Citizens Academy

Citizens Academy

City Hall 5

What is a Citizens Academy?

  • The Citizens Academy is a free 12 week session program designed to teach citizens about how their local government operates. The academy gives first-hand exposure to many city departments to highlight their various functions in municipal government. Participants will also gain insight into opportunities in how they can be more involved at the local government level.

Program Description:

  • The Citizens Academy is held on Wednesday evenings from 6:00 to 8:00pm. Completion certificates will be provided at a City Council meeting which starts at 6pm and is held at City Hall in the Council Chambers.
  • The 12 weekly sessions are held at various locations within the city.
  • During these sessions, participants interact first hand with department heads and other city staff to learn about the day to day operations, tour various workspaces and take part in breakout activities.
  • Class size will be limited to 25 participants per year.

Scheduled Topics include but are not limited to:
  • Introduction and Overview of Municipal Government
  • City Council and School Committee
  • Police and Fire Departments
  • Department of Public Services & Utilities
  • Community Development
  • City Clerk
  • Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
  • Airport
  • Cultural Development
  • Berkshire Athenaeum
  • Human Resources
  • Information Technology
  • Finance
  • Building Inspectors

Schedule for 2022
  • Program will run from August 24 through November 16, 2022 from 6-8pm. 
  • No class will be held on October 5, 2022 in observance of Yom Kippur. 

How do I apply?
  • Applications for the 2022 class are closed. The program runs every year starting in late August, early September. For additional information and to express interest in participating in the future, please contact Catherine VanBramer in the Mayor’s Office at (413) 499-9321 or at