Citizens' Academy

What you should know about your government and elected officials

The Metropolitan Center at Florida International University is providing municipalities and its citizens with the opportunity to learn about their city government and how its leaders impact the community. The academy is designed to be a two-hour program to be held once a week for eight weeks. The Metropolitan Center would provide course material for the Academy and make available an opening and closing presenter.

  • What is a Citizens Academy?
    • The Academy is a learning forum intended to provide participants with insight on how city government works; promote open lines of communication between citizens and city staff; provide information on how citizens can easily utilize the services offered by city government; and provide a realistic and a clearer understanding of city government.
  • What is the purpose of the Academy?
    • The academy is designed to increase understanding between our citizens and City services through education. Our intent is to acquaint citizens with an increased understanding of the tasks at the City which is dealt daily.
  • Who teaches the Academy sessions?
    • An FIU moderator for the first seven nights will help give the perspective of national, state and local trends in the topics being discussed. The City will provide an expert from the field to bring relevant information about your City to the program. This program is designed to be interactive and informative.
  • What subjects are included?
    • Week One – What is City Government: A university representative will discuss the differences in governmental authority between federal, state, county, and city. It will also go into the type of government the City has and differences in local models.
    • Week Two – The Manager – Council form of Governments and discussion of upcoming elections involving elected officials. This module should involve the City Manager and at least one Councilperson to discuss their roles in the process.
    • Week Three – How Does the City Run?: The University will provide a moderator. In this module an Assistant City Manager and the Budget Director should participate to explain the process of budgeting and what services are provided.
    • Week Four – Community Safety: A university moderator and the directors of the departments of Water and Power. Explain what these services are, why this City is unique in having them and why it is important to have them.
    • Week Five – Fire and Police Safety: A university moderator and the Police Chief or Department Spokesperson.
    • Week Six – Code Enforcement: A university moderator and the director of the code enforcement agency.
    • Week Seven –Fighting City Hall – Customer Services: A university moderator. Review what was accomplished and graduation.
  • When and where are the academy lessons?
    • The program is designed to be a two-hour (6:30 – 8:30pm) program held once a week for seven weeks at City Hall or other assigned location within the City.
  • How are participants selected?
    • Our hope is that the Citizens Academy will reflect the broadest range of people within the community. We will include men and women, young and old, and representatives of all ethnic, cultural and civic groups, business and home owners, etc Please call the Center’s office at 305.349.1442 to schedule your session or click here.