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 Mar 16, 2017 at 2:30 PM
The Alexandria City Academy's 2017 Spring Session will begin on Thursday, March 9, and run for nine weeks, ending on Thursday, May 4. All classes will be held on Thursday evenings, from 6:30 to 9 p.m.; light refreshments will be provided. A graduation ceremony will be held during the May 9 City Council Legislative Meeting. Class size is limited to 23 students.

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.

For more information, contact Elaine Scott at or 703.746.4317.


Session 1: Getting to Know Your City Government 

Thursday, March 9 - City Hall, Council Workroom

Presentation (19 MB)

  • Welcome & Class Introductions
  • Meet The Mayor and The City Manager
    • Overview of Government Organizations  
  • Council-Appointed Boards and Commissions
  • Brief History of Alexandria
  • Communications and Public Information
  • City Employment

Session 2: Community Development

Thursday, March 16 - City Hall, Council Workroom

Presentation (19 MB)

  • Promoting the City's Economic Development
    • Visit Alexandria
    • Alexandria Economic Development Program (AEDP)
  • Housing and Housing Related Programs
  • Planning & Zoning

Session 3: Voter Registration, Information and Technology Services, Finance, Real Estate, Office of Management and Budget (OMB)

Thursday, March 23 - City Hall, Council Workroom

Presentation (3 MB)

  • Voter Registration
  • Information and Technology
  • Finance Department
    • Overview of Finance Department
    • Overview 2017 Real Estate Assessments
  • Office of Management and Budget
    • Overview of the City's Operating and Capital Improvement Program (CIP) Budgets
    • Overview of Budget Process - FY' 17/18                                                                               

Session 4: Public Health, Community and Human Services

Thursday, March 30 - Health Dept, 4480 King Street

Presentation (2 MB)

  • Alexandria Health Department
  • Department of Community and Human Services

Session 5: Office of Human Rights, Judicial System, Sheriff's Office

Thursday, April 6 - Public Safety Center, 2001/2003 Mill Road

Presentation (4 MB)

  • Human Rights
  • The City's Judicial System
  • Sheriff's Office 

Session 6: Leisure and Cultural Activities

Thursday, April 13 - Beatley Central Library, 5005 Duke Street

Presentation (14 MB)

  • Alexandria City Library Services
  • Parks and Recreation
    • Mobile Arts Lab
  • Office of Historic Alexandria

Session 7: General Services, Transportation and Environmental Services, Code Administration

Thursday, April 20 - City Hall, Council Workroom

Presentation (6 MB)

  • General Services
  • Transportation and Environmental Services                                                                               
    • Resource Maintenance and Operations
    • Traffic
    • Transit Services 
    • Infrastructure/Environmental Quality
  • Department of Code Administration
    • Building Controls/Code enforcement

Session 8: Public Safety (Police)

Thursday, April 27 - APD HQ, 3600 Wheeler Avenue

Presentation (5 MB)

  • Alexandria Police Department 

Session 9: Public Safety (Fire)

Thursday, May 4 - Fire Station 210, 5255 Eisenhower Avenue

Presentation (10 MB)

  • Emergency Preparedness
  • Fire and EMS Services


"The people who work for the City government whom we seldom meet and get to know are the people who make the City work.  It is their dedication and commitment that make City operations work well.  We now have a greater appreciation for them, and for what they do."  - John L., Fall 2016

"Very Informative."- Sahri B., Fall 2016

"I really appreciate this program. (My) friends are green with envy as their cities do not do something like this. It really opened my eyes a lot." - 7 year resident, Fall 2016

"After this class, I will inspire more people to be more civically involved with their communities. A well-organized Academy!" - Paola F., Fall 2016

"The more you learn – the more you realize there is to learn. "

"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