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Resident Academy

Resident AcademyThe City of Highland Park is excited to launch a new initiative: Resident Academy, debuting in fall 2023! Complementing existing programs in the Police and Fire Departments, the Resident Academy is designed to engage Highland Park residents interested in learning about the major functions of local government. The program will include weekly sessions on Thursday evenings, 6:30 - 8:00 PM from October 5 through November 16, 2023. 

Participants will experience firsthand what it takes to manage and operate the City. The program will include an overview of City government and an introduction to each City department and its functions, including various City facilities such as City Hall, the Public Services Building, Police and Fire Departments, and the Water Plant.

Tentative Schedule:
  • October 5, 2023- (Week One): Welcome, Program Overview, City Council Overview at City Hall (1707 St. Johns Ave.)
  • October 12, 2023 (Week Two): City Manager’s Office & Finance Department Overview of Services & Programs at City Hall
  • October 19, 2023 (Week Three): Fire Department Overview of Services & Programs at Fire Station #33 (1130 Central Ave.)
  • October 26, 2023 (Week Four): Police Department Overview of Services & Programs at the Police Department (1677 Old Deerfield Rd.)
  • November 2, 2023 (Week Five): Public Works Department Overview of Services & Programs, including the Water Plant, at the Public Services Building (1180 Half-Day Rd.)
  • November 9 (Week Six): Community Development Department Overview of Services & Programs, at the Public Services Building (1180 Half-Day Rd.)
  • November 16 (Week Seven): Graduation & Feedback at City Hall
The Resident Academy is open to individuals age 18 and older, and participation is limited. Preference will be given to Highland Park residents and business owners. To apply, individuals must complete a registration form, which includes a background investigation. Applications will be available from September 1 through September 15, 2023. Please check back on September 1 to access the online form or download a PDF application to complete.

For more information, please email Management Analyst Chris O'Neill at

What should I wear to the Resident Academy class? 

What if I have to miss a Resident Academy class session? 

Can I bring a guest to a Resident Academy class?

Will dinner be provided?

Will photos and/or videos of the Resident Academy classes and activities be taken by City staff and then posted on social media?

I am unable to arrange for child/pet care, may I bring my child and/or pet to Resident Academy courses?

I am an Illinois Concealed Carry Weapon (CCW) License Holder, may I bring my concealed carry weapon to Resident Academy?