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 2018. Registration will open October 2017.

Congratulations to the 2017 graduates!

2017 CWSU Graduates
Back row: Emily Masters, Theo Chunn, Cynthia Rucker, Deven Swartz, John Dimling, James Caldwell, James McRavion, Mike Weaver, Matt Bolick, Carissa Hanson, Susan Britt, Mary Ford
Front row: Elaine Bevels, Cindy Dukes, Lea Metz, Jordan Gwyn, Jennifer Filipowski, Nina Bravo-Chan, Marianne Erhardt
Not pictured: South Ward Council Member John C. Larson

See what the class is all about (short version)! [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

Class of 2016 TESTIMONIALS:

"CWSU provided me the opportunity to see firsthand what our city governance provides for me as a citizen...
It's the best knowledge-based program I've experienced." Carmina Eder

"The City of Winston-Salem University is an excellent in - depth study of the leadership and the infrastructure of all the major city departments. It inspired me to increase my involvement in my neighborhood association." Diane Fitzhugh, Resident Leader for Boston-Thurmond Neighborhoods for Better Neighborhoods

"CWSU is not only a priceless opportunity to understand how our community is knit together, but also that there is no 'us' and 'them' when it comes to city government - instead the program illustrates how important an informed citizenry is, and that we all have a role to play in shaping community growth and development. Plus, you are guaranteed to meet wonderful folks and make lasting connections!" Alaina Giesbrecht

“As a native of Winston-Salem, I thought that I was sufficiently well-versed on how the city operated. Participating in CWSU exposed me to so many services and programs that I was not aware, thus making me a better citizen and ambassador of the place that we call home. My experience was life-changing.” Leslie O. Winbush, M.S., Director of the Office of Professional and Continuing
Education WSSU

“I have lived in Winston-Salem for 30 years, but had no idea of exactly how the city ‘works’. It was fascinating to learn about each department of the city and how they operate. Thanks to the City of Winston-Salem University, I have a much better understanding of how things happen and why. I feel that I have a vested interest in what goes on and feel much more connected to the city. A truly great program and I encourage everyone to apply.” Jim Young

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