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Thread: Accreditation/school choice question

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Plus
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    Accreditation/school choice question

    Hi everyone,

    I'm looking into starting my planning degree this coming January 2012 and I'm wondering where I should go.

    I already applied to schools that I can afford (starting mid-year screws me out of assistantships, etc.), are local-ish (good friends/serious girlfriend), and are taking admissions for the Spring semester.

    I applied to (in order of my preference to attend)

    Rutgers University
    Temple University
    SUNY-Buffalo
    SUNY-Albany
    U of Southern Maine

    I've gotten into the middle 3 schools so far. Maine was my last choice and I got accepted into Albany before sending Maine my recommendations so they don't matter. I'm waiting on Rutgers, which is my real preference. I'm a Rutgers alum (undergrad).

    The only thing is most people tell me admission to Rutgers will be a hard road for me. I had a bit over a 3.0 in my undergrad ( I want to say a 3.071, but who cares), and that was in Political Science. So GPA-wise I'm just above minimum and well below median (a bit over a 3.4). GRE-wise I got a 1230 V-580 (above median for Rutgers) and Q-650 (at median for Rutgers). Hopefully, my recommendations and statements will get me in. Likelihood of admission?

    Either way, my 2nd choice was Temple, but today I found out it is not accredited. I have the ACSP 2010 Guide to planning programs and I that ACSP membership was the accreditation, not PAB. Still I have a slight personal leaning towards Temple over Buffalo/Albany (PAB schools). However, am I going to screw myself over notably by going to Temple instead? How much is PAV accreditation mean besides the extra year of wait time to take the AICP? Also do internships count towards professional experience? I'll hopefully be interning with a local planning department until I start school in January.

    So thought? I know it's a lot to take in, and maybe I ranted a bit, but it's a big decision for me career-wise and financially so I want to make as close to a right choice as I can. Also if anyone can weigh in on what they think my Rutgers chances are based on the info provided that would be nice too? Does applying mid-year help or hurt my chances?

    Thank you for reading.

    -Danny

  2. #2
    Cyburbian
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    The PAB accreditation and the AICP certification don't hold the importance as similar things in other fields do. Basically having them can only help you but it's not necessarily detrimental to your career to be unassociated with either though. Personally I see no reason not to go to unaccredited program if you can get into an accredited one since it might prove beneficial somewhere down the line. You just never know.

    As for the internship experience, I don't think that counts for professional experience until after you receive your degree.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Tarf's avatar
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    Agree on accreditation...

    The only time in my career when it mattered that I got a master's at an accredited university was when I applied for my AICP exam. You need more work experience if you get a masters from a non-accredited university before you can take the exam.

    In terms of getting a job, nobody cares, provided the university itself is a respectable institution (i.e., on-line degrees notwithstanding, a degree from any university in planning is a planning degree in the eyes of employers).
    In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move. (Douglas Adams)

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    Quote Originally posted by Blide View post
    The PAB accreditation and the AICP certification don't hold the importance as similar things in other fields do. Basically having them can only help you but it's not necessarily detrimental to your career to be unassociated with either though. Personally I see no reason not to go to unaccredited program if you can get into an accredited one since it might prove beneficial somewhere down the line. You just never know.

    As for the internship experience, I don't think that counts for professional experience until after you receive your degree.
    Quote Originally posted by tarf12345678 View post
    Agree on accreditation...

    The only time in my career when it mattered that I got a master's at an accredited university was when I applied for my AICP exam. You need more work experience if you get a masters from a non-accredited university before you can take the exam.

    In terms of getting a job, nobody cares, provided the university itself is a respectable institution (i.e., on-line degrees notwithstanding, a degree from any university in planning is a planning degree in the eyes of employers).
    Thank you both very much. Happily I can say I just found that Temple was recently given accreditation.

    As for the bolded, does that mean that internships can only count after a degree is acquired? On the PAB site I believe it says that the work experience can be from before, during, or after receiving the planning degree. Are internships just weighed differently because it could theoretically be too easy to get tons of work experience that way pre-degree?

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Tarf's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by ddomin4360 View post
    As for the bolded, does that mean that internships can only count after a degree is acquired? On the PAB site I believe it says that the work experience can be from before, during, or after receiving the planning degree. Are internships just weighed differently because it could theoretically be too easy to get tons of work experience that way pre-degree?

    It's my understanding that internships (or work experience for that matter) that were for course credit do not count for work experience. In that case, it's part of your degree.

    However, if you were simply an intern while you were a student (and not for course credit), then that does count for work experience.
    In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move. (Douglas Adams)

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally posted by tarf12345678 View post
    It's my understanding that internships (or work experience for that matter) that were for course credit do not count for work experience. In that case, it's part of your degree.

    However, if you were simply an intern while you were a student (and not for course credit), then that does count for work experience.
    I'm interning this fall before I start my planning education, and it is not for course credit.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally posted by tarf12345678 View post
    However, if you were simply an intern while you were a student (and not for course credit), then that does count for work experience.
    Planning internships must meet ALL four planning criteria to be considered professional planning experience for the AICP application, and you don't receive full credit as you would a full time job. Unless you are 200% sure you are doing the literal day-to-day work of a staff planner, I would be very careful about listing your internship experience on your application. AICP holds internships to greater scrutiny as it is pre-professional experience. All valid work experience years is also pro-rated, so if you only interned 10 hours a week for a year, you would only receive .25 years experience for that year.

    http://www.planning.org/certification/experience.htm
    http://www.planning.org/customerservice/
    "This is great, honey. What's the crunchy stuff?"
    "M&Ms. I ran out of paprika."

    Family Guy

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally posted by nrschmid View post
    Planning internships must meet ALL four planning criteria to be considered professional planning experience for the AICP application, and you don't receive full credit as you would a full time job. Unless you are 200% sure you are doing the literal day-to-day work of a staff planner, I would be very careful about listing your internship experience on your application. AICP holds internships to greater scrutiny as it is pre-professional experience. All valid work experience years is also pro-rated, so if you only interned 10 hours a week for a year, you would only receive .25 years experience for that year.

    http://www.planning.org/certification/experience.htm
    http://www.planning.org/customerservice/
    Bummer. I still want to do it anyway, even if it counts for nothing. It'll get my feet wet.

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