I agree. There is no reason faculty should be treated differently. The authors are correct in stating that AICP is a designation for practicing planners and that most faculty have never been in the practice.
I do not have a copy of my November Interact. Can somebody post the link to where we can reply to this proposal?
No other profession that I'm aware of gives tenured faculty a bye for a certification. Not engineers. Not architects.
There are a lot of planning professors out there that despite having Piled it High and Deep, couldn't pass the AICP certification exam because they lack the practical experience necessary to know how to properly apply what they preach.
From the APA site. Note the December 1 deadline for comments. If you're not AICP accredited, and have no access to the comment form, I suggest writing to aicp (at) planning (dot) org.
Tenured Faculty Membership Program
Under the terms of the Tenured Faculty Membership Program, AICP will invite currently tenured faculty in planning programs accredited by the Planning Accreditation Board to apply to join if they are not already AICP members. In the future, faculty who are granted tenure at PAB-accredited programs will be invited to apply for AICP membership. As with individuals who pass the Comprehensive Planning Examination, their membership in AICP will take effect when they pay APA, chapter, and AICP dues in full.
Responding to changes in the planning academy
AICP developed the Tenured Faculty Membership Program in response to extensive changes in U.S. planning programs. Thirty-five years ago, academic planning departments were "recognized" by the American Institute of Planners. Today, planning programs are accredited by the Planning Accreditation Board, a body established by APA and its professional institute, AICP, in concert with the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning. Increasingly, the PAB considers outcomes such as pass rates on the AICP exam when it evaluates a program.
In the early 1970s, many planning faculty were recruited directly from the field of practice and arrived on campus with an AIP credential awarded after an oral interview that served as the threshold exam. Few had doctorates. In 2011, doctoral degrees are common among individuals who join planning faculties at accredited university programs. Research and publication are expected and are key criteria for the grant of tenure. Achieving tenure typically requires an extensive, written application that must be approved at several academic levels such as department, school, and university.
The AICP Commission invites feedback
The AICP Commission would like to hear from members before finalizing the program. Please read the questions and answers below and use the "Contact Us" section that follows to submit additional comments or questions about the Tenured Faculty Membership Program, no later than December 1, 2011.
Q: Who is eligible for the Tenured Faculty Membership Program?
A: Faculty of planning programs accredited by the Planning Accreditation Board are eligible. Any faculty member in a PAB-accredited planning program may apply once he or she is granted tenure. Faculty members of non PAB-accredited programs are not eligible at this time.
Q: Is passing the Comprehensive Planning Examination required?
A: No. A university's grant of tenure requires an extensive written application that must be approved through a rigorous process that includes votes of approval at several stages. This will be considered as an alternative that is a written examination.
Q: Do these members have to pay AICP dues?
A: Yes. Like all AICP members, they must pay APA, chapter, and AICP dues.
Q: Do these members have to fulfill Certification Maintenance requirements?
A: Yes. Like all AICP members, they must fulfill CM requirements: 32 CM credits every two years, 1.5 of which meet the law requirement and 1.5 of which meet the ethics requirement.
Q: Is the reinstatement process any different for these members?
A: No. Like all AICP members, they must comply with AICP's reinstatement policy. If an individual's membership lapses for more than four years, he or she must follow the application procedures for new AICP membership, which includes passing the Comprehensive Planning Exam.
The AICP Commission wants to expand the institute's outreach to the planning academy by offering an alternative path to AICP membership to tenured faculty in programs accredited by the Planning Accreditation Board.
The Commission has developed a Tenured Faculty Membership Program that will accept a university's grant of tenure as an alternative to the Comprehensive Planning Examination as a demonstration of the knowledge and skills required for the AICP credential. Academic tenure is granted only after a faculty member completes a rigorous multi-part, multi-level review process that requires extensive written materials that document the applicant's accomplishments.
A lot of programs teach for the AICP exam anyways so one would assume the faculty would know enough to be able to successfully pass the test themselves. In reality, I know that isn't the case. Many times the professors have their own little niche in the profession and are largely ignorant of what their colleagues are doing.
I'm honestly kind of conflicted on this one. Tenured professors have no reason to ever expand outside their little research niche so I see no harm in certifying them. On the other hand, they should have a sufficient knowledge base to actually know what is happening in the profession they're supposed to be teaching for. It's not like it'd be that hard for them to study for the exam either.
Let's face it, AICP has been pulling a fast one since introducing the continuing education credit program. They made the system difficult and "onerous" (word used a few years ago by my local FAPA chapter - Suncoast) to become a credit provider and have pretty much made it so that only they and APA (is there really a difference) are the only ones (for all intents and purposes) who can provide the very credits AICP requires. I have no problem with the requirement to keep learning and improve oneself but to hold a virtual monopoly on the provision of those credits is underhanded and dishonest. Yes, there are opportunities to get free credits. That's about the best I can do as my employer has set budget aside for my attendance at State or National APA conferences.
Can there be any surprise that AICP board is looking to quietly eliminate the testing requirement that the rest of us "little people" had to go through in what really amounts to cronyism. Look, if they can't pass the test then perhaps they shouldn't be teaching the subject. Just a thought. What are they afraid of?
Boy, if this sort of thing doesn't put a bee in my bonnet.
In my undergraduate program, the planning portion of the program was horrible and was led by a professor who had no real world experience as a planner. This individual consistently made the claim that "planning is not political." LMAO. Yeah, he deserved AICP for his wisdom alone.
Furthermore, the test already allows university professors to count their teaching experience towards the requirements. Why shouldn't they have to take the test?
Hell, if ANYONE should have to take that test, it should be the very folks who are responsible for creating the next generation of planners.
I wonder how long it will be until there is another organization that can take over for APA's incompetence. I know in California, AEP is pretty darn close to taking that mantle... but that's just California (California's AEP I believe is larger than all other AEP chapters combined, if I'm not mistaken).
I've submitted my objection to the proposal. I'll drop my objection when I'm granted a PhD for my years of professional practice and the fact that I'm AICP. BTW, isn't a bit unfair that they're going to be expected to pay dues too?
Footnote: At the time that the AICP certification was developed, those members who had a certain number of years of professional experience were "grandfathered" into AICP. I lacked about a year of experience and was not granted certification but was eligible to take the exam. I find it ironic that, as those who were grandfathered in are now retiring or expiring out of the profession, there is a movement to bring another crop of "untested" AICP into the fold.
Am I understaning this right? Will this cheapen my AICP credential? If so, why the hell am I paying $350 annually plus having to take lots of classes on top of it? Will professors need to take the classes to maintain their AICP? Why would a Prof need an AICP anyway?
Will the Profs that now have thier AICPs be miffed that they had to work harder for it?