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Thread: UC Davis Community and Regional Development, UCSB Environmental Studies, or UCIrvine Urban Studies?

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    UC Davis Community and Regional Development, UCSB Environmental Studies, or UCIrvine Urban Studies?

    Should I go to UC Davis and get my bachelors in Community and regional development, UC Santa Barbara in Environmental Studies, or UC Irvine for Urban Studies? I want to work on the high-speed rail projects in California eventually. Since I know counties and cities aren't hiring like they used to I need to find work in a the green planning field or the transportation planning field.

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    Cyburbian Raf's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by urban19 View post
    Should I go to UC Davis and get my bachelors in Community and regional development, UC Santa Barbara in Environmental Studies, or UC Irvine for Urban Studies? I want to work on the high-speed rail projects in California eventually. Since I know counties and cities aren't hiring like they used to I need to find work in a the green planning field or the transportation planning field.
    What happened to CSUN? I thought you had all these plans laid out to live in agoura hills, have an internship in LA, get married, live in the burbs, etc. How would have thought that life does change in an instant huh?...

    anyways....


    None of these programs will get you into a "true" transportation planning field. Transportation planning is very technical and and is more aligned with transportation engineering. Cal Poly Pomona/SLO and UCLA through a masters degree have these types of programs.

    Unfortunately you are a little late for the high-speed rail. Planning and technical studies are already under way by the big dawgs (AECOM/URS, etc.). Other cities/counties have already started station planning, maintenance facility planning etc back in 2009. My previous firm was involved in this planning for a municipality/county earlier this year. The major "planning" component will be done probably by 2012. Then it is a matter of funding.

    Second, what do you mean by "green" planning. Environmental planning? Sustainability? You should choose a program that closely fits your tilt and do some research.

    Finally, it is is getting harder and harder to find a job without a masters degree. Some of us like myself were fortunate to have just a BS but have plenty of work experience to compensate for the lack of a master's degree. As i said before, the days of the dinosuars like RJ are gone. A Masters degree is where it is at. Good luck.

    (PS why not CPSUSLO, it offers what you want to do in your backyard?)
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  3. #3
    Second Cal Poly SLO, but if it has to be those three you mentioned, I'd do UC Irvine, hands down. Their School of Human Ecology has got some really exciting things going on. I knew two people who did the UC Davis program you mention... it's not really planning, and you will most assuredly need a masters after it if you want to plan. Both of the people I knew eventually got their CRP masters at Cal Poly SLO and are now in the work force. UCSB Bren School is very eco-oriented, although they do produce a few planners there every year.

    If you really want to go into sustainability planning, I would either A) do a BSCRP at Cal Poly SLO, or B) do an undergrad at Bren School and a masters in planning at Cal Poly. Don't waste your time with the Davis community development thing.

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    I have heard about people getting jobs at CSUN with just a bachelors like doing military planning in Bishop or transportation planning for METRO in LA

    I plan to major in community and regional development with the emphasis on policy and planning. It's a bachelors in science which cal poly SLO is not. I also plan to get a minor in environmental studies and planning to have a environmental planning and sustainability background. Not to mention I heard many people are getting jobs in Sacramento when the economy is good with the federal planning offices in Sacramento. Most notable is the California Operations of Planning and Research.

    I refuse to go to Cal Poly SLO even though I could get in only under the fact they have to allow so many locals in by law if I state I can't go anywhere else but my local CSU.

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    Zoning Lord Richmond Jake's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by urban19 View post
    ....... Not to mention I heard many people are getting jobs in Sacramento when the economy is good with the federal planning offices in Sacramento. Most notable is the California Operations of Planning and Research.....
    Do you mean the Office of Planning and Research? If so, that's under the Governor and not a federal agency. And with the state of California's current budget situation, I'm not so sure I'd want to work for the state.

    Refusing to attend Cal Poly SLO is a big mistake, IMHO.

  6. #6
    I plan to major in community and regional development with the emphasis on policy and planning. It's a bachelors in science which cal poly SLO is not. I also plan to get a minor in environmental studies and planning to have a environmental planning and sustainability background. Not to mention I heard many people are getting jobs in Sacramento when the economy is good with the federal planning offices in Sacramento. Most notable is the California Operations of Planning and Research.
    Not to be blunt or anything, but you do not know what you're talking about. The undergrad planning degree at Cal Poly is indeed a Bachelor of Science. I have one on my wall. The CRP department also offers a Sustainable Environments minor, so that also fulfills your other requirement. In addition, if you want to work for the OFFICE of Planning and Research, it is a State agency that has a lot of functions, mainly in providing reports on various policy initiatives to the governor. The function that matters most to planners is its State Clearinghouse, which oversees the review of all CEQA documents, and helping people interpret the CEQA Guidelines.

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    Cyburbian Raf's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by urban19 View post
    I plan to major in community and regional development with the emphasis on policy and planning. It's a bachelors in science which cal poly SLO is not.
    Umm.. ok. Guess my BS CRP from Cal Poly is fake that is hanging at my office. Good to know.

    Quote Originally posted by urban19 View post
    I also plan to get a minor in environmental studies and planning to have a environmental planning and sustainability background. Not to mention I heard many people are getting jobs in Sacramento when the economy is good with the federal planning offices in Sacramento.
    Are these federal jobs happen to be connected to the Army Corp of Engineers? If so, change majors ASAP.

    Quote Originally posted by urban19 View post
    Most notable is the California Operations of Planning and Research.
    You mean OPR. Well, as CC said, OPR simply functions as a Clearinghouse. If you haven't been intune to planet earth lately, OPR's budget has been substantially cut back, and last year i believe the budget planned to phase out OPR over the next few years, with its primary planning function of CEQA being turned over to another department.

    Quote Originally posted by urban19 View post
    I refuse to go to Cal Poly SLO even though I could get in only under the fact they have to allow so many locals in by law if I state I can't go anywhere else but my local CSU.
    To each their own. Good luck.
    follow me on the twitter @rcplans

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    Even if CEQA is turned over to another department I can find jobs in another department. I looked up to see if Cal Poly was a BA or BS and you are right about it being a BS.

    There are planning jobs near Bishop right now. Planning will be needed for years in California it is just the need for planning changes. I am fine doing planning wherever in California and doing whatever type of planning I come across.

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    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by urban19 View post
    Planning will be needed for years in California it is just the need for planning changes.
    That may very well be true but just keep in mind it will likely take California longer to rebound than a lot of other areas of the country. There's more wrong in California than just the issues stemming from the current economic downturn; those issues need to addressed before things can really turn around. Like I'd be surprised if there isn't a lot more downsizing in state level government.

    Quote Originally posted by urban19 View post
    I am fine doing planning wherever in California and doing whatever type of planning I come across.
    If that's the case, you should just go to Cal Poly like many others suggested. If you specialize too much in to something, it'll just make it that much harder to get a job.

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    Cyburbian Raf's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by urban19 View post
    Even if CEQA is turned over to another department I can find jobs in another department.
    Landing a job with the state isn't as easy as you may think. Many, many hoops to jump and it is still a "who do you know" kind of thing. I predict that the next governor will be forced to either a) slash state employee payrolls or b) cut work salaries or a combo of both. An employee of the state is probably not the best thing now a days. Your best bet is a muni, private sector or an NGO.
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    Even if CEQA is turned over to another department I can find jobs in another department.
    Uhh... okay.

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    Quote Originally posted by chocolatechip View post
    Uhh... okay.
    Having gone to a local high school near SLO and being able to have declared a family hardship to get in Cal Poly SLO I could go there, but I my closest friends are moving to northern california and yes it is a little foolish of me to be following them and turning down a chance to go to Cal Poly SLO.

    Honestly, many people like SLO because of the small town is very green and they are a smaller version and more affordable version of Santa Barbara. I like SLO and would like to go to Cal Poly, but my counselors told me I may have to wait around a year to get in if they turn down more hardship students.

    Now, back to UC Davis. Their program is a b.s. and they are coming out with an emphasis in environmental policy in their community and regional development program. Despite all the negative feedback about Davis there are jobs for people with knowledge about community development and environmentalism. It's not their environmental planning major that requires Calculus, but it's a mix of community development and environmental planning. Not to mention I can get a minor in GIS. Not sure if Poly offers that. And some one right out of Poly is not going to have that much avalibility of internships as some one in between three large cities-Oakland, San Francisco, and Sacramento. I am not sure where people are getting environmental jobs, but I have heard graduates are finding work within a year of graduation as the economy gets better.

    What is muni and MGO?

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    Cyburbian Raf's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by urban19 View post
    Having gone to a local high school near SLO and being able to have declared a family hardship to get in Cal Poly SLO I could go there, but I my closest friends are moving to northern california and yes it is a little foolish of me to be following them and turning down a chance to go to Cal Poly SLO.
    Wow. Well, It's not like the early 90's where you had ma bell and snail mail to rely on communicating with your friends but you have FB, MSG, IM all this other stuff to communicate rapidly. All my friends from college/hs live all over the state and nation now, but we still communicate and get together, even did the college road trip to see each other. This is your career here. Yes, it is very foolish, but it is my opinion, not my decision.

    Quote Originally posted by urban19 View post
    What is muni and MGO?
    Muni means municipality, whether it be a city or county. MGO? Do you mean NGO? or Non-Governmental Organization (non-profits)?
    follow me on the twitter @rcplans

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    Quote Originally posted by CPSURaf View post
    Wow. Well, It's not like the early 90's where you had ma bell and snail mail to rely on communicating with your friends but you have FB, MSG, IM all this other stuff to communicate rapidly. All my friends from college/hs live all over the state and nation now, but we still communicate and get together, even did the college road trip to see each other. This is your career here. Yes, it is very foolish, but it is my opinion, not my decision.



    Muni means municipality, whether it be a city or county. MGO? Do you mean NGO? or Non-Governmental Organization (non-profits)?
    One is going into the airforce so I won't see him until he visits. Another friend will be in Livermore which is the one I will be close to. You can guess why I left CSU Northridge now...bad friends and city life wasn't all that. I got so close with my new friends and some I knew from high school, but weren't close with until now. Staying home would just hurt because I know I won't meet anyone new at my church and I'd just go to school and work and lack the social scene. Even I did make friends they would not compare to my current friends.

    Now that I opened up and explained why I don't want to stay and throw out I already signed the Transfer Agreement Gurantee with Davis. How can I make UC Davis help me get a planning job? If I have to go out of state at some point I am willing to do that. My overall goal is to try to stay in California even I have to work in some super small town and in a hot weather place.

  15. #15
    How can I make UC Davis help me get a planning job?
    Every institution has a career services outfit. Other than that you have your alumni connections, which are probably going to be the most valuable asset as far as finding work goes.

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    Quote Originally posted by chocolatechip View post
    Every institution has a career services outfit. Other than that you have your alumni connections, which are probably going to be the most valuable asset as far as finding work goes.
    This is true, but I meant how can I make tweak my major to best help me get a job. And where in California are the majority of jobs? When the economy turns around will jobs be available then?

  17. #17
    Quote Originally posted by urban19 View post
    This is true, but I meant how can I make tweak my major to best help me get a job. And where in California are the majority of jobs? When the economy turns around will jobs be available then?
    The economy loses jobs quickly and gains them back very slowly. So yes, there will be more jobs when the economy turns around, but remember that it will still have to re-absorb the jobs that it lost before there is any real net growth in employment. In real terms, even if the economy picks back up, you will be competing with planners with experience that need to get back into the job market.

    Parallel to this is the fact that the housing crash created an oversupply of housing in the biggest boom areas (San Joaquin Valley, So. California, etc.). So the places that experienced the most growth now have this large inventory of housing that will need to be absorbed before there is any real growth. How long it will take to absorb that inventory and where it will occur is the billion dollar question. There are developers trying to figure that out right now.

    As far as your community development major getting you a job, refer to the advice we gave you previously. Cal Poly SLO has a great reputation for placing graduates into jobs. The program you will be attending at Davis doesn't from what I have been told, because you will probably need a masters in planning after it. You are basing your decision on the fact that you want to be near your friends: BIG mistake. Never move somewhere because you want to be near friends. There are more important considerations, and you might very well get burned, unless you all, right now, make a blood-oath to never move more than 50 miles from each other. Even then, as soon as one of you gets married, all that goes out the window. There is a very good chance that the friends you have now will not be in your life significantly in 10, or even 5, years from now. This isn't something anyone likes to hear, but it's life.

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    Cyburbian Raf's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by urban19 View post
    This is true, but I meant how can I make tweak my major to best help me get a job. And where in California are the majority of jobs? When the economy turns around will jobs be available then?
    That's the problem with UCDavis. It is great for community and regional development theory, which makes its master's program attractive, however you need a solid, planning foundation if you are solely seeking a Bachelor's degree. You will not get that at UC Davis. It's program is realtively new, not established and from what I have heard, does a poor job of preparing you with simply the basic tools to be a practicing planner here in this state. If you decided to go to Davis, you probably should figure out a focus, then see what jobs opportunities are available for that focus you are going to do. You are all over the map right now and you have previously said you want to do "sustainable" planning or enviornmental planning. That can mean many, many, many things. Sustainability IMO comes from the design of the built enviornment, not some policy. UC Davis is not a design school, so it makes no sense to go there if that's what you want to do. If you want to do enviornmental planning, then here in this state that is heavy on research, processing and writing and being an expert on CEQA and case laws that effect development.UC Davis may be a good set up for that.

    I truly believe most students have no clue what sustainable planning entails, nor enviornmental planning (to the extent that planners participate in this). Enviornmental Planning in my experience is simply policy document writing and knowelege of eco systems and laws that govern their protection.

    CC brings up a great point. You are (or have) made a decision based on your friends. Balls up man. This is your career we are talking about here. An investment of at least $40-75,000 of school costs (including housing, meals, books, supplies, transportation, etc.). Is a friend going to pay that bill? No. If your looking for social scene, Davis is identicial socially to SLO, minus the 15 minutes to the beach part. Yes, Sacramento is nearby, but seriously, who wants to drive 20 minutes to Midtown to get drunk and pay a taxi $40 bucks to get back home or drive 45 minutes to a decent mall from Davis? My friends that went to UCD rarely went into Sacramento because it was a "hassel".

    Sometimes it takes some personal "i need to get out of my bubble" to really motivate yourself. IMO Cal Poly is probably your best bet career wise, plus you have sheeple, I mean people that are involved with Campus Crusade for Christ which is huge at CPSU that might be more inclined with your values. Ever thought of that?
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    Quote Originally posted by CPSURaf View post
    That's the problem with UCDavis. It is great for community and regional development theory, which makes its master's program attractive, however you need a solid, planning foundation if you are solely seeking a Bachelor's degree. You will not get that at UC Davis. It's program is realtively new, not established and from what I have heard, does a poor job of preparing you with simply the basic tools to be a practicing planner here in this state. If you decided to go to Davis, you probably should figure out a focus, then see what jobs opportunities are available for that focus you are going to do. You are all over the map right now and you have previously said you want to do "sustainable" planning or enviornmental planning. That can mean many, many, many things. Sustainability IMO comes from the design of the built enviornment, not some policy. UC Davis is not a design school, so it makes no sense to go there if that's what you want to do. If you want to do enviornmental planning, then here in this state that is heavy on research, processing and writing and being an expert on CEQA and case laws that effect development.UC Davis may be a good set up for that.

    I truly believe most students have no clue what sustainable planning entails, nor enviornmental planning (to the extent that planners participate in this). Enviornmental Planning in my experience is simply policy document writing and knowelege of eco systems and laws that govern their protection.

    CC brings up a great point. You are (or have) made a decision based on your friends. Balls up man. This is your career we are talking about here. An investment of at least $40-75,000 of school costs (including housing, meals, books, supplies, transportation, etc.). Is a friend going to pay that bill? No. If your looking for social scene, Davis is identicial socially to SLO, minus the 15 minutes to the beach part. Yes, Sacramento is nearby, but seriously, who wants to drive 20 minutes to Midtown to get drunk and pay a taxi $40 bucks to get back home or drive 45 minutes to a decent mall from Davis? My friends that went to UCD rarely went into Sacramento because it was a "hassel".

    Sometimes it takes some personal "i need to get out of my bubble" to really motivate yourself. IMO Cal Poly is probably your best bet career wise, plus you have sheeple, I mean people that are involved with Campus Crusade for Christ which is huge at CPSU that might be more inclined with your values. Ever thought of that?
    Well, I thought things over and I can apply to Cal Poly SLO and see what happens. I don't have the grades to get in, so basically it's based upon if they accept my hardship petition or not.

    Now, if Cal Poly SLO turns me down I have to look into going to a UC. UC Irvine has Urban Studies which is a design school. CRD has a focus in environmental policy and one in policy and planning. Do you think that environmental policy is best because I do want to work with CEQA and do alot of research. I am also willing to move out of state for a job if it so happens.

    Here are three current options for CRD. And a fourth option will be environmental policy:

    http://hcd.ucdavis.edu/crd/undergrad/index.php

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    I agree with what Raf and CC are saying, if you want to study planning at an undergraduate level and be able to land a public sector job in CA after graduation, Cal Poly is your best bet. That being said, if going to SLO is definitely not an option, either due to personal choice or grades, you could probably make the program at Davis work for you.

    I looked at the CRD curriculum sheet and it seems like you can definitely tailor the program in a way that would allow you to build a solid base of planning knowledge. I would definitely recommend taking classes in urban and regional planning, land use planning and growth controls, environmental impact reporting, community economic development, and social research methods. Additionally, I would look into taking a site planning class in the Landscape Architecture Department and possibly a transportation planning course in the Civil Engineering Department.

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    Quote Originally posted by NickSticks View post
    I agree with what Raf and CC are saying, if you want to study planning at an undergraduate level and be able to land a public sector job in CA after graduation, Cal Poly is your best bet. That being said, if going to SLO is definitely not an option, either due to personal choice or grades, you could probably make the program at Davis work for you.

    I looked at the CRD curriculum sheet and it seems like you can definitely tailor the program in a way that would allow you to build a solid base of planning knowledge. I would definitely recommend taking classes in urban and regional planning, land use planning and growth controls, environmental impact reporting, community economic development, and social research methods. Additionally, I would look into taking a site planning class in the Landscape Architecture Department and possibly a transportation planning course in the Civil Engineering Department.
    Alright, I guess I'll apply to SLO and see what happens. If not, I'll make emphasis in policy and planning at CRD and get a minor in GIS. Maybe get a contract military planning job in Bishop or in some rural area in CA. At that time, I will decide if I should go get a job out of state or get my masters at UC Irvine.

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    What states are hiring alot of planners? So my options after graduation sound like get a job out of state or go to UC Irvine for Masters in Policy and Planning.

  23. #23
    Quote Originally posted by urban19 View post
    What states are hiring alot of planners? So my options after graduation sound like get a job out of state or go to UC Irvine for Masters in Policy and Planning.
    Doesn't matter which states are hiring more than others. You apply for everything you would be a decent fit for.

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    Cyburbian Raf's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by urban19 View post
    What states are hiring alot of planners? So my options after graduation sound like get a job out of state or go to UC Irvine for Masters in Policy and Planning.
    and why are your options like this? Focus on one thing at a time dude. How about getting into a school, then an internship, then a job. You'll be a basketcase by the time you hit 21 that the bottle will be your friend.

    Just sayin...
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    Quote Originally posted by CPSURaf View post
    and why are your options like this? Focus on one thing at a time dude. How about getting into a school, then an internship, then a job. You'll be a basketcase by the time you hit 21 that the bottle will be your friend.

    Just sayin...
    well I'm guranteed into getting into another UC since I'll be in the system. The CSUs used to do that and don't think they do anymore. and ill admit i was wrong, way wrong about CSU Northridge. I going to apply to Cal Poly and Davis, but I am guranteed into Davis because of the TAG program they have will community colleges.

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