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Question to other students

Virtue City

Cyburbian
Messages
52
Points
4
At the college I attend, I am one of the youngest ungrad students. I think I remember that my counselor told me that the mean age of the undergrad student at the College of Urban Affairs is 35 years old. I'm only 20, so you can understand why I'd ask this question.

Is this a trend throughout the country, where many older students attend your planning college?

To you experienced planners working in the field...is planning a popular area for older people looking for a career change?

Why would this be?
 

Chet

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
10,624
Points
33
It seems odd at the undergrad level. My experience was 20-somethings going for their BA and 40-somethings going for their masters. I was only young for the masters program. It will be interesting to hear what others have to say...
 

Virtue City

Cyburbian
Messages
52
Points
4
An idea

After thinking about it, Cleveland is a big blue-collar city. With manufacturing decreasing in the rustbelt and the steel industries in the area laying off thousands of workers, these people may decide to pursue a degree.

But is this consistent with other parts of the country?
 

Habanero

Cyburbian
Messages
3,241
Points
27
nope

Most undergrads I know are in the mid-20 range. I was the youngest, and only woman, to graduate, but it wasn't like I was a decade younger than everyone. I would think that age range would be more consistent with grad school.
 

seannelson

Member
Messages
39
Points
2
When I was working on my MBA, I was fresh out of college working part time going to school full time. I was 25 when I graduated, which was the median age for the program.

Now as I work full time as an assistant planner, working on a masters degree in planning, I find I'm at the upper end of the age spectrum being in my early thirties.
 

Dharmster

Cyburbian
Messages
440
Points
13
Are you sure that wasn't the average age for GRADUATE students?

Virtue City wrote:
I think I remember that my counselor told me that the mean age of the undergrad student at the College of Urban Affairs is 35 years old. ?
 

Dharmster

Cyburbian
Messages
440
Points
13
Re: nope

When you say most undergrads, do you mean that the average age at graduation is mid 20s, or that among all student the average age is in the mid 20s.

With the MAJORITY of all college students enrolled in community colleges and the vast majority of them part time they skew the average age numbers.

I went to a category I research university that didn't even try and offer part time undergraduate classes (those were offered through a sister insitution). Those that went part time, also had part time jobs or employers who very flexible as they had to take classes during the day.

I would say that many (but not all) students took more than four years to graduate. I remember, at orientation they told me look to your left and look to your right, only ONE of you is going to graduate in four years. When I walked across the stage after four years, I had to remind myself it was an accomplishment!

TexasPlanner wrote:
Most undergrads I know are in the mid-20 range.
 

Virtue City

Cyburbian
Messages
52
Points
4
To clear things up...

I know for a fact that my advisor mentioned that compared to the other colleges on CSU campus, the College of Urban Affairs has a much higher average age. Like I said, I believe that she said that the average age of students currently enrolled is mid 30's. She made the comparison of our college to the College of Business, where the average age of the undergraduate student was 22 yrs old.
 

kguru

Cyburbian
Messages
26
Points
2
The whole of FSU has an average age of about 22. The graduate programs have some older students, but many are in their mid 20s.
 
Messages
3,690
Points
27
Wow, even in grad school, the average age was well under 30, but then, it was a full time planning program, and the vast majority of students were fresh from undergrad.
 

Dharmster

Cyburbian
Messages
440
Points
13
Did you get your masters in urban planning?

KMateja wrote:
Wow, even in grad school, the average age was well under 30, but then, it was a full time planning program, and the vast majority of students were fresh from undergrad.
 

gkmo62u

Cyburbian
Messages
1,046
Points
23
I got my Master's in City and Regional Planning at Clemson in 95'. The large majority of students there at that time cam edirectly from undergraduated programs.

gkm
 

Jen

Cyburbian
Messages
1,703
Points
24
Well I was about 28 when I started my undergrad & that took five years part time year round. And now Im pushing forty and have just started an MPA. There were more than a few non traditional students in my undergrad Geology program and definitely lots of experienced mature students (gray hairs and fine lines)at the grad level here. City Managers, health Department Managers, County Accounting big wigs - and me a housewive but I'm pulling all A's so far!
 

Dan

Dear Leader
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
17,150
Points
51
Got my undergrad in Urban and Regional Planning and Alalysis -- part of a "Geography and Planning" department -- right out of high school. I worked for about four years as a planner in a small Southwestern city, and then went back to get my M.UP.
 

dmvallie

Cyburbian
Messages
22
Points
2
I seem to be the only non-traditional (people who had a life between high school and college) student in my NC undergrad class for urban planning and most of the grad students went straight from receiving bachelors degrees to working on masters. Einstein did say that imagination is more important then education. A's aren't everything.
 

cattitude

Member
Messages
4
Points
0
That's odd...

I just graduated from an accredited school where the mean age was somewhere around 23 (a guestimate). Take a look at your local community and determine what the mean age is there. Is it community with several elderly or are there several young families. That might have an impact on it.

Unlike some of the others on this board, I have chosen to enroll in graduate school right away for various reasons. One is because of a specializatio that wasn't available as an undergraduate; two is the larger selection of opportunities open to someone holding a masters; three is for financial and isurance purposes.
 

el Guapo

Capitalist
Messages
5,941
Points
28
My 2 centavos

I went back to school after service in the military. I was 27-28 when I was working on my masters.
 

giff57

Corn Burning Fool
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
5,384
Points
31
Re: My 2 centavos

El Guapo said:
I went back to school after service in the military. I was 27-28 when I was working on my masters.
You were a spring chicken, I got my masters at 40.
 

NHPlanner

Forums Administrator & Gallery Moderator
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9,850
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38
When I graduated with my BUPD I was 24, and was the youngest professional planner in NH when I started working.
 

Dharmster

Cyburbian
Messages
440
Points
13
Does age matter

I finished high school at 17, college by 21, and graduate school at 24 (3 years, two masters). I'm now old (29) and after five years of work, I can say I'm wiser for the age. There's no substitute for experience when it comes to decisionmaking and maturity.

NHPlanner said:
When I graduated with my BUPD I was 24, and was the youngest professional planner in NH when I started working.
 

Virtue City

Cyburbian
Messages
52
Points
4
Actually...

As I think more about it, the mean age of 34-35 was not exclusively based in the field of planning, but in urban studies. My college is an accredited planning school, but the undergrad degree is in Urban Studies. From the degree, there are several concentrations to choose from, with planning being one.

I remember that many of the older students in my classes were going back to school to add to their experience and expand their horizons. For example, there was one guy who was a police chief for ten years (I think I remember him saying), and he planned to use the urban studies degree to get into public safety management.
 

Dharmster

Cyburbian
Messages
440
Points
13
Undergraduate to Graduate

I got an undergraduate degree in urban studies (that major has been subsequently phased out) and then went onto graduate school in planning. To be honest, I learned a lot of new things in graduate school but I was leaps and bounds ahead of just about all my fellow students, none of whom had undergraduate degrees in urban studies.

Personally, I think they should give advanced standing so a student could concentrate on learning new things by taking more upper level electives (or other graduate classes). Which brings me to another issue, I don't think the two year MCP is long enough to impart enough specialized knowledge considering so many students don't have a background in urban studies or a related major. I look for planning schools to add specialized certificates and eventually move to a three year masters if the profession is to better defend its turf.

However, in order to do this without hurting productivity, undergraduate programs HAVE to be introduced by more departnments. Urban planning departments are usually among the least productive in any university because they have no or a very small Ph.D. program and more often and than not don't offer a undergraduate major.

Virtue City said:
As I think more about it, the mean age of 34-35 was not exclusively based in the field of planning, but in urban studies. My college is an accredited planning school, but the undergrad degree is in Urban Studies. From the degree, there are several concentrations to choose from, with planning being one.
 
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GeogPlanner

Cyburbian
Messages
1,433
Points
24
NHPlanner said:
When I graduated with my BUPD I was 24, and was the youngest professional planner in NH when I started working.
i started as a pro planner at 23 (about 2 weeks before my 24th)
 

amylea

Member
Messages
13
Points
1
Virtue City:
I think you are right regarding the status of Clevelands economy being the reason for the average enrollment age. I think administrators at CSU realize this and market towards older students (both undergraduate and graduate). They offer tons of classes in the evenings and weekends that work best for people looking for a second career.
I went to Akron U. and the undergrads were consistenly in their early 20's. However, at 23 finishing my masters I was definately one of the youngest in my department.
 

TGlass

Member
Messages
18
Points
1
I'm the youngest junior in my undergrad program (19 yrs. old) and the average is graduate at 23 after 5 years, because many people change their major to URP later in their college time.
 

Lake_Country

Member
Messages
13
Points
1
Akron

Yep, every second car in Akron has a U of Akron parking sticker. I am an Akron graduate in geography and planning too. In 1995, they were begging people to study planning, by the time I graduated in 1997 the master's program was taking 1 out of every 3 applicants. It is a great school, the only drawback is that AICP takes 3 years instead of two because it is not a pure planning program. Also, studying outside the department is not encouraged--urban studies and transportation engineering, for example.

U of Toledo is a very interesting program--very postmodern and hip.

For my money, I like popular culture at Bowling Green, or the campus of Gambier College. However, I was on tuition waiver and a graduate assistantship, so it wasn't my money.
 
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