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.

Page updated on Dec 3, 2018 at 12:32 PM
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Thank you for your interest. Information regarding the spring 2019 session will be available in mid-January 2019.

City Academy participants will learn about the many responsibilities and functions of the City Government, the relationships between City Departments and the community, and how services are provided. The Academy's goal is to educate the public and increase awareness about what their local government does for them, provide an inside look into government operations, and develop a better understanding of their role in city government. This program will also prepare individuals for public service on a board, commission or task force or other involvement in the City's governance.

Classes  meet every Thursday evening from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m, for more information, contact Elaine Scott at or 703.746.4317.  

Sample Curriculum

Class #1

Welcome & Class Introductions

  • Meet the Mayor & The City Manager

Accountable, Effective & Well-Managed Government

  • City Manager
  • City Clerk and Clerk of Council
  • Brief History of Alexandria 
  • Communications & Public Information

Class #2 


  • Registrar of Voters
  • General Services
  • Information & Technology Services
  • Performance and Accountability
  • Finance & Real Estate
  • Management and Budget

Class #3 


  • Code Administration
  • Alexandria Transit Company (DASH)
  • Transportation and Environmental Services

Class #4 : 


  • Alexandria Fire Department (AFD)
              • Emergency Management Services (EMS)

              Class #5 :


              • Library
              • Recreational and Cultural Activities
                • Mobile Art Van 


              • Historic Alexandria 

              Class #6 : 


              • Human Rights
              • Judicial Community
              • Sheriff

              Class #7 : 


              • Human Resources
              • Visit Alexandria
              • Alexandria Economic Development Partnership
              • Housing
              • Planning & Zoning 

              Class #8 : 

              Healthy & Thriving Residents


                  • Alexandria Health Department
                  • Community and Human Services

                  Class #9: 

                  Safe, Secure & Just Community

                  • Alexandria Police Department (APD)
                  • Department of Emergency Communications (DEC)
                  • K-9 Unit

                  GRADUATION: TBD


                  The City Academy was a great opportunity to view all levels of our City government and services. More importantly, the Academy has empowered me as a citizen to lead from my corner of the City. - Claudette M

                  Alexandria City Academy is a well-organized learning experience. The 9-week course is jam packed full of information from every city department. My three-fold takeaway: a better understanding of how local government works; a first-hand observation of how passionate our city employees are about what they do; and a sincere desire to get involved.  - Karen Skelton, Spring 2017

                  Participating in City Academy made me proud to be an Alexandrian: Not only did we hear how the City government works--from City leaders themselves--but we also learned about the great resources and services that Alexandria provides to its citizens. City Academy gave me a better appreciation for the City, as well as the tools to get involved further.  - Holly, Spring 2017

                  I thoroughly enjoyed my experience going through the Alexandria Citizen's Academy. I not only learned about quite a bit about how our city operates but it gave me insight into some of the challenges and difficult decisions that have to be made on my behalf as a resident. I was so impressed with the level of engagement from the city employees and managers, the program coordinator and all the other services that support us, like the Police, Fire and Sheriff's department. Lastly, it was so much fun to meet other participants. I am definitely a more informed and proud Alexandrian resident.  - Marie M., Spring 2017

                  I went into this course hoping to better understand where our tax money goes. My wife and I, residents of Alexandria for 35+ years, are both concerned about being able to afford to live in Alexandria after we retire given the increasing property taxes. Understanding how the city operates is critical to this concern.

                  I definitely learned about how complex the city's operations are and why there are so many different roles, responsibilities, and jobs. In most cases the balance provided in the course between tactical day to day concerns and more long term and strategic concerns was pretty good. I definitely came away for the most part with very good impressions of the caliber of the people we have working for us. - Dennis M., Spring 2017

                  "The class has exceeded my expectations and has given me valuable information on how our city government functions and level of effort all of our city officials put into making our government work… The Alexandria City Academy has been one of my greatest learning experiences since I've moved to the area and it's empowered me to do more, care more, and give more to help our town prosper and flourish into the future!"  -Mason Butler, Spring 2017

                  As a resident of Alexandria, I had the opportunity to attend for 9 weeks the "Alexandria City Academy," which was a unique and enriching experience.

                  I learned about the City Council and all their responsibilities. The Academy covered all what the city offers and all what they do to keep the city operational and safe for the community.  The class had the opportunity to visit other city facilities across the City.  Appreciate  City Staff taking time from their busy schedule to give us an idea of their responsibilities. - Jenny R., Spring 2017

                  "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 puts 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