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Elected Officials Academy


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An Education and Recognition Program (Q&A)

The Elected Officials Academy (EOA) is NYCOM’s new two-tiered program that recognizes the educational and leadership accomplishments of elected city and village officials. Any NYCOM class that you take, conference that you attend, or committee that you serve on will earn you Elected Officials Academy credits. It doesn't cost you anything to activate your membership, you simply have to SIGN-UP HERE.

There is no question that New York’s municipal officials are facing serious challenges in their leadership roles -- how to do more with less money, and how to govern through these fiscal times while maintaining a positive outlook and move your community forward. Your efforts to lead in these trying times are more important than ever before and need to be recognized. NYCOM’s new Elected Officials Academy is designed to respond to the current problems you face, and offers expanded educational opportunity for elected officials. A broad array of programming is offered to mayors, councilmembers, trustees and elected administrative officials as an opportunity to expand your knowledge and expertise. All elected officials from NYCOM’s member cities and villages are invited to participate.

By successfully completing both levels of the Academy, you will be recognized by NYCOM for your achievement. Of even greater importance is the fact that your community will benefit from the education and experience you gain. Your acceptance of the challenge of learning will better equip you to fulfill the important responsibility of public service. You will be able to demonstrate to your community and peers the leadership competence necessary to carry out your duties as an elected municipal official. 

Why an Elected Officials Academy?

NYCOM has created the Elected Officials Academy to encourage local leaders to accept the challenge of learning on behalf of the community they serve. Similar to certification programs that already exist for various appointed officials, the Elected Officials Academy is a voluntary continuing education program established to encourage and recognize the efforts of local elected officials to become more effective leaders. The Academy will be administered by the NYCOM staff.

Individual Eligibility

Participation in the Elected Officials Academy is open to individuals serving as an elected official in a NYCOM member city or village.

Program Components

Elected officials will be recognized at two award levels -- Education Award and Leadership Award -- for successfully completing a combination of the following program components:

• Core (mandatory) educational courses offered by NYCOM
• Elective educational courses offered by NYCOM and other approved organizations
• Attendance at NYCOM conferences
• Municipal advocacy at the state/federal level
• Leadership service with NYCOM

The specific curriculum requirements are outlined below.

Process

To join the Elected Officials Academy, complete the enrollment form ONLINE and make sure you sign-in at all qualifying sessions you attend. Those sessions that qualify as Elective and Core courses will be noted in conference, workshop and training agendas. The NYCOM staff will contact you regarding the process for updating your progress in fulfilling the requirements for the Education Award.

Public Recognition

Local elected officials will be recognized with public acknowledgment for earning Education Award and Leadership Award status from the Elected Officials Academy. Additionally, a special award will be given to any City Council or Village Board of Trustees in which every member has completed one or both Academy levels.


Level One: Education Award

The Goal
To encourage and recognize the efforts of local elected officials to obtain fundamental information regarding municipal government in New York.

Requirements
To receive the Education Award, recipients must complete 25 credits as follows:

• Core Courses - 8 credits
• Elective Courses - 10 credits
• Conference Attendance - 4 credits
• Advocacy - 3 credits

• Core Courses
All of the following courses (or their equivalent) are required to complete Level One:
    ➢ Fundamentals of Financial Management - 2 credits
    ➢ Fundamentals of Leadership Roles and Responsibilities - 2 credits
    ➢ Fundamentals of the Legal Framework of Municipalities - 2 credits
    ➢ Fundamentals of Employer-Employee Relations - 2 credits

These courses (or their equivalent) will be offered at a variety of locations throughout the state throughout the year, including at NYCOM conferences, regional workshops, and new official training. The credits available for each class are equal to the number of hours of the class (e.g., a two-hour class receives two credits).

• Elective Courses
A minimum of 10 elective course credits are required for the Education Award. The credits available for each class are equal to the number of hours of the class (e.g., a two-hour class receives two credits). The following are examples of possible elective course topics:
    ➢ Board Governance
    ➢ Communications/Community Relations
    ➢ Economic Development
    ➢ Green/Energy Issues
    ➢ Human Resource Issues
    ➢ Leadership Skills
    ➢ Legal Issues for Municipalities
    ➢ Legislative Issues/Lobbying Skills
    ➢ Municipal Finance
    ➢ Municipal Technology
    ➢ Planning & Zoning Issues
    ➢ Professional/Personal Development
    ➢ Strategic Planning

A minimum of 10 elective course credits are required for the Education Award. The credits available for each class are equal to the number of hours of the class (e.g., a two-hour class receives two credits). These courses will be offered at a variety of locations throughout the state throughout the year, including at NYCOM conferences, regional workshops, and new official training.

NOTE: Visit NYCOM.org for an updated list of training events and course listings. For Level One, a maximum of 4 retroactive elective course credits may be awarded for attending NYCOM classes during the four years previous to the establishment of the EOA on May 1, 2018. The retroactive elective credit is awarded as follows: 1 credit for a NYCOM conference, 0.5 credit for a NYCOM full-day workshop, 0.25 credit for a NYCOM half-day (or shorter) workshop.  NYCOM staff will work with you to confirm your attendance at past courses so that you receive your proper EOA credits.

• Conference Attendance
A minimum of 4 conference attendance credits are required for achieving Education Award status. Credits will be given for attendance at any of the following NYCOM conferences:
    ➢ Winter Legislative Meeting (February) - 2 credits
    ➢ Annual Meeting (May) - 2 credits
    ➢ Fall Training School (September) - 1 credit/day (max. 3 credits)
    ➢ Public Works School (October)  - 1 credit/day (max. 2 credits)
    ➢ Legislative Priorities Meeting (November) - 1 credit

• Advocacy
A minimum of 3 advocacy credits are required for achieving Education Award status. Credits can be obtained by participating in the following legislative activities:
    ➢ Attendance at NYCOM Winter Legislative Meeting - 1 credit
    ➢ Attendance at NYCOM Legislative Priorities Meeting - 1 credit
    ➢ Written or oral testimony before the State Legislature or Congress - 3 credits
    ➢ Service on a NYCOM Policy committee - 2 credits/year
    ➢ Meeting with a state/federal elected official on a NYCOM or community issue - 1 credit


Level Two: Leadership Award

The Goal
To encourage and recognize the efforts of local elected officials to build on the core knowledge obtained in Level One, to enhance their leadership skills, and to continue their dedication to excellence in community leadership. Note: You will receive full EOA credit for repeating a class previously taken to satisfy the Level One curriculum requirements.

Prerequisites
An official must have completed Level One: Education Award.

Requirements
To receive the Leadership Award, elected officials must accumulate an additional 30 credits beyond Level One (for an Academy total of 55 credits) as follows:

• Leadership Roles - 6 credits
• Elective, Affiliate Courses or On-Site Training - 16 credits
• Conference Attendance - 5 credits
• Advocacy - 3 credits

• Leadership Roles
6 credits must be earned by serving in a combination of the following NYCOM-related roles. Service on a committee includes attendance at a majority of the scheduled meetings.
    ➢ Promote NYCOM’s message to outside groups with speaking engagements, PowerPoints, social messaging, etc. - 2 credits
    ➢ Service as a panelist or speaker at a NYCOM event. - 2 credits
    ➢ Service as a moderator at a NYCOM event. - 1 credit
    ➢ Service as a NYCOM committee member - 1 credit/year
    ➢ Service as a NYCOM Executive Committee member - 2 credits/year
    ➢ Service as a New York Workers’ Compensation Alliance board member - 2 credits/year
    ➢ Service as a New York Municipal Insurance Reciprocal board member - 2 credits/year
    ➢ Service as an officer of a NYCOM Affiliate including countywide mayors association - 1 credit/year
    ➢ Write an article for NYCOM’s Municipal Matters magazine - 2 credits
    ➢ Radio/TV Interview regarding a NYCOM legislative priority - 1 credit

• Elective, Affiliate Courses or On-Site Training
A minimum of 16 elective course credits are required for the Leadership Award. The credits available for each class are equal to the number of hours of the class (e.g., a two-hour class receives two credits).

Other elective courses may be taken through nationally approved educational programs like Fred Pryor Seminars, National Seminars, or through other New York-based educational programs. Courses need to relate to your job as a local official. Credit may be granted for participation in approved educational programs offered by private or public organizations. In all cases, agenda and proof of attendance must be submitted. There will be an online process for submitting required information. NOTE: For a full-day class outside of NYCOM, three credits will be given. For a half-day (or shorter) course, one credit.

• Conference Attendance
A minimum of 5 conference attendance credits are required for achieving Leadership Award status. Credits will be given for attendance at any of the following NYCOM conferences:
    ➢ Winter Legislative Meeting (February) - 2 credits
    ➢ Annual Meeting (May) - 2 credits
    ➢ Fall Training School (September) - 1 credit/day (max. 3 credits)
    ➢ Public Works School (October) - 1 credit/day (max. 2 credits)
    ➢ Legislative Priorities Meeting (November) - 1 credit

• Advocacy
A minimum of 3 advocacy credits are required for achieving Leadership Award status. Credits may be obtained by participating in the following legislative activities:
    ➢ Attendance at NYCOM Winter Legislative Meeting - 1 credit
    ➢ Attendance at NYCOM Legislative Priorities Meeting - 1 credit
    ➢ Written or oral testimony before the State Legislature or Congress - 3 credits
    ➢ Service on a NYCOM Policy committee - 2 credits/year
    ➢ Meeting with a state/federal elected official on a NYCOM or community issue - 1 credit