El Paso County’s enrollment for the 2012 Citizen’s College is in full swing. This year’s College will take place on consecutive Saturdays, October 13 and 20, with classes beginning 8 a.m. and concluding at or before 5 p.m. both days. Citizens’ College provides participants the opportunity to learn in a classroom-style, accelerated-education environment about the multi-faceted, statutory functions and services that El Paso County provides to its residents. County Officials, Administrators and Affiliated Agency leaders serve as College instructors for the attendees. Citizens’ College is an annual activity sponsored by the Citizen Outreach Group (COG) – a citizen-based volunteer committee appointed by the El Paso County Commissioners to help build understanding of and encourage participation in County Government.
The 2012 Citizens’ College syllabus will cover a wide range of topics, including: County Government 101, Child/Adult Protection and Economic Assistance Programs, Criminal Prosecution and Investigation, Public Health and Safety, Road and Bridge Operations and Maintenance, Land Use and Zoning Regulations, Parks and Recreation Programs, Environmental Services, Property Tax Assessments and Collections, County Budget and Finance, Q&A With County Commissioners and more. This year’s College will incorporate video and other media to help illustrate County government in action and will include “field trips” to the Criminal Justice Center and El Paso County Coroner’s Office so that students can learn, first hand, about the County’s public safety and justice operations.
El Paso Board of County Commissioner Chair Amy Lathen and Commissioner liaison to the COG has participated in Citizens’ College as both a student and instructor: “As a former graduate of the Citizens’ College, I highly recommend this experience to anyone who wants a better understanding of how local government operates and what distinguishes us from other governing bodies.”