City of Winston-Salem University

City of Winston-Salem University gives citizens a better understanding of city government, including the responsibilities of various city departments and the city’s role in the community.

Students are chosen through an application process. Class size is limited. It is a FREE, 12-week course which meets once a week on Thursdays from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. Classes are held at City Hall and various other locations. Next session begins February 2019. Registration is now CLOSED.

See what the class is all about! [video]

Topics include:


  • Attend 10 out of 12 sessions (cannot miss more than 2 classes)
  • *Attend at least one City Council OR Council Committee meeting
  • *Complete a ride along with the Winston-Salem Police Department (requires a background check ); OR complete a ride along with the Winston-Salem Fire Department
  • *Complete a group budget project
  • *Participate in one of the following group tours: Waste Management sorting facility; Utilities Division facility; bonds project tour; or shadow a City Link agent.
    *Denotes outside of class time


2018 CWSU Graduates

Back row: Zina Johnson, London Mickle, Michael Green, Ashley Johnson, Scott Self, Brittney Gaspari
Second row: Allison Smith, Sonja Harry, Mary Margaret Smith, Akwete McCalister, Josh Canzona, Nathan Borne, Mary Giunca, Shannon Little, Judy Hotchkiss
Front row: James Carter, Sara Blackburn, Sue Spainhour (staff), Alex Bolick, Sydney Richardson
Not pictured: Mary Millis McLaughlin

Class of 2017 TESTIMONIALS:

"I gained a better appreciation for the work that our city employees do. We are fortunate to have such talented and dedicated people in all of the departments of our city. I was not aware of the many firsts that the city of Winston-Salem has achieved over the years. It really makes me proud to be a citizen of such a wonderful place to live. I just want to say keep up the good work!" - John Dimling

"What a great gift to our city and our citizens, to be able to take a deep dive look into how it all works." - Lea Metz

"The training that I received at the City of Winston-Salem University was exceptional. I gained a greater understanding of the structure of city officials. It helped me to understand the importance of the city operations. I recommend this training to everyone that can attend because it will be worth your time." - Cynthia Rucker

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