Gwinnett County commissioners recognized for academic achievement in lifelong learning academy

On October 15 during the Board of Commissioners meeting, District 2 Commissioner Ben Ku and District 4 Commissioner Marlene Fosque were presented with certificates for successfully completing the core requirements of the ACCG Lifelong Learning Academy. Mara Shaw with the Carl Vinson Institute of Government at the University of Georgia made the presentation on behalf of CVIOG and ACCG.

The ACCG Lifelong Learning Academy core certification includes eight courses as well as a two-day Leadership Institute for a total of 66 hours of required courses, which both commissioners completed earlier this year. County officials who complete the core certification achieve the status of Certified County Commissioner.

For more than two decades, ACCG and CVIOG have collaborated to offer supplemental training and educational tools in the academy. With abundant courses to choose from, every county official has a tailor-made learning experience that allows them to excel in specific areas of expertise.

“Counties in Georgia face a constantly evolving set of challenges which elected and appointed officials must address in order to lead effectively,” said ACCG Executive Director Dave Wills. “The Lifelong Learning Academy was created to help county officials expand their skillset, equipping them to address the challenges they face and to take advantage of opportunities to improve their respective communities. I commend leaders such as Commissioners Ku and Fosque, who understand the value of continuing their education, taking the initiative to engage in the Lifelong Learning Academy, which is truly a program of excellence.”

Ku said the Lifelong Learning Academy helped him better understand some key topics facing Georgia counties. “As a graduate of Gwinnett 101 Citizens Academy, I came into the position with a good understanding of the services the County provides to residents,” Ku said. “This academy gave me deeper knowledge of laws, finance, human resources, and economic development issues that commissioners deal with every day, and I believe that understanding makes me a more effective leader in District 2.”

Fosque said while she has been visiting each County department individually to learn more about their operations, the Lifelong Learning Academy offered beneficial courses in leadership, communication, human resources policies, and issues. “I’m looking forward to taking what I learned during the academy and applying it to Gwinnett County,” Fosque said. “It gave us some broad concepts and practical lessons that I can use to influence the future for District 4 in a positive way.”

The Lifelong Learning Academy was created with input from county commissioners who identified courses based on the issues and decision-making challenges regularly faced by county officials. To ensure the course requirements and curriculum remain relevant and engaging, the ACCG Lifelong Learning Committee, comprised of county commissioners and staff from both ACCG and the Carl Vinson Institute of Government at the University of Georgia, meet regularly to review and adjust accordingly. Through this collaborative approach, the Lifelong Learning Academy has been successful in equipping county officials with the necessary skills to meet the needs of their constituents.