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Annual Virginia Municipal Clerks Association (VMCA) Institutes and Academy

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Our thanks to the 2020 Virtual Escape Rooms Sponsor:

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"I truly enjoyed every part of it this year. The speakers and subjects we covered were all amazing and helpful. After each speaker I would say that one was my favorite one but to no avail once the next speaker finished I thought the same thing. Hats off to a job well done by all."

- Christina S., Municipal Clerk

Virtual Institutes and Academy

For 2020, the Virginia Municipal Clerks Association (VMCA) and Virginia Commonwealth University were pleased to present the first virtual Institutes and Academy in the program’s history.

Participants joined us virtually for live-online interactive sessions conducted on the Zoom platform.

About the VMCA Institutes and Academy

In partnership with the International Institute for Municipal Clerks (IIMC) and the Virginia Municipal Clerks Association (VMCA), the VCU Office of Continuing and Professional Education offers a rigorous continuing education program for IIMC members and associate members.

The IIMC-approved Institutes and Academy program provides administrators who serve a Legislative Government Body (LGB) the tools required to make sure that public meetings, public records, elections and special projects operate smoothly. The IIMC will assign points to our Institute and Academy education contact hours (one point per two hours). You can use these pre-approved hours toward your Certified Municipal Clerk or Master Municipal Clerk credential designation.

Program Tracks

We offer three tracks for current and aspiring municipal clerks.

First Year Institute

Our First Year Institute is for clerks new to the field or who have not previously attended an IIMC-approved institute. In this Institute, you will get a solid overview of the fundamental knowledge and foundational skills needed to be an effective municipal clerk. In addition, you will have the opportunity to network with new and seasoned clerks to compare and contrast municipality structures.

Second and Third Year Institute

This Institute builds on the foundation of the First Year Institute. You will explore public administration, leadership, and management themes that strengthen your ability to perform the core duties of a municipal clerk. You will also have the opportunity to network with new and seasoned clerks to learn from each other.

Academy

The Academy is for seasoned municipal clerks who have earned the Certified Municipal Clerk (CMC) designation from the International Institute of Municipal Clerks. The Academy is an advanced educational program that includes a wide-range of public administration, leadership, and management sessions that prepare clerks to perform more complex municipal duties. In the Academy, you will also have the chance to peer-mentor other clerks and receive support.

How did this work for 2020?

Interactive Sessions

The VMCA virtual Institutes and Academy was a series of interactive video sessions in blocks of four hours with special one-hour activity sessions on alternate days. Participants selected and registered for their track, and VCU provided links and passwords so that participants could join the cohort live. The session length depended on the content. The core program was on Tuesday and Thursday mornings with activity sessions on Wednesdays over two weeks in October 2020.

Cameras On

Participants were required to keep cameras on and be seen for the entire program.

Online Assessments

We piloted online assessments via FlexiQuiz.

To receive continuing education hours (toward IIMC points), participants needed to attend and be on camera for the full session and earn at least 70% on the assessment. Participants had three opportunities to pass each assessment. Once an assessment was passed, a certificate was automatically issued for that session. Participants needed to pass an assessment for each session in order to receive education hours.

We recommend that clerks print and save electronic certificates for their records and IIMC credential applications.

Attendance

Clerks were encouraged to attend the full program. If that was not possible due to clerk-related duties or personal situations, they could earn education hours for each session completed successfully. There were no registration fee credits for partial attendance.

Who Attended?

The VMCA Institutes and Academy are designed for municipal clerks and aspiring municipal clerks working in Virginia. Clerks from other states are welcome to participate, although laws regarding document retention, Freedom of Information Act, and Conflict of Interest laws may vary from state to state. We strongly recommend that if your state has an IIMC-approved institute, you let your state's institute director know you are considering attending the Virginia Institute during the pandemic so he or she can advise you. If you have questions on how the VMCA Institutes and Academy might be beneficial to you, please contact the Institute Director for Virginia, Jennifer Sisane at jsisane@vcu.edu to explore your options. 

Registration is now closed. Join our mailing list under 'Stay Connected' for the latest information about the 2021 Institutes and Academy, Athenian Dialogues, and regional conference.


Zoom Guides

VCU has developed Zoom guides for students.

Visit the link below to learn more:
https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1yR3OuWKlc-AArmTJMdF_C4Ixj6RtM40M

2020 Dates and Times

(Past) Monday, October 12, 2020
10-11 a.m. EDT
Welcome – Overview of Sessions and Technology Review
 
(Past) Tuesday, October 13, 2020
9 a.m.-1 p.m. EDT- 4 hours

(Past) Wednesday, October 14, 2020
2–3 p.m. EDT - 1 hour
Communication Activity
Optional Virtual Escape Room – 1-hour slots (vary); see registration page for details

(Past) Thursday, October 15, 2020
9 a.m.-1 p.m. EDT - 4 hours

(Past) Tuesday, October 20, 2020
9 a.m.-1 p.m. EDT - 4 hours

(Past) Wednesday, October 21, 2020
Optional Virtual Escape Room – 1-hour slots (vary); see registration page for details

(Past) Thursday, October 22, 2020
9 a.m.-1 p.m. EDT - 4 hours

Virtual Schedule

VCU and the VMCA worked closely together to develop the program for the virtual Institutes and Academy. View 2020 agendas under 'Learn more'. The core program was on Tuesday and Thursday mornings with activity sessions on Wednesdays over two weeks in October.

Optional Virtual Networking Lunches

Participants could join us for an optional virtual networking lunch in an informal setting. They had the opportunity to meet virtually in small groups after each Tuesday and Thursday session. Participants could join for one session -- or all of them.

Location

In 2020, we held all of our sessions live online via the Zoom platform. VCU provided links and passwords where participants can connect through their PC, Mac, Linux, iOS, or Android device.

We plan on returning to Virginia Beach, Virginia, as conditions permit, for in-person sessions. Join our mailing list under 'Stay Connected' for the latest information about the 2021 Institutes and Academy, Athenian Dialogues, and regional conference.

Cancellation policy

Cancellations received on or before September 1, 2020, received a refund of the registration fee minus an administrative fee of $50. Cancellations had to be received via email at ocpe@vcu.edu. No refunds were given after September 1, 2020.

In the unlikely event that a program is cancelled or postponed due to insufficient enrollments or unforeseen circumstances, the university fully refunds registration fees, but cannot be held responsible for any other expenses, including change or cancellation charges to include but not limited to airlines, hotels, travel agencies, or other organizations.

Transfer policy

We allow for the transfer of a VMCA Institutes and Academy registration to a different person if requested in writing via email at ocpe@vcu.edu by the posted deadline. The participant must meet all prerequisites or qualifications required by the program and complete an online registration.

Want to find out more? Get in touch.