Shelley Stevens Eckard, Caldwell County’s Planning Director, has recently added to her work and educational experience the credential of American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP).
This credential is awarded based on passing a rigorous, comprehensive exam covering topics relating to the field of planning, from plan-making and theoretical fundamentals to the constitutional underpinnings and legal framework of planning, to statistics and ethics questions; a test taker must be well-versed in a variety of topics.
In order to take the exam, planners must first apply to take it, by submitting to the American Planning Association three essays along with work and education verification documents that are then reviewed for compliance with AICP exam admissions requirements.
Ms. Eckard passed the exam after taking it for the first time this May. Approximately 15,000 of the 40,000 Planners in the United States are AICP-credentialed Planners. The North Carolina pass rate for the May 2017 exam was 53%. The pass rate for the May 2018 exam has not yet been released.
Says Ms. Eckard “I believe in continuing education so that I may stay current with best practices for serving the Caldwell County Community through my position.”
Ms. Eckard holds a bachelor’s degree in Public Policy with a minor in Sustainability from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a master’s degree in Urban Planning from the University of Illinois at UIUC as well as years of experience in a variety of planning sectors. Membership in the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) is the only nationwide, independent verification of planners’ qualifications.
It’s a way to demonstrate expertise in Planning. AICP members also maintain their credential by continuously pursuing advanced professional education through the Certificate Maintenance program.