Thursday, January 3, 2019

MEO Institute course offerings are still expanding

"As soon as we began the Advanced MEO Institute, people began asking, ‘What’s next?’”

This is how Eric Budds, deputy executive director of the Municipal Association, describes the desire participants have expressed for additional education after they complete the Advanced Municipal Officials Institute of Government. The Association is now offering the Advanced Continuing Education track to help meet this demand.

In the Municipal Elected Officials Institute of Government, there’s the initial MEO Institute, and graduates of that program can move on to the Advanced MEO Institute. Finally, and this is the new part — graduates of the Advanced MEO Institute can participate in Advanced Continuing Education, an optional, self-directed track.

The Association has offered the MEO Institute for more than three decades. This first level covers many key parts of city and town governance that mayors and councilmembers need to know, like municipal finance, governance and economic development, and the SC Freedom of Information Act. There are seven courses in total, and all of them are required to complete the program.

The Advanced MEO Institute, established in 2014, allows officials to dig deeper into these topics and offers more learning flexibility. It features six courses in all, and participants can complete any four of their choosing in order to graduate.

There’s even more flexibility with Advanced Continuing Education. Advanced MEO graduates can pursue individual courses as they desire to reinforce ideas or get a refresher on critical knowledge.

The February 6, 2019 Advanced Continuing Education courses happening in Columbia have a registration deadline of January 22. The courses offered in this round are “FOIA: Making Transparency a Priority,” and “SC Ethics Act: Avoiding Common Pitfalls.” Specifics on additional courses in October will be announced later.

Find out more about all levels of the MEO Institute in its 2019 brochure.