Bismarck Citizen Academy

The Bismarck Citizen Academy is an 8-week program that aims to inform, develop and engage residents, students and business owners in the City of Bismarck. Participants will get a behind-the-scenes look at how Bismarck City Government provides high quality services to the community and help them gain a better understanding of what it takes to operate a city. Those who take part in the program will interact with leaders in city government, visit city facilities and get a hands-on, behind-the-scenes look at how the city works, and build a network with others who live, work and learn in the City of Bismarck. The academy meets one night a week. Classes are scheduled to run for two to three hours in length. There is no cost to participate in the academy.

Program Goals

It is anticipated that the following goals will be achieved through this program:

  1. Knowledge: Improving participants' understanding of local government while learning more about community issues and concerns.
    • Participants get a hands-on, behind-the-scenes look at how services and programs are provided.
    • Participants better understand what is needed to run a county.
  2. Involvement: Improving the quality and quantity of citizen participation with an emphasis on underrepresented communities in local government.
    • Participants learn how they can be more involved.
    • Many participants go on to become volunteers, including service on an appointed advisory board or committee.
  3. Engagement: Improving the lines of communication and relationship between residents, business owners, students, and their local government.
    • Participants have the opportunity to connect with community leaders of all backgrounds.
    • Participants and County officials create relationships that foster enhanced communication.

Program Criteria


Residents interested in participating in the academy must meet the following criteria:

  • Must be 18 years or older and be a resident and/or business owner in the City of Bismarck, or attend a Bismarck college or university
  • Have an interest in learning about county government
  • Attend all sessions (Maximum of two excused absences with make-up during the next session). Participants are required to attend Orientation and Graduation.
  • Due to the limited slots, we will only accommodate one applicant per household.
  • Employees wishing to apply to the program must receive written department approval.

Graduation Requirements

In order to get the optimal experience from the Bismarck Citizen Academy, participants are expected to attend all sessions. Participants may only miss two sessions to graduate from the program. The Orientation and Graduation are required.

Citizen Academy Schedule

Week 1Thursday, January 20, 2022
Orientation - Administration, Attorney, City Commission, Finance/IT/GIS,  Human Resources, & Municipal Court
Week 2Thursday, January 27, 2022Public Works - Service Operations
Week 3Thursday, February 3, 2022Airport, Event Center, & Library
Week 4Thursday, February 10, 2022Public Works - Utility Operations
Week 5Thursday, February 17, 2022Community Development & Engineering
Week 6Thursday, February 24, 2022Fire Department
Week 7Thursday, March 3, 2022Public Health & CenCom
Week 8Thursday, March 10, 2022Police Department

How To Apply

Interested candidates must complete an application, after which eligibility will be verified. Due to COVID-19 precautions, the class size will be limited to 15 participants for each session. There are no fees to participate in the program.

Please note: Candidates for the program will be selected by an independent selection committee. A submitted application does not guarantee your participation in the program. The deadline has passed to submit applications for the spring term. To be considered for the upcoming session, applications must be submitted by December 15, 2021. 

Apply online using the Citizen Academy Application.

For questions about the application process, please contact Jason Tomanek, Assistant City Administrator, at 701-355-1300 or