Citizens Academy

The next Citizens Academy will be held in Fall of 2024 from August 20 - October 22, 2024.

Dunedin Citizens Academy offers residents an “All-Access, Backstage, VIP Pass” to learn about their government and the services delivered. Each session uses hands-on activities and lectures to provide participants with insight on how our local government works and the functions of City departments.

During this fall academy, participants will learn about the 6 EPIC Goals(PDF, 220KB) of the City Commission with a focus on how our employees are working daily to serve the public, improving the quality of life of our citizens, and making Dunedin an even better place to call home.


The application portal for the 2024 Citizens' Academy can be found by clicking the link below:


Participants will have an opportunity to:

  • Meet with Commissioners
  • Tour City facilities
  • Visit a Fire Station
  • Learn About Recycling
  • Learn About Community Development
  • Learn About the Reclaimed Water Treatment Process
  • Tour the Sheriff’s Office
  • Ride the Jolly Trolley
  • Tour the Blue Jays Stadium



Class Information

  • Nine classes will be held from 6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. on the following dates:
    • August 20, 2024
    • August 27, 2024
    • September 3, 2024
    • September 10, 2024
    • September 17, 2024
    • September 24, 2024
    • October 1, 2024
    • October 8, 2024
    • October 22, 2024
  • You must be at least 18 years old to participate.
  • Dunedin Citizens Academy participants must be residents of the City of Dunedin.
  • Participants will be selected via a random lottery system.
  • Tuition cost is $25, which includes a class shirt, all course material, graduation ceremony, class photo, and diploma.
  • Each session involves considerable amounts of walking, standing, and sitting. Please indicate any requested accommodations on the application form.
  • Participants are responsible for their own transportation to and from the various sessions located throughout Dunedin.

Participating Departments, Divisions, and Community Partners:

  • City Attorney 
  • City Clerk
  • City Manager
  • Communications
  • Community Development
  • Dunedin Fine Arts Center
  • Dunedin Golf Course
  • Dunedin History Museum
  • Dunedin Marina
  • Dunedin Public Library
  • Economic & Housing Development
  • Engineering
  • Fire Rescue
  • Finance/Purchasing
  • Fleet
  • Human Resources
  • Information Technology
  • Parks & Recreation
  • Pinellas County Sheriff's Office
  • Public Services
  • Solid Waste/ Recycling
  • Toronto Blue Jays
  • Utility Billing
  • Water/Wastewater

Upon acceptance, a packet will be sent to all participants with instructions, meeting places, a list of classes, and other session information. For more information on the Dunedin Citizens Academy, call (727) 298-3035.

How does DCA make City Government Interesting?
Dunedin Citizens Academy (DCA) students don’t just sit in a classroom; they are actively engaged in experiencing the challenges that affect City staff every day. Each week promises a new, experiential session with various city departments. DCA students learn not just the details, but become quite knowledgeable about the why behind the decision making. DCA is offered only once a year. Classes will meet for nine sessions on Tuesday evenings from 6:00-9:00p.m. By limiting the class size, each student gains the full benefit of each experience.

What are the physical demands for participating in DCA?
Every session involves considerable walking, standing, and periods of sitting and/or riding in vehicles. Sessions are held both indoors and outdoors. Participants may be exposed to periods of normal outdoor temperature variations, i.e. humidity, dust, odors, rough and/or uneven walking surfaces, and elevated open-grid walking surfaces. DCA is a behind-the-scenes experience and participants are gaining access to and experience of the normal work conditions involved in providing services to citizens. Every effort is made to assist individuals with full participation and access.

What are the requirements for enrollment?
DCA students must be residents of Dunedin and must be at least 18 years old. Applications will be accepted beginning May 1st until June 14th, and enrollees will be selected through a “blind-draw” process.  Once accepted, your registration fee of $25 will be due within 10 days.

What is covered in the tuition cost?
The tuition cost of $25 covers course materials (notebooks, class handouts, etc.), a DCA class shirt, diploma, and a graduation ceremony.

What is DCA's graduation criterion?
In order to graduate from Dunedin Citizens Academy, you will need to earn 180 credits.  You will earn 20 credits per class you attend.  Therefore, by attending every regular class from the Government 101 (week #1) through Community, Art & Graduation (week #9) you will have earned 180 credits – the graduation requirement.  Honors students graduate with 220 credits and Dean’s List students graduate with credits of 230 and above.  Each class will have a valedictorian who graduates with the most points over the nine sessions.  Opportunities for “extra credit” are available by attending a Tuesday Commission Work Session, Thursday Commission meeting, returning the class evaluation forms, attending a Code Enforcement or DRC meeting, and visiting the Dunedin Historical Museum or the Chamber of Commerce.

Where are the sessions held?
The 9-class curriculum typically involves approximately seventeen different locations throughout the City. Participants are responsible for their own transportation to and from the various session locations.