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 May 23, 2016 at 1:08 PM

City Academy

The Academy is designed to offer our residents and owners of businesses within the City of Alexandria 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 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.


Session 1: March 10
Getting to Know Your City Government 
City Hall - Council Workroom - 301 King Street

Presentation (3.78 MB)

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

Session 2: March 17
Community Development
City Hall - Council Workroom

Presentation (13.26 MB)

  • Meet the Mayor
  • Voter Registration
  • Brief History of Alexandria
  • Housing and Housing Related Programs
  • Planning and Zoning - Process and Principles

Session 3: March 24
General Services (Support Services), Finance, Real Estate and Budget
City Hall - Council Workroom

Presentation (3.07 MB)

  • General Services
  • Finance Department
  • Overview 2016 Real estate Assessments
  • Overview of the City's Operating and Capital Improvement Program (CIP) Budgets
  • Overview of the Budget Process - FY17

Session 4: March 31
Transportation & Environmental Services, Code Administration
City Hall - Council Workroom

Presentation (3.29 MB)

  • Infrastructure/Environmental Quality
  • Resource Recovery
  • Maintenance & Operations
  • Traffic
  • Transit Services
  • Building Control/Code Administration

Session 5: April 7
Community and Human Services
Alexandria Department of Health - 4480 King Street

Presentation (2.46 MB)

  • Alexandria Health Department
  • Department of Community and Human Services

Session 6: April 14
Leisure and Cultural Activities
Beatley Central Library - 5005 Duke Street

Presentation (9.09 MB)

  • Alexandria City Library Service
  • Parks and Recreation
    • Mobile Arts Lab
  • Historic Sites and Museums

Session 7: April 21
Office of Human Rights, The City's Judicial System, Information Technology Services (ITS)
City Hall - Council Workroom

Presentation (<1 MB)

  • Human Rights
  • Panel discussion with members of the City's Judicial System
  • Information Technology Services (ITS)
  • Alexandria Economic Development Partnership (AEDP)

Session 8: April 28
Public Safety (Police & Sheriff)
Alexandria Police Department Headquarters - 3600 Wheeler Avenue

Presentation (5.65 MB)

  • Alexandria Police Department
  • Office of the Sheriff

Session 9: May 5
Public Safety (Fire)
Fire Administration - Station 204 - 900 Second Street

Presentation (6.27 MB)

  • Emergency Preparedness
  • Fire and EMS Services


"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