State Walking College Program

State Walking College Program

Alabama | Colorado | Georgia | Maine | South Dakota | Texas

The Walking College is a 6-month, distance-learning fellowship program for walkable community advocates in selected states,  developed by America Walks with support from AARP Livable Communities.

Fellows will complete a series of modules covering leadership development, coalition-building, walkable community design, local public policy, and strategic planning.  The instructional content includes online study materials, video-conferenced discussion forums with other Fellows, and community assignments.  Each Fellow will receive one-on-one coaching from a Personal Mentor to assist them in developing a Walking Action Plan for their community.  

Two older women — one walking, one using a wheelchair — on a city street.

Training modules focus on the following areas:

  1. How We Got Here – transportation policy, systemic injustice, accessible communities
  2. Developing Leadership – inspiring others, story-telling, starting a movement, cultivating champions
  3. Organizing for Change – strategic communications, campaigns and organizing, events and programs
  4. Designing for People – walk audits, pedestrian infrastructure, traffic calming, place-making
  5. Shifting Public Policy – local government, public policy, complete streets, vision zero, resisting gentrification
  6. Planning a Strategy – strategic planning, bringing it all together, your Walking Action Plan

The overall goal of the Walking College curriculum is to build the capacity of local advocates to advance policy, systems, and environment change to create healthy, walkable communities.  

Residents of the following states who are interested in the program and able to commit about 5 hours per week (May – September) are invited to complete an application form by Thursday, March 31st:

A limited number of Fellowships are available in each state and the application process is competitive. The program is offered at no-cost to selected Fellows.  Please contact America Walks’ Ian Thomas with any questions.

About AARP:

AARP is the nation’s largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to empowering people 50 or older to choose how they live as they age. With nearly 38 million members and offices in every state, Washington D.C., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, AARP strengthens communities and advocates for what matters most to families, with a focus on health security, financial stability and personal fulfillment. The AARP Livable Communities initiative’s programs include the AARP Network of Age-Friendly States and Communities and the annual AARP Community Challenge “quick-action” grant program.