Citizens' Academy

Citizens' Academy is an interactive, adult, civic education opportunity designed to introduce citizens to city services, programs and the people who serve the City of Manhattan. This six session overview of major services of the City is hosted by the City Manager’s Office, with support from the Manhattan City Commission.  The Academy, in its 24th year, is an ideal way to become more familiar with all aspects of the Manhattan city government from the Airport to the Zoo.

This program is especially geared towards:

  • residents of the City of Manhattan (preference in the application process)
  • people who want to become more knowledgeable about City issues and involved in City initiatives
  • people who want to learn more about how local government works and taxpayer dollars are utilized
  • people who want to understand how Democracy works at the local government level

The participant outcomes include:

  • becoming an informed citizen who is in the know
  • learning how local government works and how taxpayer dollars are utilized
  • identifying what government departments can help depending on local issues 
  • knowing where to direct civic energy in order to inspire change
Join the more than 400 graduates of the Manhattan Citizens’ Academy.

Click Here to Apply
Applications are due no later than 5:00 PM Friday, August 13, 2021. 


For more information about future Citizens' Academy, contact Dennis Marstall, Assistant City Manager, at 785-587-2402.


Citizens' Academy consists of six evening sessions. The sessions will be from 6:00 p.m. to approximately 9:00 p.m. All applicants are asked to commit to attend all sessions of the Academy.  Additional information for each session will be provided regarding the itinerary and meeting location.  

2021 Citizens' Academy Class Schedule - Thursday Evenings

Session 1 September 2
Governing the City: The role and relationship of the City Commission and city administration, advisory boards and committees, intergovernmental relations, overview of the finance department, and function of the legal department.
Session 2 September 16 Infrastructure and Public Works: Overview of public works and tour of water treatment and wastewater treatment facilities.
Session 3 September 30 Public Safety: Tour and overview of Manhattan Fire Department and Riley County Police Department.
Session 4 October 14 Quality of Life and Parks & Recreation: Overview and tour of Parks & Recreation facilities.
Session 5 November 4 Community and Economic Development: Tour sites of interest in the City of Manhattan and learn about economic development initiatives.
Session 6 November 18         Quality of Life and Parks & Recreation: Overview of Parks and Recreation Department, tour of facilities.
photo of people touring the fire department headquarters