This past Tuesday 32 local officials and planning staff completed the final component of the Certified Planning Commissioners' Program. This was the 90th offering of the 10-week long training program. The CPC program is designed to prepare local planning officials for their duties as administrators of the community planning process. The course is led by Dr. Mike Chandler.and Dr. Jonah Fogel of Virginia Tech/ Virginia Cooperative Extension.
The CPC curriculum covers the law and best-practices of community planning. Graduates of the program have a better understanding of both "why" and "how" to properly handle the various matters that come before a planning commission. Since 1985, more than three-thousand planning commissioners, local officials, and other interested citizens from across Virginia have completed this nationally recognized program. According to the program's director, “Graduates of our program express an increase in their confidence and competence to work with their neighbors to render legally defensible recommendations, and to balance the often contentious visions for their community’s future. By providing this education, we prepare our local officials to be good stewards of the planning process, and by extension, democracy.”
To complete the training program, each person must complete 24 hours of classroom instruction, read 4 books and complete 10 units of home study quizzes. Program participants are also required to attend and critique a planning commission meeting outside their home jurisdiction. “It takes a special person, one who is committed to the concept of public service, to go through a 10-week program that often involves evening and weekend study,” Chandler stated.
The mission of Virginia Tech’s statewide learning initiative, the Land Use Education Program (LUEP), is to inform the discretion of Virginians in order that they make wise decisions regarding the prudent use of Virginia’s land. LUEP is a partnership of the university’s Center for Public Administration and Policy and Virginia Cooperative Education. The program educates and trains elected and appointed leaders and interested citizens on issues related to land use, community, and economic development. The Land Use Education Program has a portfolio of learning offered via certification programs, conferences, and seminars that are open to all interested Virginians. For more information, visit www.planvirgina.com.
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University is a public land-grant university serving the Commonwealth of Virginia, the nation, and the world community. The discovery and dissemination of new knowledge are central to its mission. Through its focus on teaching and learning, research and discovery, and outreach and engagement, the university creates, conveys, and applies knowledge to expand personal growth and opportunity, advance social and community development, foster economic competitiveness, and improve the quality of life. Virginia Tech is an equal opportunity/affirmative action institution.