Community Connections Academy


Target Audience:

 We welcome applicants from all Service employees at all levels in the agency, in all Service programs (e.g., Coastal Program, Ecological Services, Fish and Aquatic Conservation, International Affairs, IRTM, Migratory Birds, Office of Communication, Office of Conservation Investment, Office of Law Enforcement, Partners Program, Refuges, Science Applications)

  • GS 5-15 and equivalent WG positions
  • Field supervisors; project leaders; hatchery and refuge managers, fish and wildlife biologists, recovery and listing biologists; law enforcement officers; administrative professionals; maintenance professionals; communication, education, and outreach professionals; and others who interact with the public, on or off Service lands.

Summary and Objectives:

The Community Connections Academy (CCA) serves as a training platform for building effective relationships with communities while demonstrating respect, integrity, collaboration, innovation, and stewardship. It prioritizes practice sessions that support applying the Standards of Excellence in the work we do as an agency. By intertwining theory with practical application and skill-building, the CCA aims to raise effectiveness and confidence in implementing the Standards, facilitating participants’ growth as proactive community asset. Ultimately, Service employees who participate will strengthen their communication, interpersonal, and collaboration skills, enabling them to foster trusting, innovative relationships with internal and external communities.

Upon completion of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Create a safe space for open dialogue.
  • Communicate more effectively with culturally diverse groups and partners.
  • Gather facts and challenge assumptions using curiosity-driven inquiry.
  • Employ reflective listening to communicate a comprehensive and precise understanding of what another person has expressed.
  • Facilitate power-sharing both internally and with external groups and partners.
  • Model trust-building behaviors that promote respect, equity, and collaboration.

How to Apply:  Sign up is by nomination through your region. Please work with your supervisor to put forth your name for consideration. The nomination process will begin April 29 and Regions must submit names to NCTC by May 29, 2024.

Competency Addressed: 

Diversity and Inclusion - Intermediate, Partnering - Intermediate, Decision Making - Intermediate, Creativity and Innovation - Intermediate, Interpersonal Skills - Intermediate, Human Factors - Intermediate 

Selection of participants in this Academy is determined by a nomination process from each regional Office. Interested participants should discuss attendance with their supervisor, who can then provide their name to the region to be considered for nomination. If nominated, the regional office will notify participants and the National Conservation Training Center will follow up with enrollment information. 

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Course Short Name
Course Type
Course Category
Training Tuition Cost
36 hours
Training Credit Hours
Semester Hours

Questions and Registration

Course Contact

Upcoming Sessions of this Course

Session date and time
Location Classroom
Shepherdstown, WV

Session Contact


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