The City of St. Cloud’s Citizens Academy will return this Fall, and the city is inviting residents to apply to be part of the free 8-week class. 

St. Cloud Citizens Academy class members meet weekly in the evenings to get to know the inner workings of the City, meet the staff, and have some hands-on, interactive fun. 

Among the activities: class members will act as Council members and city staff during a mock Council meeting. They’ll “experience” being city planners as they work to lay out the “perfect city.” Academy participants will get behind-the-scenes tours of the police and fire departments, meet a police K-9, get an opportunity to use a fire hose, have a sandbag snowman competition, and check out some of the “larger” vehicles used by the City to see how they function and what they’re used for. 

“We are planning a great experience for our residents, and it’s all designed to help them better understand how their city works,” said City Manager Bill Sturgeon. “We hope when they graduate from the program, they’ll have a better understanding of the City’s operations, and perhaps even want to participate by joining a city advisory board, coming to work for the city, or even run for a seat on City Council someday. Citizen involvement is crucial to the success of any city, and we are excited to be bringing back this program to help foster citizen involvement.” 

Citizens Academy is an 8-week program that takes place each week from 5:30pm to 7:30 pm with dinner included. There is no fee to participate but there is an attendance policy with a maximum of one absence permitted to successfully complete the program. 

Participants must be 18 or older and live in St. Cloud city limits. Each class is limited to 25 participants, on a first-come, first-served basis. Applications are available at City Hall or online at The City will confirm residency of the applicants and will notify those who are selected to participate. If the citizen decides to not participate or if the City is unable to reach them, they will be replaced with the next person on the list. 

A complete set of rules and additional information is available online We hope to see you as part of our Citizens Academy soon!