I just read an email from the director of the Bloustein Online Continuing Education Program (BOCEP) at Rutgers about the cost to education providers of AICP's Certification Maintenance program to certify their programs. To quote Leo Vasquez:
To maintain your certification, you must take classes approved by AICP's Certification Maintenance program. The cost of AICP approval significantly raises the costs of classes. Who gets stuck with the cost? We do.APA/AICP plans to charge continuing education providers a $95 annual enrollment fee, plus $50 per credit per class. This doesn't sound like much. But when you add it up, the Certification Maintenance program could wind up costing the (Bloustein) Professional Development Institute $28,000 per year. That would mean raising our fees substantially to make up for these costs.
The biggest impact would be on BOCEP courses. Because our courses had been approved for 14 credits under the old continuing education program, CM would increase our costs per course by $700. Because we average 10 to 12 students per class, we would have to increase our fees by at least $70 per person. But it could be more. Whenever an educational provider raises prices, the provider expects that some people who would otherwise take the course won't. So, to make up for the lost revenue, the provider increases the prices even more.
Participating in the CM program would cost Leading from the Middle about $1,800 per course, or about $120 per person.
So, that means that the cost of attending your state, regional or (ostensibly) national conference will go up, too.Some amount of payment is fair. APA/AICP is using staff time to review applications, and I agree that we should help cover some reasonable costs. But Certification Maintenance should not use this program to make revenue. (If one small continuing education provider has to pay $28,000 per year, imagine how much APA/AICP could make from dozens of other providers. APA divisions and chapters will be forced to pay the same fees as everyone else in 2008.)
I agree that having the AICP after your name should mean more than the fact that you passed a test, but this is getting ridiculous. It will become an incentive to pass on AICP for some, especially planners who must pay for their own continuing education.
What thinketh the Throbbing Brain?