Civic Leadership Academy

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Welcome to the webpage for the City of Hillsboro’s Civic Leadership Academy!

2016 Civic Leadership Academy classPreviously known as the Hillsboro Citizens' Academy, the Hillsboro Civic Leadership Academy will reconvene in September 2019 with a new group of leaders who are ready to learn what it takes to effectively serve and govern as a team with other community members. The 2018 application process ended in July.

If you want to be notified about the 2019 application process or have questions, email Kristi Wilson.

Civic Leadership Academy in the news:

The first class of Academy graduates (pictured above right) completed the program in June 2016 with a final presentation in front of the Hillsboro City Council on the subject of balanced housing. The group’s work is being utilized to help the City Council evaluate housing options in our community, and explore opportunities to form partnerships on projects and programs that support the development of affordable housing in Hillsboro.

The second class of Academy graduates (pictured below right) completed the program in November 2017 with a focus on supporting entrepreneurs in Hillsboro.

The 2018 Academy class is scheduled to present their recommendations to the Hillsboro City Council on Tuesday, November 6, 2018. The class is focused on answering this question:

2018 Civic Leadership Academy members in the Civic Center auditoriumWhat can Hillsboro do to foster a stronger sense of community throughout all areas of the city? From helping Hillsboro residents who don’t realize they live in the City of Hillsboro, to expanding awareness of local businesses and community events, how can we create deeper connections between neighbors? How can we connect residents and businesses from Hillsboro’s east side (e.g., Tanasbourne, AmberGlen, Orenco Station), west side (e.g., Downtown, Jackson School, Shute Park), and south side (e.g., South Hillsboro, Witch Hazel Village, Minter Bridge)?

You can learn more about the process for the Civic Leadership Academy by reading these frequently asked questions.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: What is the Hillsboro Civic Leadership Academy?

A: The Academy is a project-based, intensive workshop experience for Hillsboro community members who are interested in building community-governance skills.

Academy participants will be led through six interactive sessions by a team from Portland State University Hatfield School of Government’s National Policy Consensus Center. Participants will engage in a supported, hands-on process to research, collaborate, and present recommendations to the City Council on a topic of significant community importance.

Watch a short video about the program from 2017:


Q: Why did the City Council prioritize the creation of a Civic Leadership Academy?

A: The purpose of the Academy is to engage a diverse group of Hillsboro residents – representing different neighborhoods, perspectives, and backgrounds – and help prepare them to serve in a range of civic leadership capacities within the City.

The Academy is designed to promote new connections, establish working relationships between participants, develop greater knowledge of how the City of Hillsboro's government works, explore the key elements of community leadership, and create an enhanced level of fun and excitement around civic engagement.

2017 Civic Leadership Academy discussionQ: What is the time commitment to participate in the Academy?
A: The Academy is a series of six workshops, each 2.5-hours long, beginning in September on Wednesday evenings.

Academy sessions will be held on Wednesdays from 5:30 - 8 pm in Downtown Hillsboro on September 12, September 19, September 26, October 3, October 10, and October 17. Dinner and child care are provided at all Academy sessions.

Like previous Academy classes, the 2018 Academy class will culminate their work with a presentation to the Hillsboro City Council on November 6, 2018.

Q: What if I can’t commit to making all of the meeting dates?
A: Due to the collaborative, hands-on work of the Academy, attendance at all sessions is required.

If you have a calendar conflict for the meeting dates, please consider applying for the Academy next year. In the meantime, we would love to talk with you about other ways you might get involved in Hillsboro’s community governance.

Click here if you would like to be contacted with more information.

2017 Civic Leadership Academy conversationQ: Do I need prior experience to participate?
A: You need only to live in Hillsboro, care about our community, and be willing to share your enthusiasm and ideas.

Q: Can you tell me about the application process?
A: The Academy is structured as an inviting, small-group setting. Space is limited.

If you would like to be considered for the Academy, your first step is to fill out an application. Applications will be accepted until July 23 at 5 pm.

Completed applications will be reviewed by a selection committee that includes members of the City Council, as well as City boards and commissions. Applicants will learn the results no later than mid-August.

Q: Okay, I’m ready to get started. What’s next?
A: Great! We’re looking forward to receiving your application in 2019 once the application process begins in late spring/early summer.

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