor to be accepted to the course, so I can only encourage them to apply and hope one or both get chosen!"

"I met some great people, established solid connections and am certainly a more informed citizen for having successfully graduated from the spring session."

Mary W. - Spring 2015 Academy Session