The Town Council expressed interest in creating a "citizen's college" during a planning retreat in early 2002. Through the School of Government, Cary leaders want to increase understanding of how and when the public is involved in Town processes and decisions and spur even greater community involvement. The course has been offered annually since 2003.

The Town of Cary School of Government provides the community with an opportunity to learn:

  • How municipal government functions
  • What services are provided
  • How citizens can become involved

Students get a behind-the-scenes look at Town government structure, culture and decision-making. Participants are chosen from all submitted applications to represent a cross-section of Cary by age, gender, length of residency and area of town. Through discussion and hands-on activities, students obtain greater awareness of the breadth and depth of Town planning and operations.


Residents of Cary and Cary's ETJ (extra-territorial jurisdiction), high school age or older, with no disqualifying factors.


Nine sessions organized around Town Council goal areas:

  • Attractive, well-planned and livable community
  • Economic vitality and development
  • Effective transportation and mobility
  • Quality recreational, leisure and cultural opportunities
  • Reliable, sustainable infrastructure
  • Safe community
  • Good governance


Town Hall and other Town facilities; details included in course materials provided at the first session


Wednesdays 6-9 p.m. from April 24 through June 5, and Saturday morning sessions on May 4 and June 1.