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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 3rd Annual Peoples Academy will take place in Fall 2020. 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 2020 Peoples Academy will open in mid July 2020.  We invite you to email us at to be notified when the applications go live!

Check out the below video about this great program!


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 the 2019 session topics:

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

When are sessions held?

Sessions are on Thursdays and Saturdays.  

  • Thursday sessions are from either 3-5pm or from 6-8pm. You can indicate your preferred time on the application.
  • A community dinner will be provided to all participants between sessions (from 5-6pm) 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

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. Economic Development, Planning and Building Services
  9. Orange Water and Sewer Authority (OWASA)
  10. Parks and Recreation
  11. Chapel Hill Public Library
  12. Community Arts & Culture
  13. Business Management
  14. Communications and Public Affairs
  15. 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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