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CCCC and Chatham County Host Citizens' College Starting Sept. 29

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09.20.2016College & CommunityCollege General

PITTSBORO - Trying to understand how North Carolina local governments and school systems operate can be confusing, especially if you have had limited interactions with them or come from another state. Coming this fall is a chance to learn the basics of schools and local government while earning continuing education credits.

Anyone interested in learning more about county and town government is invited to enroll in Chatham County Citizens' College from on Sept. 29 to Nov. 10, 2016. It is offered through the Chatham Main Campus of Central Carolina Community College (CCCC) in partnership with Chatham County government.

"We always have a nearly full class of participants and they contribute to it being a fun learning experience," said Debra Henzey, who coordinates the program for the Chatham County Manager's Office. "I always learn something new myself."

Henzey said that the class is open to anyone living or working in the county. "We would love to have more diversity, including a wide range of ages, areas of the county, political views and racial and ethnic backgrounds."

Citizens' College begins on Sept. 29, 2016 and will be offered every Thursday night until Nov. 10, 2016, from 6:30- 9 pm. Locations will vary across the county, but will include the award-winning Historic Courthouse, Judicial Center, North Chatham Fire Station and Jordan Lake Water Treatment Plant.

The main goals are to help participants better understand how major county and town services operate and who manages them; explore options for serving as volunteers to help local governments; get to know key managers and department heads; and interact with other interested residents of all ages and backgrounds.

Citizens' College was initiated several years ago by CCEC-Institute under the leadership of Rita Spina, who worked closely with Assistant County Manager Renee Paschal to develop the curriculum. In 2013, it became a joint program of the community college and Chatham County.

The fee for registration is $25, but limited scholarships to help cover this cost are available upon request. If interested in a scholarship, contact Debra Henzey with the County Manager's Office at 919-542-8258.

To register by phone or to request a printed form, contact CCCC's Continuing Education Office at 919-545-8044.

The course topics include:

  • Introductions, Role of Local Government and Elections
  • Water, Waste & Recycling (include a tour of the plant at beginning)
  • Planning
  • Central Carolina Community College & Chatham County Schools,
  • Emergency Ops, Fire Departments & Fire Marshal
  • Sheriff, Police and Courts
  • City & County Management & Presentation of Certificates