In partnership with Oregon State University's Extension Service, the Association of Oregon Counties offers the County College program. The year long program is offered every other year following the general election. It is primarily designed for newly elected county commissioners and county judges, but is open to county staff as space is available.
The program is a broad overview of county government responsibilities in Oregon. Everything from human resources to road repair to mental and public health, law enforcement and communication with constituents is covered. There are also sessions on time management and personal development and relationship building. Experts from county government and outside government are brought in to teach the courses and offer their expertise and perspective.
More than a third of the sitting county commissioners and judges as of 2012 had participated and graduated from County College. Not only does it offer an opportunity to learn first-hand about the challenges and tremendous responsibility of county government, County College also offers an opportunity for elected commissioners and judges from across the state to get to know one another and learn more about the rest of the state.
For more information about County College, please contact Laura Cleland at AOC.
In addition to County College, AOC holds an Annual Conference every year, usually in November or October, offering a wide variety of educational and training sessions on various subjects impacting Oregon counties. AOC also holds a Spring Conference every year, usually following the end of the Oregon Legislative session or in June, whichever comes first. The Spring Conference is often dedicated to one specific subject and experts are brought in to help county officials understand more about that subject.
From time to time, AOC will offer seminars and training sessions on specific issues and challenges. These seminars are most often a day long and are conducted from the Local Government Center using AOC's video conferencing system to reduce travel to Salem. Seminar topics and dates will be posted on the AOC website along with information about how to participate using video conferencing.