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Thread: AICP November 2010

  1. #1
    Cyburbian boiker's avatar
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    AICP November 2010

    The early bird window closes today. But applications can be accepted through mid-July. Who is planning on taking the test in November 2010? I'm putting my application together while I try to study for the LEED associate certification test that I'll be taking in July.

    I've stacks of information, flash cards and sample tests. I plan on studying with vigor after LEED is done.
    Dude, I'm cheesing so hard right now.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian ursus's avatar
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    I'm planning to take it, finally. I've put it off for a while now. I'm a little scared about making the time to study....
    "...I would never try to tick Hink off. He kinda intimidates me. He's quite butch, you know." - Maister

  3. #3
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    I suppose that I should do it in Nov too. I've procrastinated, but as an unemployed planner I think this is certainly the time. Plus, I hope that I can get an unemployed discount, at on the APA membership.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    Let's not be didactic in this profession, because that is a path to disillusion and irrelevancy.

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    Is anyone else having problems accessing APA's website? I can't get through to upload my application, and their phones and email both seem to be down.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian ursus's avatar
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    The office is moving and the website was going to be down "briefly", but it's obviously taking longer than they thought.
    "...I would never try to tick Hink off. He kinda intimidates me. He's quite butch, you know." - Maister

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    Application tips

    I am working on my application for the November test and I think that I am really overthinking the sections and providing too much detail. It looks like some sample applications were shared back in 2007, would anyone be willing to share theirs? I am just trying to get an idea of how much detail I need to provide without overkill.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Raf's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by crazy8 View post
    I am working on my application for the November test and I think that I am really overthinking the sections and providing too much detail. It looks like some sample applications were shared back in 2007, would anyone be willing to share theirs? I am just trying to get an idea of how much detail I need to provide without overkill.
    Ummm no one shared their app in 2007 unless u were a known cyburbian. Considering your low post count I doubt we will share our info. The app directions are quite clear. It isn't rocket science
    Men do dumb $hit... it is what they do to correct the problem that counts.

  8. #8
    OH....IO Hink's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by crazy8 View post
    I am working on my application for the November test and I think that I am really overthinking the sections and providing too much detail. It looks like some sample applications were shared back in 2007, would anyone be willing to share theirs? I am just trying to get an idea of how much detail I need to provide without overkill.
    If you notice, once people start getting kind and helping, those people take the help and never are part of our community again. Join some discussions, get involved, and then maybe some of us would be willing to share our knowledge.

    Go through each section and answer the questions to the best of your ability. Go back afterwards and edit for size. You should have plenty of material to be able to go WAY over the limit APA sets up.

    Good luck!
    A common mistake people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools. -Douglas Adams

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    Wow...thanks for such a nice intoduction into the "community." I am new to Cyburbia and since my local APA Chapter is very disorganized I thought that perhaps the folks here would at least be somewhat more helpful in providing some guidance. No offense to you Hink_Planner.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian Raf's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by crazy8 View post
    Wow...thanks for such a nice intoduction into the "community." I am new to Cyburbia and since my local APA Chapter is very disorganized I thought that perhaps the folks here would at least be somewhat more helpful in providing some guidance. No offense to you Hink_Planner.
    It is the manner that you asked for help. It's like in 8th grade when the hot chick asked to see your "homework" and called it "help". If you have a specific question, then ask it, rather than plagerizing someone else's 3 year old app (which btw will do you no good since they changed the format of the questions in 2009).
    Men do dumb $hit... it is what they do to correct the problem that counts.

  11. #11
    OH....IO Hink's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by crazy8 View post
    Wow...thanks for such a nice intoduction into the "community." I am new to Cyburbia and since my local APA Chapter is very disorganized I thought that perhaps the folks here would at least be somewhat more helpful in providing some guidance. No offense to you Hink_Planner.
    None taken. I did give you some basic advice. Honestly it isn't setup as a trick. The first question asks about Plan Making and Implementation - You have 500 words max, which with two years of experience with a master's or four years with a bachelor's minimum you should be able to have overkill. Think about all the projects you have ever done. Think about how you worked on them, the plan making process and how you were part of the implementation. If you don't think you can find enough to discuss, they give you bullet point ideas - visioning, budgeting, plan review, development regs - one of these must fit with what your job is day to day. Like I said originally - just type. Put it all down first. Then go back and try and formulate a coherent message in your 500 words.

    Look if you would have come on here and said, I am planning on taking the test, and the application is daunting. I have searched the forums and have found all the information that you guys gave to people - but I am still confused. Can anyone give me hints about what I need to do to be able to better fill out the application?

    Instead you said please share your work with me.

    Again, I happily welcome you to the community. Go join some discussions, involve yourself. Good luck with the application process.

    And Raf let's be honest, we were all VERY willing to help the hot chick with homework.
    A common mistake people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools. -Douglas Adams

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    Thanks for the advice. I apologize for coming across that way- that was not what I intended. I have written and re-written my responses a couple of times and the reason I posted the original question was not because I couldn’t find enough to discuss- it was really more because I was concerned that I was providing too detailed a response. Anyhow, thanks for the responses.

  13. #13
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by crazy8 View post
    it was really more because I was concerned that I was providing too detailed a response. Anyhow, thanks for the responses.
    It HAS to be as detailed as possible. Each of your employer verifications are abbreviated versions of your application, so they need to be consistent. You might want to consider writing the employer verifications and having each employer sign off on them.

    Yes, the application requires some creative thinking. But then again, the exam itself requires even more creative thinking!

    Hope this helps-
    "This is great, honey. What's the crunchy stuff?"
    "M&Ms. I ran out of paprika."

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  14. #14
    Cyburbian WhenIGrowUp's avatar
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    OK - the particular ideas on which I'm stuck are:

    (1) "Professional planning experience - whether acquired through practice, teaching, or research - must address all four of the criteria for each position listed."

    and

    "Applicants must respond to each AICP professional planning criterion for each employment position."

    Seriously? I've had four planning positions since Aug. '04. Does this mean apply a separate and distinct experience for each criterion for each job I've had? Even the jobs that lasted only a few months on my way to someplace else?

    250 words minimum to 500 words maximum X 16 answers = 4,000 - 8,000 words.

    Really? Really?!?

    (2) I know for a fact two of my last four jobs have HR Queens who have raised hate to a Doctorate level. They for sure won't issue a letter about what I did or didn't do for the City of XXXXXX. They'll write a letter with two components, and two components only: A) verifying my dates of employment and B) listing whether or not I'm elegible for re-hire. That's it. How do I coax them into supplying to APA a description of what my job duties/responsibilities were?
    "We are not going to have public meetings to review architecture. Public input ruins the idea of professional review." -Design Review Committee Chairman, 11/04/09

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    I had a similar issue with one of my previous employers. I wrote the letters myself and was fortunate enough to have my former supervisor who still works there sign the letter.

  16. #16
    Cyburbian
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    Yes, EACH job has to meet the four criteria AND the employer verification letter from each employer has to touch on each of the four areas. The employer verification letter was introduced 5? years ago as a way to back up the applicant's claims. I read up on the AICP requirements several years before I took the exam and choose to stay at the same employer for 3 years to make my application much easier. The majority of applicants just need 2-4 years of professional experience. AICP told me that they look down on applicants who have too many jobs. It makes sense: in most professions +3 different jobs in less than 5 years raises some red flags. You don't have to include every job, only those positions that you want to count towards your professional experience requirement. If you worked 6 years, you only need 2,3, or 4 years worth of full time experience in the applcation, so only include those positions that meet the four criteria.

    You can include internships but they, too, need to meet all four criteria. They, too, need to have employer verification letters, and full time internship work will only count as a fraction of a year of full time professional experience.

    Is this strict? Yes, it's supposed to be. Period.
    "This is great, honey. What's the crunchy stuff?"
    "M&Ms. I ran out of paprika."

    Family Guy

  17. #17
    Cyburbian LTKS's avatar
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    FYI, you don't HAVE to use all your employment experience. I only used one, my current job, and was fine - application approved no problem. I focus on transportation planning, so if you're doing more broad planning in a public jurisdiction, and you've been there for at least the minimum time requirement, then just use that one - you should be able to easily answer each question, in my opinion.

    I know the whole application process seems complicated and daunting, and it is really easy to over think it. Once you start writing, it will just flow.

  18. #18
    Cyburbian transguy's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by WhenIGrowUp View post
    (2) I know for a fact two of my last four jobs have HR Queens who have raised hate to a Doctorate level. They for sure won't issue a letter about what I did or didn't do for the City of XXXXXX. They'll write a letter with two components, and two components only: A) verifying my dates of employment and B) listing whether or not I'm elegible for re-hire. That's it. How do I coax them into supplying to APA a description of what my job duties/responsibilities were?
    You could try and get them to give you a copy of the job description. Based on what you're saying, I'm not sure if they will but it's worth a shot. Do you have any sort of communication with your previous supervisor (or are they still there)? You could try and bypass HR and go to someone you know there.

    Finally, call APA. Yeah, no one ever wants to have to do that but I'm sure you're not the first person this has happened to and they may be helpful (or at least confirm what you need).
    Much work remains to be done before we can announce our total failure to make any progress.

  19. #19
    Cyburbian andreplanner's avatar
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    Limited experience in my recent job - how to log it?

    I just recently got hired to this position and have only been here for roughly 2 months. How do you write out a log of your experience given that you haven't done much yet? Hopefully someone will be able to help me in this. Thanks
    Follow me on twitter @andredarmanin or comment on my blog http://transportationplanner.blogspot.com

  20. #20
    OH....IO Hink's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by andreplanner View post
    I just recently got hired to this position and have only been here for roughly 2 months. How do you write out a log of your experience given that you haven't done much yet? Hopefully someone will be able to help me in this. Thanks
    The object of the application is to make sure that you are qualified to be taking the test. You really just need to look at it from the perspective of trying to explain why you have done enough work to deserve to take the test. If you only have two months of experience at a certain job, just give the duties that you have performed thus far. Since you have to have either two years with a masters or four without - you should be able to focus on the other jobs you have had to round out your word total.
    A common mistake people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools. -Douglas Adams

  21. #21
    Cyburbian andreplanner's avatar
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    I took the AICP prep course while I lived in California. I returned to Toronto not thinking I was going to get my AICP so I chucked all my notes. Now that I have decided once again to take the exam, I wonder what will you be doing to study? I had my work purchase the AICP exam prep package. I want as much material to use as I can. That includes the Planning theory for practitioners (Brooks) book. So any advice will help.

    Thanks

    Quote Originally posted by Hink_Planner View post
    The object of the application is to make sure that you are qualified to be taking the test. You really just need to look at it from the perspective of trying to explain why you have done enough work to deserve to take the test. If you only have two months of experience at a certain job, just give the duties that you have performed thus far. Since you have to have either two years with a masters or four without - you should be able to focus on the other jobs you have had to round out your word total.

    But how do you put it in 250 words? That's the question. I don't think I can with the limited amount of work in this position I've done so far.
    Follow me on twitter @andredarmanin or comment on my blog http://transportationplanner.blogspot.com

  22. #22
    Cyburbian Raf's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by andreplanner View post
    But how do you put it in 250 words? That's the question. I don't think I can with the limited amount of work in this position I've done so far.
    Why are you focusing on just the recent position? the 250 words is for experience i.e. multiple jobs. Don't make it "jobcentric" but rather focus on the skills you have gained over the years from your multiple jobs. Not even mentioning a job by name seems perfect.
    Men do dumb $hit... it is what they do to correct the problem that counts.

  23. #23
    Cyburbian andreplanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by CPSURaf View post
    Why are you focusing on just the recent position? the 250 words is for experience i.e. multiple jobs. Don't make it "jobcentric" but rather focus on the skills you have gained over the years from your multiple jobs. Not even mentioning a job by name seems perfect.

    But I need to write the experience based on the online application.
    Follow me on twitter @andredarmanin or comment on my blog http://transportationplanner.blogspot.com

  24. #24
    Cyburbian Raf's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by andreplanner View post
    But I need to write the experience based on the online application.
    I know.. i did the same exact application two years ago...
    Men do dumb $hit... it is what they do to correct the problem that counts.

  25. #25
    Cyburbian LTKS's avatar
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    In all honesty, it shouldn't be that hard - just don't over think it. And remember, for the first criteria it isn't 250 words total, but 250 - 500 words for each section. A lot of people I think got confused when they first changed it last year, and did the opposite. For example, on mine I did:

    Criteria 1, Section A: Plan Making and Implementation - selected 3 topics to discuss in 435 words. Section B: Functional Areas of Practice - selected 1 topic and wrote 318 words. Section C: Research Analysis and Teaching - wrote 330 words.

    I found it helpful to write out the answers without paying attention to word count, and keep revising to whittle it down if I needed to.
    Last edited by LTKS; 08 Jul 2010 at 4:59 PM.

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