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Changes to APA Student Membership and AICP Candidate Pilot Program Approved

Posted By Administration, Friday, December 16, 2016

Monica Groh,
American Planning Association

Following on outreach and engagement of academic planning stakeholders and many others,
APA would like to take this opportunity to inform you—in advance of a wider and more detailed communication to be released in winter/spring 2017—about two exciting initiatives that aim to better engage with and invest in your students, the next generation of planners.

  1. Changes to APA’s membership structure for students and new planners; and
  2. The AICP Candidate Pilot Program.

We are sharing this information now with APA leadership and our academic planning partners. We will provide helpful communication tools and conduct a more detailed public launch within the next few months.

Changes to Student Membership Start in July 2017
APA is making entry into the association easier and more affordable for students and new planners.

Starting in July 2017:
APA student membership will be free for any individual who is:

  • Enrolled as a full- or part-time degree seeking student
  • In any college or university program

“Free” includes national, chapter, and AICP membership, as well as membership in up to five APA Divisions, for the duration of the individual’s studies. Student members will be eligible for two years of reduced dues after ending their studies.

The APA/AICP Student and New Planner Task Force developed these policies, with input from APA leaders—including the APA Board, AICP Commission, and chapter, division, and student leaders—and academic partners. They responded to member feedback about broadening participation in the association and making membership more accessible and affordable to a diverse population with both planning and non-planning backgrounds.

The current membership structure and prices will be in effect through June 2017. We will communicate with individuals who currently are in the Early Career Membership Program (i.e., who joined as a student member within the last five years), and all other current members, to ensure a smooth transition into the new framework.

We will share more information in Spring 2017. Contact APA staff at or call 312-431-9100 if you have questions.

AICP Candidate Pilot Program Approved
The AICP Candidate Pilot Program offers members the opportunity to start on the path to certification by taking the AICP exam prior to earning the required years of professional planning experience.

The AICP Commission considered the valuable feedback collected from more than 1,000 members who responded to a survey in August 2016, along with leaders’ recommendations expressed at the September meetings in Washington. The Commission approved a revised program that maintains the current AICP requirements (education, experience, exam) but changes their sequence (education, exam, experience).

Click here for more information.

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The Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning promotes education, research, service and outreach in the United States and throughout the world by seeking to:

  • recognize diverse needs and interests in planning;
  • improve and enhance the accreditation process, and;
  • strengthen the role of planning education in colleges and universities through publications, conferences, and community engagement;
  • extend planning beyond the classroom into the world of practice.


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