Apply to Neighborhood College and Become an Effective Advocate

Published on January 23, 2018


  • Now accepting Spring 2018 applications

  • Become an advocate for your community

  • Space limited for free course

  • Spanish interpretation, childcare provided if needed

  • Apply by March 18


Learn how to become a neighborhood advocate and effect change through Arlington County's free Neighborhood College program, which meets on eight consecutive Thursday evenings, beginning April 12, 2018.

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 at the heart of everything we do in Arlington," said Arlington County Board Chair — and Neighborhood College alumna — Katie Cristol. "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."

Space is limited. Apply in English or Spanish by March 18

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, Parks and Recreation, Libraries, Community Planning, Housing and Development, Police, the Sheriff's Office, the Office of Public Safety Communications & Emergency Management, Arlington Public Schools, and representatives from local non-profit organizations, Arlington Civic Federation and Volunteer Arlington.

Quick Facts



  • Course is free to participants

  • Classes held on Thursdays from 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., April 12-May 31

  • Each session begins with a healthy dinner

  • Childcare, if needed, provided for free

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

  • Free parking


Apply online here, in English or Spanish. All applications are due March 18. Contact Katie Brown-Henry at kbrown-henry@arlingtonva.us or 703-228-3819 with any questions.

Background


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 Arlington stakeholders 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 368 participants have graduated from Neighborhood College since its inception in 2000. 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.