The curriculum design process for each class begins with a daylong Design Team session. Participants include elected and appointed county officials, ACCG staff, faculty from the UGA Carl Vinson Institute of Government and various subject matter experts who represent an array of specialties relevant to each class. Each Design Team session is facilitated by an adult education specialist who elicits feedback from the group regarding course purpose, goals, learning outcomes, content, and teaching strategies. That information is then relayed to a team of UGA public service faculty and staff members who then spend several weeks researching, collecting resources, and designing the course. The course outline, agenda, activities and resources then undergo a review process in which feedback is solicited and received. Lastly, the total educational package is finalized and becomes ready for implementation.
The 27 classes mentioned above are at various stages of this process. Beginning in February 2014 and continuing for the next year, 48 more classes will undergo this same extensive design process, including 21 classes that will be brand new to ACCG’s package of educational offerings. ACCG eagerly anticipates several important milestones (one of which has already arrived!):
• The first complete product of the new design process was the new ACCG Leadership Institute, which debuted to 90 county officials in December 2013.
• The ACCG Capitol Connection Conference in February in Atlanta will feature four courses which are either brand new or newly designed.
• The ACCG Annual Conference and Centennial Celebration in April in Savannah will be the first time that all courses offered (all 13 of them!) will be fresh, hot-off-the-press products of the new design process.
In addition to the design process, there are many more exciting things happening that pertaining to the Lifelong Learning Academy. In December 2013, the ACCG Board of Managers approved the Education Committee as a permanent standing committee for the first time ever. The Leadership Development section of the ACCG website is being redesigned and refreshed to more accurately align with the rest of ACCG’s web presence. Within the ACCG database, the system that produces the education/training record for every commissioner is receiving an overhaul. These are just a few of the new and exciting things happening right now.
The future of education for county commissioners holds so much promise! Stay tuned and stay up to date as ACCG Leadership Development continues to grow.