Environmental Professional Development Academy

Academy Director: Brian J. Valentino, MPA, CEAS, ICMA-CM




Cohort Meets: (Generally) Wednesdays from 9 AM until 4 PM

Lunch is provided and incorporated into the cohort day.

Required Text: All course materials are provided.

Academy Description: Cohort members will participate in a standard course of instruction in the basic technical, leadership and management skills needed to perform front-line supervisory functions in New Jersey public environmental authorities and agencies.  The Academy is divided into four subject area “tracks” covering:

  • Administration
  • Finance
  • Human Resources
  • Field Operations

At the conclusion of each track, members participate in a Capstone project designed to indicate understanding and practical application of key learning objectives.


Core Competencies:

Communication: The participant will communicate information and ideas clearly and effectively in the written and spoken form, and will demonstrate effective listening and reading skills.

Critical Thinking: The participant will think clearly, critically and creatively to analyze information, identify solutions, make logical decisions and solve problems.

Industry Analysis: The participant will identify and analyze issues as they impact current and future trends in the environmental authority/agency industry.

Information Literacy: The participant will identify information and collect, analyze, organize and evaluate information from a variety of sources. The student will synthesize, document and present information.

Technological Literacy: The participant will use computer systems and other appropriate forms of technology to achieve professional, educational, and personal objectives.

Community & Workplace: The participant will demonstrate cultural sensitivity within the context of the contemporary, diverse, global community. The participant will demonstrate ethical conduct and effective teamwork.


Teaching Method:  Academy activities include the use of faculty instructor and guest lectures, written projects, small group discussion, breakout projects, student presentations, video offerings, site visits, roundtable discussions and practical experiences.

Assessment:  Upon successful completion of each of the four tracks captones, they will be eligible to sit for the Academy Capstone.  Upon successful completion of the Academy Capstone, participants will be awarded a Certificate in Environmental Authority Supervision (CEAS).

Academy Participation:  Participants will be expected to come to the Academy prepared to answer questions, participate in discussion and debate topics related to the content.  In order to do that, participants will have had to any assignments or readings that may be distributed or otherwise indicated. 

Participants are absolutely expected to take an active role in debate and discussion, assuming a leadership role in same and/or in projects or other aspects of the course and generally proving to the instructor and to the class that they are applying the course content to their employment.


Academy Policies in General

Uniform PolicyParticipants must wear the provided Academy Uniform Shirt and Khaki or Black pants every day the cohort meets.  Participants are encouraged to wear boots or other sturdy shoes during classes.  Safety boots are required for all site visits.

Attendance Policy:  Attendance is mandatory for successful completion of the Academy.  A participant who misses one academy session may still be eligible to sit for the Capstone—with the Academy Director’s permission.

Lateness PolicyParticipants are expected to be on time for each session and will remain for the duration of the class period.

Academy DecorumParticipants are admitted to the Academy based upon the assumption that they either are or are about to become supervisors in an environmental authority or agency.  As such, participants are required to appear and, at all times, act in a professional manner.  Any unprofessional behavior or actions will result in the immediate termination of their Academy commission.

Use of Electronics and Mobile DevicesParticipants are encouraged to make use of such technology that will enhance their learning experience.  WiFi is available at the main academy site.  While participants are permitted to take phone calls during our meetings, such calls should be kept to an absolute minimum.

Class Cancellation Policy:   The Academy will not meet during emergencies or in weather that makes travel hazardous.  The decision to cancel an Academy session will be posted on the AEA Website (aeanj.org) and will be available by calling 732-446-9300, Ext. 239.

Incomplete Tracks:   Participants may complete the Academy by successfully completing all four tracks and the Academy Capstone.  While it is highly recommended that participants complete the Academy in the order it is presented, tracks may be completed at any time and in any order.  The Academy Capstone may only be attempted upon completion of all four tracks.

Disability Statement:   Participants with a documented disability who would like to request accommodations and/or academic adjustments should contact the Executive Director of the Association of Environmental Authorities or the Academy Director.

Mentors:  Participants are required to participate in the AEA’s Mentoring Program.  Additional information will be provided throughout the Academy.


Academy Tracks & Course Schedule:

(Subject to change without notice)

Note:  A-Administration, F-Finance, H-Human Resources, O-Field Operations


A1.       June 6, 2018

Operational Overview
Leadership 101

A2.       June 13, 2018

Introduction to Government, Politics and Regulatory Agencies

A3.       June 20, 2018

Introduction to Supervision
Supervisory Strategic Planning

A4.       June 27, 2018

Risk Management & Insurance
Incident Command & National Incident Management System      

A5.       July 11, 2018

Administration Capstone

Finance Track Coordinator: Dollie Hamlin/Bernie Bujak

Hosted by Jackson Municipal Utility Authority

F1.        July 18, 2018

Long Term Financing
AEA Panel Discussion
Public Purchasing 101

F2.       July 25, 2018


F3.       August 1, 2018

Contract Compliance / Wage & Hour Rules
Preparing for Contract Negotiations

F4.       August 8, 2018

Financial Laws & Audits
Rate Setting

F5.       August 15, 2018

Finance Capstone


Human Resources Coordinator: Apryl Roach

Hosted by Jackson Municipal Utility Authority

H1.       September 19, 2018

Human Resources 101
Public Employment Law

H2.      September 26,2018

Training & Development

H3.      October 10, 2018

Labor Relations
Labor Negotiations

H4.      October 17, 2018

Customer Service

H5.      October 24, 2018

Human Resources Capstone


Operations Track Coordinator: Mike Ruppel

Host locations and dates to be determined

O1.       TBD

Water Treatment & Distribution
Information Technology

O2.      TBD

Advanced Wastewater Treatment & Beneficial Reuse

O3.      TBD

Basic Wastewater Collections & Treatment
Permitting & Compliance

O4.      TBD

Solid Waste Collection and Handling

O5.      TBD

Operations Capstone