Communiversity began in 2009 as the Bristol Citizens Municipal Acadamy.  The program is an excellent way for residents to be educated on the ways in which the City functions, it builds positive relationships and increases communication between government officials and citizens as well as inspire future municipal leaders by serving on one of the many City boards and commissions.

First-Hand Experience

One of the best ways to teach the community what you do is by explaining it first-hand to our residents. The Bristol Communiversity academy is a group of 10 to 15 city residents - who enroll in a 6-week crash course on City Government. They learn what we do, and why we do it. It has been a successful program with many graduates becoming an active member of the City of Bristol's government including being a member of City Council.

Classes are held on consecutive Thursday evenings at 6:00 p.m. and runs for 6 weeks. The participants will be awarded their graduation certificate and be publically recognized.

Meet & Greet

During each session, participants will have the opportunity to meet most all administrative staff including the City Manager, Fire Chief, Police Chief and other department head. Classes include discovering the Big Picture with the City Manager and Finance Director. Other class topics will include Developing and Maintaining the Community, Public Infrastructure,  Parks and Recreation Service Opportunities and Public Safety – Police and Fire.

There is no cost to participate in the academy. Also, a light dinner is served due to the hours of the classes. There is always plenty of one-on-one time with the different speakers and they are always happy to address any questions one might have.

Communiversity: Youth in Public Service

In September 2022, the City launched a separate program for high school students. Communiversity: Youth in Public Service is currently open to juniors and seniors at Tennessee High School, with plans to invite other schools to participate in future years. Participants explore what it takes to operate a city 365 days a year through a behind-the-scenes look at the programs and services provided by the City of Bristol, Tennessee. Discover how elected leaders are chosen, policies and procedures are created, and decisions are made, while also learning about the diverse career opportunities available within local government. Sessions are held one day a month during regular school hours, and transportation is available.