Become an Effective Advocate — Apply to Neighborhood College

Published on March 14, 2019

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 April 25.

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What You Need to Know

  • Apply by April 5, 2019

  • Space limited to 25 participants

  • Simultaneous Spanish interpretation and childcare provided if needed

  • Course is free to participants

  • Free parking

  • Classes held on Thursdays from 6 p.m. to 9:15 p.m., April 25- June 13

  • Each session begins with light refreshments

  • All sessions will be at Ellen M Bozman Government Center, 2100 Clarendon Boulevard, 9th Floor Conference Room, Arlington VA 22201


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

Space is limited—apply in English or Spanish by April 5

Participants 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, listening effectively, building consensus and organizing for action.

Sessions will feature conversations with County Board members and staff from the County Manager's Office, Community Planning, Housing and Development, Environmental Services, Police, Sheriff's Office, Office of Emergency Management, Arlington's Volunteer Office and past Neighborhood College participants.

Apply online here. All applications are due Friday, April 5. For more information, call 703-228-7933 or email

About Neighborhood College

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.

Nearly 400 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. 2012 graduate Katie Cristol deepened her engagement in civic affairs after participating in Neighborhood College.  2017 graduate Matt de Ferranti began his civic engagement work shortly after Neighborhood College completion.