Become an Effective Advocate — Apply to Neighborhood College

Published on January 10, 2017

  • Now accepting Spring 2017 applications

  • Become an advocate for your community

  • Space limited for free course

  • Spanish interpretation, childcare provided if needed

  • Apply by Feb. 6

Learn how to become a neighborhood advocate and effect change through Arlington County's free Neighborhood College program, which will meet on eight consecutive Thursday evenings beginning March 16, 2017.

The program, launched in 2000, develops civic engagement and leadership skills, and is geared toward Arlingtonians who want to become more involved in neighborhood and County-wide issues. Participants will learn about all aspects of Arlington County government.

"Civic engagement is the lifeblood of Arlington," said Arlington County Board Chair Jay Fisette. "The Neighborhood College program helps people who are passionate about our community and their neighborhoods better understand the County's processes, and learn skills that will help them work effectively for constructive change."

[caption id="attachment_10859" align="alignright" width="300"]Graduates in matching shirts 2016 graduates of Neighborhood College[/caption]

Space is limited -- apply in English or Spanish by Feb. 6

Participants from across Arlington will learn, practice, and sharpen core communication and influencing skills, such as:

  • giving and receiving feedback

  • asking questions that will elicit the most helpful responses

  • building consensus

  • organizing for action

Sessions will feature conversations with County Board members and staff from the County Manager's office, Arlington Public Schools, the Department of Human Services, Public Safety, and Neighborhood Conservation.

Quick facts

  • Course is free to participants

  • Classes held on Thursdays from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., March 16-May 4

  • Each session begins with a healthy dinner

  • Childcare and simultaneous interpretation, if needed, provided for free

  • All sessions at Courthouse Plaza, 2100 Clarendon Boulevard, 9th Floor Conference Room, Arlington VA 22201.

  • Free parking

Learn more and obtain an application here. All applications due Monday, Feb. 6. Contact  or call 703-575-4412 for more information.


Neighborhood College is a key component of Arlington's civic engagement infrastructure. The program seeks to strengthen our community by building broader, more diverse participation in Arlington's civic life. Its goal is to give Arlingtonians skills that will help them raise and address issues in their neighborhoods, or in the County as a whole, and to encourage their involvement in volunteer activities.

Some 342 participants have graduated from Neighborhood College . Many of those graduates have gone on to become neighborhood leaders, members of advisory groups and commissions, officers in their civic associations, leaders on special neighborhood improvement projects, and managers of Neighborhood Conservation plan development efforts, among other efforts.