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MSU Extension


American Citizen Planner Program™

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  • 40 hours of contact time
  • 40 courses for nationwide use
  • MCP national certification exam
  • On-Demand
  • Anytime/anywhere
  • Not dependent on instructors or facilities

The units are organized by topic are into convenient modules. Each module is designed to provide a comprehensive learning experience, whether you are a new planning official or an experienced planner looking for a refresher.

Module 1: Planning Official Roles & Responsibilities Offers an introduction to the world of planning, who planners are, what they do and how they do it. The units within this module focus on the history and the future of planning, making ethical decisions and smart growth.

Module 2: Legal Foundations
Discover the legal aspects of planning. The units within this module focus on history as well as current court cases affecting the field of planning.

Module 3: The Comprehensive Plan
Learn what a comprehensive plan is and how it should be used. Units within this module focus on why the plan is created, how land uses are defined and how they are designated.

Module 4: The Planning Process
Gain a complete understanding of the planning process. The units within this module present five phases of the planning process and the role each phases plays.

Module 5: Zoning Tools and Techniques
Learn how to use zoning to positively shap a community. Units within this module will help you execute your zoning responsibilities such as site plans, planned unit developments and subdivisions.

Module 6: The Zoning Processes
Discover what zoning options are available to use in implementing a comprehensive plan. Units within this module will consider several zoning related processes, including amendments, variances and enforcement.

Module 7: The Art of Community Planning
Experience the human side of community planning. Units within this module will help planners deal with common issues, such as running effective meetings and working more efficiently.


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