OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma City University is hoping to shorten the learning curve by creating a program for prospective city officials that gives a basic understanding in civics and local government.

The Leadership & Public Administration-Municipalities Certificate program is for prospective City Council candidates and others interested in city government. The program hopes to provide a nonpartisan foundation in administration and governance, The Oklahoman reported .

Many City Council, school board and legislative candidates run because they have concerns about specific issues, but don't have the knowledge to tackle all the problems they will face, said Steve Agee, dean of the university's business school.

The program will present case studies and participants will gain fundamental perspectives to be applied to any community, Agee said. Faculty includes several Oklahoma City leaders, such as former Mayor Ron Norick and City Manager Jim Couch.

The program starts with an overview of management and municipal governance led by Couch, Agee said. Topics include labor relations, communications, open records and open meetings laws, municipal finance, economic development and incentives, and ethics. The program will wrap up Oct. 20 with a session on negotiations and dispute resolution.

The university is currently enrolling students for the seven-week course, which begins Sept. 8.

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Information from: The Oklahoman, http://www.newsok.com