DCRP 2022 – 2029 STRATEGIC PLAN
DEPARTMENT OF COMMUNITY REGIONAL PLANNING (DCRP)
ALABAMA A&M UNIVERSITY
Drafted February 2022
Revised May 5, 2022
Adopted August 16, 2022
Alabama A&M University’s Department of Community and Regional Planning is home to two planning programs accredited by the Planning Accreditation Board (PAB): The Bachelor of Science in Urban and Regional Planning (BSUP) and Master of Urban and Regional Planning (MURP) programs. The MURP program was established in 1975 and recognized by the PAB since 1976. The BSUP program was established in 1979 and recognized by the PAB since 1986. Both planning programs have been accredited by the PAB since 1986.
The Strategic Plan 2022-2029 aims to define the mission and vision and identify the goals and objectives for each planning program in its pursuit of academic excellence in planning education, research and services. The Strategic Plan provides directions to the DCRP so that it can make decisions in order to meet the mission and vision and attain the goals and objectives of the BSUP and MURP programs. The MURP and BSUP strategic plans are consistent with AAMUs, CALNS and DCRPs future plans, which are products of the University’s planning and budgeting process. Details of the DCRP future plans are discussed below.
The Strategic Plan is a flexible document, subject to periodic reviews and deliberative changes in response to considerations that include changing faculty composition, school-wide strategic planning, and university plans and priorities. The mission statements for the department and the accredited programs endeavor to frame our distinct identity as a historically black land grant institution. Also, the strategic plan is designed to position DCRP as an outstanding academic program in the state of Alabama and beyond.
DCRP’s programs are undergirded by the fundamental elements of AAMU’s mission:
“Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University is a public, comprehensive 1890 Land-Grant institution, committed to access and opportunity, and dedicated to intellectual inquiry. The application of knowledge and excellence in teaching, research and service is responsive to the needs of a diverse student population and the social and economic needs of the state and region. The University offers contemporary baccalaureate, master’s, educational specialist and doctoral level degrees to prepare students for careers in the arts, sciences, business, engineering, education, agriculture and technology. As a center of excellence, the University is dedicated to providing a student-centered educational environment for the emergence of scholars, scientists, leaders and critical thinkers, who are equipped to excel through their contributions and leadership in a 21st century national and global society.”
As a constituent of CALNS, DCRP’s Plan is consistent with and reinforces CALNS’ mission:
“The College of Agricultural, Life and Natural Sciences (CALNS) at Alabama A&M University is to apply scientific knowledge and enhance basic skills through well-designed academic programs. Students prepare for rewarding careers through: 1) Pursuit of courses in the general education curriculum of the University that provide desirable broad educational experiences for all students; 2) Development of a fundamental understanding of the basic principles of agriculture and biological sciences; and 3) Mastery of technical knowledge, basic skills, and their application as required for proficiency in their chosen areas of specialization”.
DCRP Vision Statement
The Department of Community and Regional Planning at Alabama A&M University strives to create a student-centered teaching and community-based research and outreach environment, which embraces and uses innovative technology to produce practitioners, researchers, scholars, and decision-makers, who are intellectually and technically prepared to confront opportunities and challenges in urban and rural areas in the 21st century.
The vision statement reflects the DCRP’s strong belief in the role of planning to improve the quality of life of the community and embrace the opportunities and challenges in the 21st century. The statement holds up the importance of student-centered teaching, community-based research and outreach efforts. The statement positions the DCRP as determined to be a leader to this effort through the training of our students to be capable of engaging with their communities and emerging technology.
DCRP Mission Statement
The Department of Community and Regional Planning at Alabama A&M University enrolls a diverse set of students and educate them to possess values, knowledge and skills that promote diversity, equity, justice and ‘planning with people versus planning for people’ in rapidly changing urban and rural communities. The DCRP is determined to continue the legacy of services fostered by the Historically Black College and University and the 1890 Land-Grant institution.
The mission statement encompasses an educational mission to enroll a diverse cadre of planners and educate them to possess values, knowledge and skills needed by planners in rapidly changing urban and rural communities. The mission statement also articulates the importance of diversity, equity, justice and planning with people; and the responsibility and expectations as a Historically Black College and University and an 1890 Land-Grant Institution to use our educational, research and service activities to continue the legacy of the Historically Black College and University and the 1890 Land-Grant institution.
The DCRP is undergirded by Alabama A&M University’s six core values which serve as the Institution’s philosophical underpinnings. These core values include leadership, engagement, access, diversity scholarship and integrity which provide the foundation for excellence in education, creation of a scholarly environment, search for new knowledge, outreach programs to meet the needs of society, and addressing the needs of capable students with limited access to education. The core values that guide the planning education experience at AAMU endorses the AICP codes of ethics. These values include:
- fostering intellectual and professional development and the effective preparation of graduates with the critical thinking skills needed to solve problems, formulate policies/solutions and guide innovations in the global market place;
- promoting interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary teaching and research, and innovative technology-driven applications focused on cultivating healthy and sustainable communities;
- expanding the cohort of practicing professionals and community leaders who value diversity, equity, justice and “planning with people versus planning for people”;
- increasing participation of women and underrepresented minority groups in the planning profession; and
- creating a student-centered program that prepares graduates with the ability to enrich communities through leadership, entrepreneurship, creativity, social responsibility, and sustainable planning and
AAMU’s distinct designation as an HBCU undergirds DCRP’s declared intent to prepare students to become civic-minded, competent, and innovative planning professionals who uphold the ideals of social justice and equity in human settlements creating platform for all. We believe in the transformative power of collaborative efforts in teaching, research and outreach to advance society and the intrinsic professional values of education and ethics.. It is our intent to make known and use as integrative and progressive tools the program’s unique heritage as an HBCU and an 1871 Morrill Land Grant University that has a long experience of planning service to underserved communities and regions in the Southern United States. While cognizant of our history and heritage this program works locally, regionally and globally to prepare practitioners who are mindful of the planning issues and challenges that emanate from the dynamics of the ‘New South’ which advocates for advancements in education, diversified economic growth, racial harmony and promotes building healthy sustainable and livable communities throughout the Southern United States.
MASTER OF URBAN AND REGIONAL PLANNING PROGRAM
MURP Vision and Mission
The vision of the Master of Urban and Regional Planning program is to become the premier urban and regional planning program in the state of Alabama and to create professionals with distinctive technical competence as practitioners, researchers and leaders who are committed to help addressing our nation’s most pressing needs, and positively impacting the health and well-being of human settlements.
The mission of the Master of Urban and Regional Planning program is twofold. The first MURP mission is to train and to champion access of a diverse cadre of planners who possess professional values, knowledge and skills to assess and address policy challenges and issues of development in rapidly changing urban and rural communities. The second mission of the MURP program is to carry through its training program increasing service and advocacy for underserved constituencies and communities locally and internationally. The mission of the MURP is integrally tied to continuing the history of service fostered by the Historically Black College and University and the 1890s Land-Grant University.
MURP Goals and Objectives
The Master of Urban and Regional Planning program has established three goals to help the program attain greater excellence as it pursues its vision and mission. Each of the goals serves to advance the mission of the MURP program and reflects its overall vision. Along with goals, the MURP program has identified a set of objectives and associated outcome measures that are used to assess progress toward goal attainment.
Goal 1: The MURP program will prepare students for innovative research skills, knowledge and professional values needed to promote sustainable, livable and equitable communities
The MURP program strongly believes that innovative research skills are essential to the ability of planners to effectively engage with challenging issues in the 21st century. The education of students to possess innovative research skills is an essential component of the MURP program whose ultimate test is the successful completion of the Professional Readiness Requirements that include Internship, Capstone Studio, Professional Practice and the specialization courses.
Objective 1: More than 60 percent of Internship employers give positive feedbacks on intern performance
Measurable Outcome: For each academic year, the percentage of internship employers that they give positive feedbacks.
Objective 2: More than 75 percent of students enrolling in Capstone Studio and Professional Practice will pass
Measurable Outcome: For each academic year, the percentage of students who complete and pass Capstone Studio and Professional Practice
Objective 3: More than 75 percent of students enrolling in the specialization courses will pass
Measurable Outcome: For each academic year, the percentage of students who complete and pass the specialization courses
Goal 2: The MURP program will enhance outreach and training opportunities for students to learn to appropriately respond to issues and challenges of spatial, social, economic, racial and environmental equity.
Objective 1: Send to Office of Institutional Planning, Research and Effectiveness (OIPRE) information and data showing gap analysis to improve curriculum and course offerings
Measurable Outcome: Evaluation of the results from student learning outcomes in conjunction with the annual program assessment by the OIPRE.
Objective 2: Provide opportunities for students to explore planning issues and topics and key values related to spatial, social, economic, racial and environmental equity
Measurable Outcome: The number of engagement projects in the MURP program with a real-world client
Objective 3: Institutionalize a structured student-alumni network with program alumni to link students to opportunities for mentorship and practical experience
Measurable Outcome: The number of activities and students who get connected with program alumni for mentorship and practical experience
Goal 3: The MURP program will educate students to be mindful of the planning issues and challenges that emanate from the dynamics of the 21st century development challenges of the global community
Objective 1: Develop lecture series that is open to the university, professional and general community
Measurable Outcome: The number of lectures per academic year
Objective 2: Broaden the scope of the Working Paper Series to address planning and policy issues.
Measurable Outcome: The number of published working papers per academic year
Objective 3: Develop additional opportunities for students to be exposed to practical and hands-on learning.
Measurable Outcome: The number of assignments in the classes with a real-world client
BACHELOR OF SCIENCE IN URBAN AND REGIONAL PLANNING PROGRAM
BSUP Vision and Mission
The vision of the Bachelor of Science in Urban and Regional Planning program is to become a premier undergraduate urban and regional planning program designed to impart sound foundational knowledge and market-based skills and professional values. This vision will support graduates in promoting and advocating for equitable principles and processes that guide and shape the natural and built environment.
The mission of the Bachelor of Science in Urban and Regional Planning program is to educate students in the knowledge, skills and values of the planning profession and graduate practitioners ready to address the demands of cities and communities. The BSUP program will strengthen the program recruitment process. The mission of the BSUP is integrally tied to continuing the history of service fostered by the Historically Black College and University and the 1890s Land-Grant University.
BSUP Goals and Objectives
The Bachelor of Science in Urban and Regional Planning program has established three goals to help the program attain greater excellence as it pursues its vision and mission. Along with goals, the BSUP program has identified a set of objectives and associated outcome measures that are used to assess progress toward goal attainment.
Goal 1: The BSUP program will create a student-centered environment that promotes high quality instruction in planning for students’ personal, academic and professional preparation for graduate studies and future labor force
Objective 1: Foster a strong sense of community among students, alumni, and faculty
Measurable Outcome: The number of departmental events attended by students, alumni and faculty
Objective 2: Establish additional relationships with the state and local planning and related agencies to expose students to additional experiential learning opportunities.
Measurable Outcome: The number of state and local planning and related agencies that offer learning opportunities to students
Objective 3: Strengthen and expand collaborative working relationships with other academic programs within the CALNS and with Alabama A&M University’s Community Development Corporation and other organizations.
Measurable Outcome: The number of joint events and activities with other academic programs within the CALNS and with Alabama A&M University’s Community Development Corporation and other organizations
Goal 2: The BSUP program will give students broad-based interdisciplinary planning knowledge and skills needed to propose innovative and technology-based solutions
Objective 1: Provide opportunities for students to integrate technology applications into classes
Measurable Outcome: The use of technology applications in the classes
Objective 2: Provide a curriculum that is both broad and rigorous in physical and social planning
Measurable Outcome: The number of students’ classwork in physical and social planning
Objective 3: Utilize the annual Office of Institutional Planning, Research and Effectiveness (OIPRE) gap analysis to improve curriculum and course offerings
Measurable Outcome: Evaluation of the results from student learning outcomes in conjunction with the annual program assessment by the OIPRE.
Goal 3: The BSUP program will strengthen the program recruitment and advisement process to ensure a high level of competent and knowledgeable graduates who can perform in the profession
Objective 1: Effectively utilize the general education classes to attract existing AAMU students to the BSUP program
Measurable Outcome: The number of existing AAMU students who transfer to the BSUP program
Objective 2: Partner with selected high schools and community colleges to create a direct pipeline of students.
Measurable Outcome: The number of students recruited from those selected high schools and community colleges per academic year
Objective 3: Work with the program alumni to expand pool of scholarship funds for students
Measurable Outcome: The amount of scholarship funds available for students per academic year