The Local Elected Leaders Academy (LELA), a partnership between the UNC School of Government and NCACC, offers local elected officials the knowledge and skills needed to lead and govern their communities.
LELA helps the Association achieve its strategic goals, including “enhance county leadership capabilities to address challenges, provide efficient and effective governance, and develop future leaders,” and “facilitate and enhance relationships, collaboration, and strategic partnerships.”
20 percent discount on LELA course registrations
Through the NCACC’s support of the Center for Public Leadership and Governance, county commissioners receive a 20 percent discount on any Local Elected Leaders Academy (LELA) course that is offered through the UNC School of Government registration system. The code is NCACC-SOG-LELA.
On each course page, click the “Register” tab, then the “Register” button shown under the course fee. Once you have created and/or have logged into the School’s registration portal, enter the code in the discount code field that is listed toward the end of your registrant information page.
LELA Recognition Program
The LELA program creates continuous pathways for education, service with statewide organizations, and recognition designed to suit the needs of local elected officials at any phase of their tenure in public office. County commissioners are recognized for their participation in both educational programs and service to the Association. The starting place for earning credits is the orientation program, Essentials of County Government. As commissioners continue their education and service, they earn credits toward recognition at 4 levels:
- Practitioner — From Campaigning to Governing: Laws, Roles, and Responsibilities
- Master — Pathway to Excellence in Governing
- Mentor — Pathway to Collaborative Leadership
- Ambassador — Pathway to Advanced Leading and Governing
LELA Recognition FAQs
- What counts toward recognition?
Commissioners earn credits toward recognition through both education and service opportunities sponsored by the Association and UNC School of Government. The number of credits awarded per school of government course and service opportunity can be found on the LELA program website.
Complete LELA courses, webinars, and online programs (the UNC School of Government and Western Carolina University offer courses in partnership).
- Courses: Multiple in-depth options
- Top 10 Primers: Free hour-long interactive webinars covering relevant and specific topics
- Independent Learning Recordings: Podcasts and on-demand courses
For course calendar and availability, visit the LELA program website.
Receive recognition for the applied practice of leadership skills within your state and national local government organizations.
- National Association of Counties (NACo)
- Attend national meetings, leadership programs, webinars, and online programs
- North Carolina Association of County Commissioners (NCACC)
- Attend state meetings, district meetings, workshops, and legislative updates
- Serve on steering and/or advisory committees
- Serve as a board member or officer
- What are the benefits of achieving recognition?
Commissioners who achieve recognition on any of the 4 levels receive a badge to print or share. NCACC will continue to recognize recipients during its annual conference. The Association can provide a press release to your county to use to announce your achievement to your local media. Commissioners who ascend to the “Master” or “Mentor” or “Ambassador” levels are formally recognized during a general session at the Association’s Annual Conference.
The Association looks to these recognized commissioners to serve as ambassadors for the Association. Our partners at the UNC School of Government also look to Mentors and Ambassadors to provide guidance and real-world perspective for proposed educational opportunities and training events.
- I have loads of credits. How is it I haven’t achieved any level of recognition?
In many cases, commissioners have earned many credits in the “NCACC Programs and Service” category for participation on steering committees and attendance at NCACC conferences and meetings, but have not attended courses offered by the School of Government or pre-conference workshops that fall under the “Workshops and Programs” category. Please review your course history and the chart below to see where you may need to accrue additional credits.
- What do I have to do to achieve each level of recognition?
You can earn credits for both education (School of Government courses) and service (opportunities through NACo and NCACC). The number of credits required in each category before each level of recognition is reached is displayed below. “Ambassador” is the highest level that can be achieved. Although there are no continuing requirements to maintain LELA status once it is achieved, the NCACC encourages commissioners to continue to attend both Association-sponsored events, and other Workshops and Programs.
PRACTITIONER LEVEL MASTER LEVEL MENTOR LEVEL AMBASSADOR LEVEL
12 — Complete Essentials of County Government
12 — Complete any combination of 201-level courses
12 — Complete any combination of 301-level courses
Complete any combination of 401-level courses
14 — Complete any combination of 101-level courses
12 — Complete any combination of organizational service offerings
12 — Complete any combination of 301-level organizational service offerings
-OR- Complete any combination of 401-level organizational service offerings
14 — Complete any combination of 101-level organizational service offerings
Completion of Practitioner-level requirements
Completion of Practitioner- and Master-level requirements
Completion of Practitioner-, Master-, and Mentor-level requirements
40 Credits needed 24 Credits needed 24 Credits needed 40 Credits needed
For course calendar and availability, visit the LELA program website.
- I’ve attended Essentials of County Government in the past. Why am I not getting credit for it?
Please let NCACC know if you attended Essentials but do not have credit. NCACC and the School of Government recently agreed to award Orientation credits for commissioners who attended Essentials prior to December 2008. Previously, a LELA Advisory Board of county and municipal officials concluded that due to significant changes in the programming and content delivered during Essentials of County (or Municipal) Government, credits for LELA courses should not be awarded retroactively. This recent change in awards only applies to Essentials of County Government.
All prior credential information has been loaded into the new LELA tracking system so you can view your completed recognition levels. Badge completion information is not available for previously completed levels but will show for any recognition level currently in progress. If you believe you have not received proper credit for a course or engagement activity, please click on this link that will take you to a form to complete for credits.
- Can I receive credits for webinars and online training?
Yes. Credits are awarded for webinars, with the number of credits typically following the duration of the training. You can engage with LELA course content in a variety of ways throughout the year: from podcasts to virtual one-day courses to multi-day residential leadership programs. Elected officials can create the learning experience that best suits their needs. It is not required that these courses be taken in ascending order. It should take about two years to complete an individual level.
- Can I track my progress through recognition levels?
Yes. Completing the Essentials of County/Municipal Government course prompts the creation of your Badgr account. You will receive email instructions on setting up your profile. This is where you will claim badges, view your progress, share or print your awards, etc. Upon completing each course and engagement activity, it is up to you to activate your badge. You can return to your profile anytime to track your progress at sogunc.badgr.com/my-badges.
It will be important for you to manage your results to receive credit and be able to share your accomplishments with others. Track your progress toward each recognition level on your profile under the “Pathways” tab. Each time you complete a course or activity, it will show as “completed.” You’ll then be able to select the recognition level to view where you are on the pathway and see what options you have to complete the level requirements.
- Where can I learn about upcoming training opportunities?
- How can I share my accomplishments?
Under the “Badge” tab on your profile, click the badge name to see details such as earning requirements, credits, and activity type. By clicking on the three dots in the upper right corner, you’ll find printing and sharing options. You’ll have the options to do the following:
- Print a certificate. Download and print your badges and awards as certificates.
- Share on social media and websites. Copy a link or embed code to share badges on social media and websites.
- Add it to your email signature.
- Is financial assistance available for LELA courses?
Through the NCACC’s support of the Center for Public Leadership and Governance, county commissioners receive a 20 percent discount on any LELA course that is offered through the UNC School of Government registration system. The code is NCACC-SOG-LELA. On each course page, click the “Register” tab, then the “Register” button shown under the course fee. Once you have created and/or have logged into the School’s registration portal, enter the code in the discount code field that is listed toward the end of your registrant information page.