Established Organizations

The Walking College

What’s New?

Applications for the 2018 Walking College Fellowship program will be accepted between February 1st and 28th, via an online form on this web page

What is the Walking College?

The Walking College is an interactive, online educational program for walkable community advocates. Each year, Walking College Fellowships are awarded to community change agents working alone, in organizations, or in professions such as public health, planning, transportation, or education, who demonstrate:
  • A passion for making their communities more walkable and livable, and a vision for what that would look like;
  • A desire to develop a network of peer mentors and learn to advocate more effectively for walkable community policies and funding;
  • A willingness to invest personal time and energy in training.

What are the Walking College’s learning objectives?

  • Communicate effectively with a variety of audiences about the benefits of a walkable community;
  • Recruit and inspire other local advocates to join the movement, establish an organizational structure, write winning grant applications, and fund-raise;
  • Organize public events, programs, and communication campaigns that emphasize the need for improved walkability;
  • Engage professionals in multiple fields, including public health, planning and transportation, on the ways walkability affects their priorities;
  • Navigate the structure of local and state government and engage elected officials in conversations about walkability;
  • Design and implement effective policy campaigns, such as reducing speed limits and requiring complete streets;
  • Research, understand, and communicate data to support campaigns.

What skills will Walking College Fellows acquire?

The curriculum has been designed to nurture the development of the “hard” and “soft” skills that are necessary to become effective change agents.

“Hard” skills include:

  • The science behind the benefits of walking;
  • Ability to evaluate the built environment, master the public policy process, and understand how projects can be funded with local, state, and federal dollars;
  • Knowledge in specific campaign areas, such as access to transit and “Vision Zero.”

“Soft” skills include:

  • Communications, relationships, and building trust;
  • Fostering a local advocacy movement with diverse stakeholders;
  • Engaging effectively with decision-makers.
Who are the Walking College Mentors?

 

The Walking College is a national peer learning community. The experienced walkable community campaigners listed below helped design the Walking College and will serve as Mentors by facilitating video-interactive coaching sessions with small groups of Fellows.
  1. Jeanne Anthony, Independent Consultant
  2.  Anamarie Garces, CEO/CoFounder, Urban Health Partnerships
  3. Geraldolyn Horton-Harris, Social Equity Consultant, Geraldolyn Horton-Harris & Associates, LLC
  4. Wendy Landman, Executive Director, WalkBoston and Board Member, America Walks
  5. Mukul Malhotra, Principal and Director Of Urban Design, MIG and Board Member, America Walks
  6. Molly O’Reilly, Board Member, America Walks and Board Member, Idaho Walk-Bike Alliance
  7. Jonathan Stalls, Founder/Lead Itinerant, Walk2Connect
  8. Ian Thomas, State and Local Program Director, America Walks (course manager)
What is the 2018 Walking College Timeline?
  • Application Process is open: February 1 – 28
  • Walking College Orientation Webinar: February 8 
  • Notification of Fellowship Awards: late March
  • Welcome Webinar: April 18 
  • Instructional Program:
    • Module 1: April 30 – May 20
    • Module 2: May 21 – June 10
    • Module 3: June 11 – July 1
    • Mid-Term Break: July 2 – July 8
    • Module 4: July 9 – July 29
    • Module 5: July 30 – August 19
    • Module 6: August 20 – September 9
  • Walk/Bike/Places Conference (New Orleans, LA): September 16 – September 19
  • Walking Action Plans due: October 15

What are the course expectations?

  • Pay the $100 Walking College registration fee
  • Commit 5-10 hours/per week to the 6-month program
  • Complete all study assignments and community activities
  • Prepare for and participate fully in all video-interactive discussion forums
  • Attend Walk/Bike/Places Conference in New Orleans, LA (funding assistance will be provided)
  • Develop a “Walking Action Plan” (WAP) for your community
  • Work hard and have fun!

What is the Course Curriculum?

Module 1: Why Walking?

After completing this Module, Fellows will be able to:

  • Discuss why people walk and the history of car-oriented design in the US
  • Identify the cross-cutting co-benefits of walking and walkable communities
  • Explain how walkable communities increase social equity while gentrification reduces it
  • Summarize the Surgeon General’s Call to Action and the principles of Vision Zero, Safe Routes to School, and Complete Streets campaigns
  • Research, understand, and communicate data to support campaigns

Module 2: Developing Leadership

After completing this Module, Fellows will be able to:

  • Describe and practice leadership qualities, and conduct self-evaluation
  • Discuss systemic discrimination and equity, and practice cultural competence
  • Engage diverse audiences, facilitate discussions about the benefits of walkable communities, and create a shared vision
  • Establish an organizational or coalition structure, write winning grant applications, and fund-raise
  • Develop the outline of a strategic plan for your organization or coalition

Module 3: Building a Movement

After completing this Module, Fellows will be able to:

  • Communicate effectively and build trusting relationships
  • Recruit and inspire other local advocates to join the movement
  • Organize public events and programs that encourage people to engage in walking
  • Design and implement communication campaigns that emphasize the need for improved walkability
  • Develop a draft Action Plan for future events, programs, and communications

Module 4: Designing for People

After completing this Module, Fellows will be able to:

  • Evaluate the built environment and identify features of walkable design
  • Describe the impact of land-use, zoning, place-making, and traffic calming on transportation choices and behaviors
  • Explain pedestrian safety best practices and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements
  • Engage transportation professionals in the ways walkability affects their priorities
  • Develop a draft Action Plan for walkable community projects

Module 5: Changing the System

After completing this Module, Fellows will be able to:

  • Describe the domains of planning, transportation, and public policy
  • Navigate the structure of local and state government and engage elected officials in conversations about walkability
  • Engage professionals in multiple fields, including public health, planning and education, on the ways walkability affects their priorities
  • Describe various types of public policy that impact land-use, transportation, and housing
  • Explain the difference between advocacy and lobbying
  • Develop an draft Action Plan for an advocacy campaign

Module 6: Planning Campaigns

After completing this Module, Fellows will be able to:

  • Practice “strategic thinking” and “strategic planning”
  • Explain what is meant by a “campaign,” and describe the process of campaign planning
  • Discuss the components of Vision Zero, Safe Routes to School, and Complete Streets campaigns
  • Design and implement effective policy/communication campaigns, such as reducing speed limits and requiring complete streets
  • Develop a three-year “goal-oriented” Walking Action Plan for her/his community
  • Develop a one-year “task-oriented” Walking Action Plan

If you have questions …

Contact Ian Thomas at ian@americawalks.org