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Thread: Care to share your AICP application?

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Jeff's avatar
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    Care to share your AICP application?

    Biting the bullet, going to apply for the May 2008 test. From what i understand, they can be a little picky about the PPE section. While we all do pretty much the same job, other may not be as verbose as the rest. Anyone care to share some examples of "what worked?"

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    Cyburbian Plus
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  3. #3
    Forums Administrator & Gallery Moderator NHPlanner's avatar
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    I've shared mine from a few years ago with several others. I'll forward one to you later today.
    "Growth is inevitable and desirable, but destruction of community character is not. The question is not whether your part of the world is going to change. The question is how." -- Edward T. McMahon, The Conservation Fund

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Jeff's avatar
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    Thanks alot, I appreciate it.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Greenescapist's avatar
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    I'm also going to get ready for the May 2008 exam. I'd also like to see your example of a successful application. Thanks.

  6. #6
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Greenescapist View post
    I'm also going to get ready for the May 2008 exam. I'd also like to see your example of a successful application. Thanks.
    Tack me onto that list as well.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

  7. #7
    Cyburbian zman's avatar
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    Me too....
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone
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  8. #8
    Cyburbian btrage's avatar
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    I probably will too.

    Perhaps we should have some Cyburbia group study in the spring.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian Raf's avatar
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    yea..tack me on as well. My firm announced friday that they are throwing in a 1K bonus for those that pass the test from here on out..So crossing my fingers in May of 08!
    Men do dumb $hit... it is what they do to correct the problem that counts.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    I do have to say, NHPlanner's tips worked for me

  11. #11
    Cyburbian
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    me three on the list?

  12. #12

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    If its not too late and if anyone is still reading this thread, I'd like to be on the list too..lol.. Too bad I just signed up to the boards...planning on taking the exam in Nov

  13. #13
    Cyburbian
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    Tack me on, too. Wish I could get a bonus like that, damn CA planners.

    After hearing Raf's problem with transcripts, I sent in a letter from my college verifying I received my BUP a few weeks ago for the November exam. I called AICP just this last week to check: they received the letter, but it was denied Turns out, the letter needed to be letter signed from the dean of the college, not the associate dean and not a staff member. AICP discourages the verification letter: in order of preference they prefer a sealed official transcript followed by a notorized copy of the diploma followed by the letter. My alma mater mailed out the transcript to AICP this morning. Good thing I checked.

  14. #14

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    That sounds like an awful lot!! Thanks for the heads up, that way I can make sure I have my bases covered.

    I called yesterday to clarify with them about the employment verification. I'm a little nervious because my former employment's HR is not the most responsive and 2 of my previous supervisors no longer work there, and thus cannot provide anything on letter head. I'm just worried they'll give the old 'generic' job description of my former duties. The AICP rep said that should be sufficient if they do the best that they can. Im crossing my fingers

  15. #15
    Cyburbian azmodela's avatar
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    Seriously? You guys can't write some excerpts that will get past the AICP Gods? It's not rocket science guys and girls! Please, for the sake of the profession, write your own application, don't ask for someone's application so you can copy a "successful" application.

  16. #16
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by azmodela View post
    Seriously? You guys can't write some excerpts that will get past the AICP Gods? It's not rocket science guys and girls! Please, for the sake of the profession, write your own application, don't ask for someone's application so you can copy a "successful" application.
    I don't think anybody is "copying". I don't see how you could do that anyway given that employment verifications are required and we've all taken slightly different paths to become AICP-eligible. They want to see what other successful applications have done because the descriptions for each criterion are not particularly helpful. They want to see how others organized their justifications for each criterion. Also, I think everyone wants to make sure the employment verifications include all necessary information.

    You don't write a comprehensive plan by pulling it out of your ass; you usually look at what other similar jurisdictions have done (at least as far as public involvement and plan organization go). It's not reinventing the wheel--merely starting with a rim and adding your preferred tires. Anyone who has driven on rims before know that you don't get anywhere unless you've got decent tires. Sure, I could use NHPlanner's organizational structure for his application, but it won't do jack for me if I lack the content from job experiences.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

  17. #17
    Cyburbian Habanero's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Suburb Repairman View post
    You don't write a comprehensive plan by pulling it out of your ass; you usually look at what other similar jurisdictions have done (at least as far as public involvement and plan organization go). It's not reinventing the wheel--merely starting with a rim and adding your preferred tires. Anyone who has driven on rims before know that you don't get anywhere unless you've got decent tires. Sure, I could use NHPlanner's organizational structure for his application, but it won't do jack for me if I lack the content from job experiences.
    I think reinventing wheels and pulling things out of one's @$$ is the way to go. How else would one be able to convince others of their brilliance and emass an ego large enough to necessitate a full-sized, lifted pickup?

    I found it extremely helpful to view successful applications, especially to ensure I was hitting the major points needed for the application. My experience and examples are different, as are my words. It's not like anyone applying is using someone else's application like Mad Libs.
    When Jesus said "love your enemies", he probably didn't mean kill them.

  18. #18

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    Exactly

    Speaking for myself,
    I asked for a copy of an application to get an idea of how to structure my own answers, not to copy off of someone else's answers. The application does not say how specific the employment history needs to be, and because I've never applied for this exam, I'd like to make sure I was putting enough of MY OWN information in there.

    I figured it would help just to see how detailed they are expecting the answers. I can easily cut and paste off my own resume (especially since my experience will most likely be different from the next person's) but if they want to know exact numbers of projects, examples of projects, etc. and so forth, I'd rather know that versus just putting a generic answer.

    I'm just going to conclude, azmodela, that you aren't going to share yours...LOL

  19. #19
    Cyburbian Plus
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    Quote Originally posted by iCanPlan View post
    I can easily cut and paste off my own resume (especially since my experience will most likely be different from the next person's)
    If I remember correctly they do not want a cut and paste resume but a narrative that describes your experience.
    Oddball
    Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves?
    Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here?
    Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
    From Kelly's Heroes (1970)


    Are you sure you're not hurt ?
    No. Just some parts wake up faster than others.
    Broke parts take a little longer, though.
    From Electric Horseman (1979)

  20. #20
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by iCanPlan View post
    The application does not say how specific the employment history needs to be, and because I've never applied for this exam, I'd like to make sure I was putting enough of MY OWN information in there.

    I can easily cut and paste off my own resume
    The following is found under AICP Exam FAQ. These are just examples that AICP has provided, but I am sure they would need to be along the same lines:

    Criterion A: Influencing public decision making in the public interest

    Have you, for example:
    • Presented planning proposals before an elected/appointed body such as the city council, planning commission/board, citizens' advisory board, state/federal officials?
    • Worked on a project, in a significant capacity, that was later presented to such a body?
    • Recommended strategies based on research of past/current laws/ordinances or zoning proposals, etc.?

    Criterion B: Employing an appropriately comprehensive point of view

    Have you:
    • Worked on a project, say for downtown development, where you had to review several factors such as: traffic patterns, environmental concerns, economic impact, residential concerns, demographic considerations? or
    • Worked on a project such as a proposed transportation system where considerations such as traffic patterns, highway/rail construction, commercial/residential proximity, pollution concerns, noise abatement, cost projections, community input, etc. were investigated?

    Criterion C: Applying a planning process appropriate to the situation

    Were you directly involved in two or more of the following planning process techniques:
    • Public Opinion Surveys (evaluated community services, needs, and desires)?
    • Technical Interviews (gathered information from community experts)?
    • Inventory and Surveys (land uses, conflicts, traffic patterns, etc.)?
    • Citizens Participation (presented plans, conducted "vision" workshops, prepared plan summary handouts)?
    • Official Representatives Meetings (group or one-on-one meetings with public and private officials)?
    • Draft Plan/Project Review (grassroots/informal feedback from public)?
    • Public Hearings (formal feedback with elected officials and public for project/plan approval)?

    Criterion D: Involving a professional level of responsibility and resourcefulness

    Have you done one or more of the following:
    • Supervised a project?
    • Presented a proposal/plan before a decision making body?
    • Provided significant input in one or more facets of a project (i.e., conducted research, managed staff, given technical expertise in areas such as computer application, strategy development, impact analysis, etc.)?


    The following is under AICP's Definition of Professional Planning Experience:

    Not Generally Considered Professional Experience
    • Work in related fields, unless it constitutes a minor element of the applicant's planning experience. The following illustrates types of work in related fields sometimes performed by planners, but more often by other professionals:
    • Subdivision design
    • Large scale housing or site design work
    • Traffic engineering or highway design
    • Land surveying or mapping
    • Community organization
    • Social work
    • Experience in related professions (e.g., law, architecture, landscape architecture, engineering).
    • Market research or analysis, and other types of physical and social science research normally performed by other professionals or academic disciplines.
    • Work at a pre-professional level. Although there is often a fine line between professional experience and pre-professional experience, the latter generally involves less personal responsibility and less substantive technical accomplishments along the lines of the above four criteria that define professional planning experience.
    • Elected and appointed officials: While contributions by members of city councils, boards of commissioners, planning commissions, boards of zoning appeals, and citizen advisory boards are indeed invaluable to the advancement of planning, service on such a body, by itself, does not constitute professional planning experience.


    I don't think you can cut and paste your resume, but it needs to meet AICP criteria. Does anyone have any copies of employer verifications for approved applications? NHPlanner's application (though very helpful) was approved when the employer verification was not a requirement. AICP indicated that the verfication letter(s) need to be a shorter version of the professional planning experience portion of the online application, but I don't know what my employer needs to include in these letters.

  21. #21
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by nrschmid View post

    I don't think you can cut and paste your resume, but it needs to meet AICP criteria. Does anyone have any copies of employer verifications for approved applications? NHPlanner's application (though very helpful) was approved when the employer verification was not a requirement. AICP indicated that the verfication letter(s) need to be a shorter version of the professional planning experience portion of the online application, but I don't know what my employer needs to include in these letters.
    Here's what one of my verification letters looked like. I have sliced out the stuff that would clearly identify me. I don't know if you really need this much detail, but I didn't have an example to go on and erred toward providing more information than necessary.

    -------------------------------

    <date>

    <address block>

    Mr. 'Burb Fixer:

    This letter serves to verify employment in conjunction with 'Burb Fixer's AICP pursuit. Based on the application requirements, I have included his position held in ____________, duration of employment to date, and specific job duties. From my experience as Assistant Director and subsequently Interim Director of ________________ for the City of __________, I can verify his position as ______________. He has served in this capacity from April 2006 to the present (January 2008), a total of 21 months or just over 1.5 years. I have summarized his duties below and attempted to address them toward the AICP criteria for professional experience.

    Mr. Burb Fixer was hired in 2006 as _______________, with primary duties toward long-range planning and community development. He has been active in comprehensive planning and neighborhood planning, updating seven neighborhood plans and serving as an assistant project manager for the Downtown Master Plan. He is in the process of establishing a new process for neighborhood plans, strengthening them through improved public outreach, broadened scope, more specific recommendations and realistic implementation strategies. In doing so, he is providing stronger links between the plans and daily decision-making processes.

    With his attention to detail and strong understanding of planning processes, Mr. Burb Fixer has become the lead for the City’s Capital Improvements Plan. When tasked with this responsibility, he worked with me to develop a new Capital Improvements Plan process to improve project review and better integrate the plan with other comprehensive plans and special area plans. In doing so, he gave the public an improved opportunity to provide input while providing checks to ensure projects lacking support from a plan were reviewed adequately. Showing his comprehensive point-of-view, we collaborated with several other departments to introduce financial and workload constraints to the CIP. This has injected a much-needed concept of realism to the CIP and made it a more useful planning document.

    In addition, Mr. Burb Fixer recently completed the _____________ Plan, which won the ________ Award from the ______ Chapter of the American Planning Association. From his work on the __________ Plan, he now serves as the City representative to _________ University for their Campus Master Plan and facilities planning. From his and others’ efforts, the city staff-university staff relationship has strengthened with more collaboration.

    Perhaps one of Mr. Burb Fixer’s most significant contributions to _____________ has come in community development, where he has applied planning principles to the priorities of the Community Development Block Grant and HOME Investment Partnership programs. For example, he worked with _____________, a ____________________ agencies, to refine their concept plan for property development. ___________ was experiencing difficulty developing the site under a previous concept plan due to expense. He applied principles of mixed use to redesign the project into a more “village-like” setting while finding opportunities to preserve wildlife habitat and historic resources. His efforts helped ____________ gain traction and secured a major funding source to supplement CDBG funds. Through the HOME program, Mr. Burb Fixer saw an opportunity to introduce elements of green building, a largely untouched technique in _____________. His efforts resulted in some of the first Energy Star certified houses under the _____________ state agency program and provided an educational opportunity for local contractors to see green building done on a severely restricted budget.

    Mr. Burb Fixer's experience in _____________ goes beyond general planning policy. He has proven himself a capable researcher for a variety of planning-related regulations. When called upon, he has researched and provided recommendations on key policy and ordinance decisions to a variety of Boards and Commissions. He also serves as the primary demographer for ______________, allowing him to integrate demographic shifts and characteristics into the planning process. He has a strong analytical capability while working in a variety of areas, whether its historic preservation or conditional uses.


    If you need further assistance or verification, please contact me at the ______________ department.

    Regards,



    Burb Fixer's Boss, AICP, Interim Director
    ___________________________

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

  22. #22
    Cyburbian
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    Thanks a bunch, suburb. Care to also share that part of the online application as well?

  23. #23
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by nrschmid View post
    Thanks a bunch, suburb. Care to also share that part of the online application as well?
    I just sent you a gift via email. We must have exchanged emails before because I had it saved.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

  24. #24
    Cyburbian azmodela's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by iCanPlan View post
    I'm just going to conclude, azmodela, that you aren't going to share yours...LOL
    No I won't be sharing mine because I'm not sure that mine is the best example to copy from....

    It's just disappointing to see people on here asking for examples. Of course you can't submit the same thing, there will be changes based on one's location, experience, etc. I thought that part was obvious. Writing an application, letter, memo, etc. shouldn't be that hard for any of us here. With the examples and lead that AICP provides in their application, it should be a piece of cake!

    This just speaks for the profession. Can you imagine what all of the community plans will look like in the next 20 years if this is what the current round of AICP applicants deem acceptable?

  25. #25
    Cyburbian
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    Criteria D/Feedback on professional experience portion of applicatication

    For Criteria D on the application, I listed (as two of four examples) my involvement with two committees with Illinois APA as well as pro-bono work with planning students at UIUC. These activities are in addition to my regular responsibilities as a planner. I am not substituting these activies for my job (trying to find the best way of phrasing this). What is your take on this?

    I would be very grateful if anyone can look over the planning experience portion of my application (Criteria A-D) and offer any feedback.

    Thanks-

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