Alexandria City Academy

The Alexandria City Academy is a nine-week course that provides those that live and work in the City with the opportunity to learn first-hand about City Government functions, services, activities and issues.

Page updated on Nov 12, 2020 at 10:22 AM
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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.

Please Note: The Virtual Fall 2020 Session is in progress.  For more information about the Spring 2020 session, contact Elaine Scott at or 703.746.4317.  Classes meet on Thursday evenings starting at 6:30 p.m.

Fall Curriculum

Class #1- Overview of City Government

September 17 - Class File

  • Welcome & Class Introductions
  • Overview of the City Government
  • Communications & Public Information
  • Brief History of Alexandria

Class #2 -  Accountable & Effective Government

September 24 - Class File

  • Meet the Mayor
  • Voter Registration
  • Finance
  • Real Estate
  • Management & Budget  


October 1 - Class File

  • Alexandria Health Department
  • Community and Human Service
  • Race and Social Equity
  • Legislative Process  


 October 8 - Click on topic to view file.

Class #5 -  Livable & GReen Community

October 15 - Click on topic to view file


 October 22 - Click on topic view file

Class #7 - Accountable & effective government

October 29 - Click on topic to view file

Class #8 - Public Safety

November 5 - Click on topic to view file



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 S., 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 B., 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