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Thoughts on the proposed new AICP candidate pilot program

dvdneal

Cyburbian
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#21
I tend to think the test is set up for a small to mid size public planner (you overweight guys don't qualify). You need to touch a little bit of everything in a department like that so you might have better odds of getting the necessary experience and passing some of the test questions. You also need a degree to know the theory, history, and some of the law or you can just study a lot more. I remember after my test thinking how some of the questions seemed to be geared toward different sections of planning like transportation, management, development, long range, etc. and only a city planner would really have a chance to touch all those things in just a couple years.
 
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#22
Yes - I plan to do a lot of studying because I don't have a planning degree! I'm doing the Planetizen prep course, the questions on planningprep, and taking a class at our state NCAPA conference in Sept. Hopefully that will bring me up to speed.
 

gtpeach

Cyburbian
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#23
Yes - I plan to do a lot of studying because I don't have a planning degree! I'm doing the Planetizen prep course, the questions on planningprep, and taking a class at our state NCAPA conference in Sept. Hopefully that will bring me up to speed.
Just to give you some confidence, I passed with a 63 on my first try when I took it a few years ago. I didn't know anything about the history, theory, or legal sections when I started studying. I did take the Planetizen course, and the PA APA has some really good study notes, too. Or at least they used to. Not everything is 100% correct, and the statistics information goes into way too much detail, but that also helped fill in a lot of gaps. I did study a LOT, and I was not at all confident when I submitted my answers, but I pulled through! :)
 
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#24
Thanks for the info. I was all set to apply for the exam a few years back but then I heard the test was changing so I wanted to give the prep course time to catch back up with the latest exam format/info so I waited. And then I changed jobs and interviewed for a different position so it's taken some time to settle back in.
 
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#25
I plan on taking the AICP exam fall 2017 and I'm not worried, at all. Maybe I'm being over confident, but it just seems like a lot of theory/academia to review. I mean, by comparison to a national licensing exam for a profession (architecture, engineering, etc.), how bad can it be? It is an elective, private certification afterall.

And I'm not sure I'd consider the certification the pinnacle achievement of your career. As I recall from a lecture by LARB, the license (aka certificate) is just the legal attainment of competence - it is the beginning of becoming an expert, not the achievement.
 
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#26
I guess maybe capstone was the wrong word. I just consider it to be an achievement that should open doors to me if I was to move and/or seek another job and that reflects a decent amount of experience within the field. My current position as a Planner II allows me to promote into a Senior Planner without having to reapply for an open position. I think one of the stepping stones to that promotion will be the AICP certification.
 
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#27
I took the survey and made it clear that I am not in favor of reducing the work experience requirement. I've had several interns who come out of Planning programs and are clueless about actually implementing policy decisions on a local level. If I have a choice of hiring someone straight out of a Planning program or someone with a non-Planning degree and several years of actual experience, I'll take the latter. Maybe I'm just biased, since my degree program was Environmental Science and I worked my way through the ranks, but I don't think a Planning degree alone prepares someone for the multi-faceted work that takes place in a smaller or mid-sized local Planning Department. In my opinion, reducing the work experience requirement lowers the standard for AICP, which is the exact opposite of what should be happening.
 
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#28
I took the survey and made it clear that I am not in favor of reducing the work experience requirement. I've had several interns who come out of Planning programs and are clueless about actually implementing policy decisions on a local level. If I have a choice of hiring someone straight out of a Planning program or someone with a non-Planning degree and several years of actual experience, I'll take the latter. Maybe I'm just biased, since my degree program was Environmental Science and I worked my way through the ranks, but I don't think a Planning degree alone prepares someone for the multi-faceted work that takes place in a smaller or mid-sized local Planning Department. In my opinion, reducing the work experience requirement lowers the standard for AICP, which is the exact opposite of what should be happening.
I could not agree more. It seems like every proposal these folks dream up actually cheapens the credential instead of enhancing it. Remember when they wanted to give professors an automatic pass to AICP? That probably got the membership stirred up more than anything else I can ever remember. What a shit show that was.
 
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#29
So I got my email today officially asking me to be a mentor for a "candidate". And of course the program will have the effect that many of us in this thread said over a year ago. I'd love to see the actual responses to the survey that was done. I can't believe there was widespread agreement to essentially cheapen AICP yet even further. Reducing the work requirement is complete and utter bullshit. I guess I will be sending yet another email to APA. Not that it ever helps. Man, what a crock.
 

gtpeach

Cyburbian
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#30
To clarify, it does look like they can just take the test early. Once they pass the test, they would be considered "AICP Candidates." They wouldn't be able to use the AICP credential until they met the professional planning experience requirements. I think I'm okay with that. It doesn't really give them much of an advantage over someone who comes in from an allied field since they won't be able to qualify until they meet the experience requirements, but also allows them to take the test while the information is still fresh. Although, I still think there are a lot of questions/scenarios on the test related to management that would be challenging for someone fresh out of school to think through.

https://www.planning.org/aicp/candidate/#details
 
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#31
Ah. Well that makes me feel a little better. I'm just automatically suspicious when something like this happens ever since the fiasco with the proposal to grant tenured professors AICP status.
 
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#32
So I got my email today officially asking me to be a mentor for a "candidate". And of course the program will have the effect that many of us in this thread said over a year ago. I'd love to see the actual responses to the survey that was done. I can't believe there was widespread agreement to essentially cheapen AICP yet even further. Reducing the work requirement is complete and utter bullshit. I guess I will be sending yet another email to APA. Not that it ever helps. Man, what a crock.
I remember when they sent out the survey asking people whether they supported requiring CM to maintain AICP. Almost every single person I asked about it had filled out the survey saying no. They did it anyways and I doubt they had popular support among certified planners.

I also sent a couple emails to APA saying that, as a rural planner my options for CM would be extremely limited. I got canned responses and I have to say that without exception all replies to my emails to APA over the years have either misspelled my name, "Planning" or something else suspicious, leading me strongly to believe they are using a PR firm in India or some other country.
 
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