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Professional Development

Session Recordings from the CA APA 2016 Conference in Pasadena
June 26, 2017

Distance education sessions recorded at the 2016 state conference in Pasadena are available for viewing. Sign up at apacalifornia.org/professional-development/certified-maintenance/distance-education-webcasts/.  Profits received from this effort benefit the California Planning Foundation.

UC Berkeley Expands Multimodal Transportation Training Series
April 30, 2017

UC Berkeley Tech Transfer is the California transportation community's source for professional training, expert assistance, and information resources. For the academic year 2016-2017, Tech Transfer is expanding its Multimodal Transportation & Traffic Engineering training series. 

California is on the forefront of making our transportation systems multi-modal, integrated, inter-connected, context-sensitive, safe, and sustainable. The courses in Multimodal Transportation & Traffic Engineering will help you transform your community or agency to accommodate various travel modes beyond the motor vehicle and achieve the quality of life that you desire for future generations.

Visit the Tech Transfer registration page to find a quick summary of the new training courses on Multimodal Transportation & Traffic Engineering. Many of the Tech Transfer courses have approved AICP CM credits. All courses are subsidized for California local agency employees under the Caltrans Cooperative Training Assistance Program.

Visit registration.techtransfer.berkeley.edu to learn more or register.

PDF icon Traffic Eng Flyer Apr 2017.pdf
APA Los Angeles & USC Sol Price School of Public Policy Present: AICP Exam Study Session
March 26, 2017

Prepare for the AICP exam in May or November with APA Los Angeles' annual AICP Study Session. Distinguished faculty and planning professionals will give targeted lectures on a variety of exam topics, including: history, theory, planning law, emerging trends, and planning ethics. An overview of the new exam format will also be provided. This event is intended for people who are already signed up to take the exam, and those considering it in the near future. Speakers will include:

  • Carol Barrett, FAICP, Assistant Director of Planning and Transportation (retired), City of Burbank
  • Kathy Kolnick, Ph.D., Adjunct Assistant Professor, Sol Price School of Public Policy, University of Southern California
  • Diana Varat, Attorney, Richards, Watson & Gershon
  • Melani Smith, AICP, Adjunct Faculty, Sol Price School of Public Policy, University of Southern California
  • Marissa Aho, AICP, Region VI AICP Commissioner

There is ample bike parking on campus, as well as several transit options, including the Expo Line. Arrivals by car should use Gate 3 on Figueroa and park in structure PS-X. Parking is $10.

EVENT DETAILS

  • WHEN: Saturday, April 8 from 10 AM - 3 PM
  • WHERE: University of Southern California, 650 Childs Way, Los Angeles, CA 90089
  • HOW MUCH: $20 for members, $40 for non-members, $10 for students (free for USC students) (lunch included)
  • REGISTRATION/RSVP: Registration is required. Online Registration (click here to register) 
UC Berkeley Expands Multimodal Transportation Training Series
March 11, 2017

UC Berkeley Tech Transfer is the California transportation community's source for professional training, expert assistance, and information resources. For the academic year 2016-2017, Tech Transfer is expanding our Multimodal Transportation training series.

California is on the forefront of making our transportation systems multi-modal, integrated, inter-connected, context-sensitive, safe, and sustainable. Our courses in Multimodal Transportation will help you transform your community to accommodate various travel modes beyond the motor vehicle and achieve the quality of life that you desire for future generations.

Learn more about UC Berkeley’s Tech Transfer, visit techtransfer.berkeley.edu/training

PDF icon Multimodal Flyer Feb 2017.pdf
APA/AICP Exam Update Reources
January 16, 2017

The APA/AICP has updated ​the exam content and reading list for planning professionals sitting for the exam beginning in May 2017. This is the first comprehensive update of the AICP Certification Exam since 2007​. Below is information you need to prepare for the exam.

Tips to pass the AICP from Tanner Shelton and John Novi

Advice from John Novi, AICP

  •  I made flashcards of important court cases which helped.  Not all the cases were in the cards but I at least studied them enough that I could eliminate incorrect answers quite easily.
  • The history timeline, the APA chapter study materials, and a summary of the green bible helped. 
  • One thing I never really found which would have helped was a good list of the people to know.  I found a few but each list had new people and was missing others so it was difficult to study that. 
  • I enrolled in the Planetizen course which had some good info and a discussion board, and the practice tests helped get you familiar with the style of the test. 
  • The test itself has a highlight feature and a strikethrough feature so you can highlight a portion of a question or eliminate incorrect answers while in the test.  It took me about an hour and forty-five minutes to answer all 170 questions, then another thirty minutes to recheck all my flagged answers before submitting so I had plenty of time.  I made sure to go slowly and carefully read the questions and you have to be confident in your answers.  When I clicked submit I thought I had failed but it said I passed with a 61 so I did a lot better than I had expected and only changed 2 answers on checking my flagged questions. 
  • I’d recommend starting the studying early and keep ramping up the intensity as you get closer.  I was in the Planetizen course since February but did the majority of my studying in the 2-3 weeks leading up to the test so it was fresher.
  • I met up with Tanner twice and we shared study materials but never really studied together which I think would have helped more.  I was really hoping the group would have met more often so bounce things off each other and share resources so that weaker areas could be shored up.
  • Don’t waste $15 on the chapter presidents study guide offered on the APA website, it wasn’t that much more useful than other stuff I found (I attached it anyway)
  • I read the executive summaries/intro chapters to the PAS reports recommended on the APA’s AICP prep website under recommended readings
  • There were questions about homelessness on the test which is emerging as a future area of concern for the APA most likely
  • Know budgeting types (zero-based, line item)
  • Know how to organize public outreach and the different outreach methods (i.e. Charette, Delphi, less than 20% return on mail surveys)
  • Know who wrote the important books like Silent Spring, How the Other Half Lives
  • Know who Daniel Burnham is
  • Know the spirit of the court case, for example, I had a question asking about Penn station vs. NYC and I had narrowed the answers down to: historic preservation serves a valid public purpose, or a planning commission can control aesthetics of a historically designated building.  I ended up choosing the planning commission one since I determined that historic preservation as a public purpose police power was done under the Gettysburg ruling. But that is the type of question to expect where you may know the case but you have to apply it knowing another case too.
  • I didn’t have any dates I needed to know, but there were housing act questions which follow different dates. 
  • Read the spirit of the housing acts, I helped to remember them by the early ones in the 30s and 40s created, 50s and 60s enables, 70’s and beyond enacted. So earlier acts created things like FHA and HUD, middle acts gave them teeth to prevent discrimination, and later acts actually forced change and regulation.  Made it a little easier to remember the date eras
  • Read questions carefully, the word ‘except’ can sneak in unexpectedly
  • Think like a municipal planner from a medium to a small-sized city in the mid-west, not Californian
  • Bring a light sweater because the AC can kick on right above you and make you cold, distracting you
  • Bring 2 forms of id and know that you can take a restroom break if needed, but the time keeps running
  • You have to submit the test, then take a 15 question survey before you see the results so don’t worry if you don’t get the pass-fail screen right after clicking submit.  Also, the email with the score break down comes about 5-10 minutes later that shows the score and how many questions from each section you got right
  • Read the ethics code a few times, focusing on what we can and can't do ethically.  I had a question (can’t remember if it was practice or real test) that asked about the specific language in a part of the code, but there was some strange wording in one of the answers to give a hint it was the wrong one I needed to pick out
  • Most questions have at least 1 answer that is obviously wrong so you only need to pick from 3, sometimes 2 are obviously wrong making it even easier
  • Stay calm and keep a positive mindset

 

Advice from Tanner Shelton, AICP Candidate

  • I would say that the experience went pretty well for me. The test taking center is not the most welcoming place, but once I got in the room and began going through the exam my nerves went away. 
  • In terms of studying, my strategy was to focus as much as I could on things I knew were going to be on the test closer to the test date. For example, key legal cases, people/places, ethics, and fundamental theories, stuff that is more memorizing than reading/analysis. I focused on the areas of practice and more in-depth readings further out from the exam. I used several study guides that I gained from co-workers and other professionals. Most helpful materials were the Florida Study Links document put together by the Treasure Coast Section, the 2007 Pennsylvania Notes, and the Glossary of Planning Terms for AICP Candidates (2006) by Michael Waiczis. The AICP reading list was a helpful study starting point as well, especially for PAS reports relevant to the areas of practice. Also, I had a college friend who found a summary of the 'Green Bible', which had chapter outlines and condensed the book down into about 45ish pages. That was very helpful for explaining planning fundamentals as well.
  • I did not sign up for any sort of comprehensive study class or guide, so it was a challenge to stay on track sometimes. The best thing I did during the process was to make an excel "timesheet" that basically tracked my total hours studying and what percentage of time I was dedicating to each section of the exam. That was extremely critical in keeping me focused and well rounded in terms of the materials I was reviewing. I also found the 'Study Stack' flashcards available in the Florida Links document VERY helpful, especially while cramming.
AICP CM Distance Learning Opportunities

Below are links to free or low cost training sessions that have been approved for AICP CMs.

 

CM Credit Opportunities - Updated!

Does your employer provide in-house staff training sessions ? Are you interested in obtaining CM credits by attending on-the-job training? It's possible that your staff trainings are eligible for AICP CMs. Applying for CMs is quick and easy. Contact your Central Coast Section Professional Development Officer, Lilly Rudolph, at lrudolph (at) rinconconsultants.com to learn how.

AICP Exam Assistance

Your Central Coast Section Professional Development Officer is available to help you prepare for the AICP exam! If you need advice on applying to take the exam, access to free study materials, or a just some words of encouragement, please do not hesitate to contact Lilly Rudolph.

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