Active Alum: Kayla Criner
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Kayla was born in Yokosuka, Japan where she lived until she was about 7 years old. Her love for the urban environment stems from her early childhood background living in the world's largest metropolitan area. Having amazing access to all forms of transport as well as growing up in a region that culturally understands social responsibility is why she is so passionate about community planning.

Currently working as a Construction Project Engineer at Bay Area Builders located in Santa Clara, California, she recently graduated with her Master's Degree in Urban & Regional Planning with an emphasis in Community Development & Planning from San Jose State University.

Let’s learn more about Kayla and her career in Planning:

Q: Which ACSP member school did you graduate from?
A: San Jose State University (SJSU) Urban and Regional Planning Program.

Q: What degree(s) do you hold?
A: I hold a Master's in Urban and Regional Planning

Q: Where are you working today?
A: I work for a small commercial developer/contractor as a Production Assistant/Project Coordinator.

Q: Why did you select your particular specialty?
A: I kind of fell into this field given my previous experience in construction along with my educational background in planning.

Q: Is there a particular class or professor that made a great impact on you?  How so?
A: Yes, I would say that Rick Kos's classes made a great impact on me both community development to give me practical experience in planning along with the GIS course to show me how to analyze many types of data and create a very detailed visualization.

Q: What future goals do you have in your field?
A: I would like to move up in my career to become a project manager for a planning firm and use my skills from my current experience along with my educational background.

Q: Any advice to current or potential urban and regional planning students?
A: Yes. Don't be too worried or concerned if you do not get your foot in the planning field right away. Just keep in mind your end goal and find ways to develop skills in whatever job/training you have now to apply to your future position as a planner. 


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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