APA-Texas Chapter Mentorship Program
WHAT IS THE PROGRAM'S PURPOSE?
The purpose of the Chapter’s Planning Mentorship Program is to bridge the professional gap between college graduates, members of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP), and members of the American Institute of Certified Planners College of Fellows (FAICP). The program is intended for professionals to gain and share valuable knowledge and insight into their planning careers from fellow professionals. The program’s focus also includes:
- Fostering inter-generational communication;
- Passing on institutional knowledge about planning in Texas
- Facilitating “passing the torch” for leadership in APA and the profession
- Fostering development of lifelong relationships; and
- Providing opportunities to collaborate on projects and socialize beyond state conference
In the first year of the Texas Planning Mentorship Program, 244 individuals participated!
WHAT ARE COMMUNITIES?
Program participants are assigned into mentorship groups identified as “Communities.” Communities are intended to have a number of individuals who will likely be at different career stages in order to have a wide range of knowledge and expertise within each group. Communities typically have between 6-8 members with a diversity of experience levels, including: students; 1-2 years; 3-5 years; 6-10 years; 11-20 years; and more than 20 years of experience.
By forming mentoring communities, it is the intent to create an environment where all members of the group can feel free to contribute, share, and bring their own unique experiences to the table. In this way, learning/mentoring is not a top-down situation but rather a 360-degree experience, where each member will be expected to contribute and teach in some form or fashion. Each community has a “Community Leader” that assists in organizing activities and communicating with their Community.
HOW ARE COMMUNITIES FORMED?
TxAPA members interested in participating in the mentorship program will complete an online application. Each year, the TxEPL Committee will use the completed applications to group the communities. Members will be asked to rank the preference for being matched including: location, specializations, job experiences, or alma maters. Communities will be reformed each year to ensure active participation based on the following timeframe. Any changes to the timeframe will be communicated with mentorship program participants.
October: Applications sent to existing community members and prospective new members
November: State conference reception for mentorship participants; application period for next year ends
December: TxEPL Committee forms new mentorship communities and identifies new community leaders
January: New mentorship communities are initiated
WHAT IS THE MINIMUM INVOLVEMENT TO PARTICIPATE?
It is not expected of each Community member to participate in every community event. However, each member should expect to participate in a minimum of four events per year and should be willing to communicate by email or phone with other Community members.
WHO IS ELIGIBLE TO PARTICIPATE?
Participants of the Planning Mentorship Program are required to be members of the Texas Chapter of the American Planning Association (APA Texas). To join APA, please visit: http://www.planning.org/join/. Students are eligible to join at a discounted rate. For students in many collegiate planning programs, the first year of APA membership is free.
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