Chapel Hill Peoples Academy

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What is the Peoples Academy?

The Peoples Academy is a 5 week, 10 class opportunity to learn, connect and lead. Participants gather at Town or Town partner facilities to learn more about services, connect with their fellow community members, and gain valuable knowledge and understanding to lead in the Chapel Hill community.

The 2nd Annual Peoples Academy will take place in Fall 2019. ALL people that live, work, play, pray or study in Chapel Hill are invited to apply. Childcare (for children ages 3 and up), meals, and transportation are provided as needed.

Applications for the Fall 2019 Peoples Academy are now closed.  We invite you to email us at to be notified when the Fall 2020 Peoples Academy applications go live!

What will I get out of the Academy? Peoples Academy Testimonial

  • Face time with Town leadership
  • Information on Town services and operations
  • Tour Town facilities
  • Tips on obtaining a job at the Town and other local governments
  • Community leadership and communication skills

How do I apply?

Peoples Academy applications open in mid summer (July). We invite you to email us at to be notified when the Fall 2020 applications go live.

What are the session topics?

Below are tentative dates for the Fall 2019 Academy:

  1. The Unseen Machine: Town Manager, Human Resources and Technology (Oct. 3)
  2. Because Cops Need Heroes, Too!: Field trip to Fire Training facility (Oct. 5)
  3. All About Housing: Housing and Community (Oct.10)
  4. Rolling with Public Works and Transit: Field trip to Public Works and Transit Operations Center (Oct. 12)
  5. The Future is Now: Planning and Economic Development (Oct. 17)
  6. Where's the Water?: Field trip to Orange Water and Sewer Authority (OWASA) (Oct. 19)
  7. The Fun Stuff: Library, Community Arts & Culture, and Parks & Recreation (Oct. 24)
  8. Guardians of the Hill: Field trip to Police Department (Oct. 26)
  9. Show Me the Money!: Budget and Finance (Nov. 7) (Note: This session is from 3-8pm for all participants.)
  10. Putting it all Together: Town Tour, Call to Action with Communications and Public Affairs, and Elected Official Panel (Nov. 9)

When are sessions held?

Sessions are on Thursdays and Saturdays.  

  • Thursday sessions are from either 3-5pm or from 6-8pm (except for Session 9 which is 3-8 for all participants). You can indicate your preferred time on the application.
  • A community dinner will be provided to all participants between sessions on Thursdays.
  • Saturday sessions are from 9-noon. Coffee and light snacks will be provided.

Can I miss a session and still complete the program?

Yes! Participants are only required to complete 6 sessions in order to receive a graduation certificate and gift.

IMG_0460PR - Line Dance 1  Fire - Hose 3Fire - Bus

2018 Class Materials

Click here for the one-pagers from each department including key responsibilities, contact information, social media and smart phone apps.

Click the below links for individual department presentations:

  1. Town Manager
  2. Human Resources Development
  3. Technology Solutions
  4. Fire
  5. Housing and Community
  6. Chapel Hill Transit
  7. Public Works
  8. Parks and Recreation
  9. Chapel Hill Public Library
  10. Orange Water and Sewer Authority (OWASA)
  11. Economic Development, Planning and Building Services
  12. Business Management
  13. Communications and Public Affairs
  14. Call to Action

Questions or comments?

Email or call 919-968-2756.


Thanks, WCHL, for inviting us to speak about the Academy in November, 2018!

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