Presentation on theme: "From term papers to planning: an examination of the disconnect between planning education and practice Mark Seasons, PhD, FCIP, RPP School of Planning."— Presentation transcript:
From term papers to planning: an examination of the disconnect between planning education and practice Mark Seasons, PhD, FCIP, RPP School of Planning University of Waterloo
Argument Many new planners entering the workforce have little or no understanding of legislation or administration Agreed! Its sad but often true. However, all is not lost Some solutions to ponder
Discussion What do new planners need to know to be efficient and effective practitioners? How do university planning programs prepare them? What should universities do? What should employers do?
What planners need to know Planners need to know something about quite a lot Planners need to be good generalists and specialize in something Ideally, need to know – and understand how to apply: Planning law Administrative procedures and processes Finances and economics Environmental issues Urban design, etc., etc.
How do universities prepare them? Each program has a different emphasis on content and unique teaching style/culture Some programs – very big on design (urban, architecture, systems, etc.) Other programs – social science offshoot (e.g. geography, northern studies, etc.) Some – integrative and interdisciplinary Weakness – public administration, finance, law Key point: while all CIP-accredited programs meet basic credential criteria, degree of emphasis varies
How do universities prepare them? Some (but not many) universities focus on small towns and rural (e.g. Guelph) Many located in urban areas with an urban/regional emphasis Argument: BA/BES (Planning) better prepared than MA candidates for small town/rural practice Tension: between traditional academic/research culture and practice/applied education Reality: most Planning faculty have little real world experience; they may consult, but rarely in offices
What should universities do? Acknowledge Planning is a profession and an academic discipline Listen to and work with clients and end-users Hire faculty with experience in the profession (easier said than done – the PhD requirement) Incorporate work terms, internships, practica in curricula Improve basics in public administration, law, finance
What should employers do? Communicate training expectations to university planning programs – build + maintain that relationship Work with CIP and affiliates to require practice-based education Provide in-house skills enhancement programs Be realistic in expectations of new planners