Lowcountry Public Leader – The Urban and Regional Planning Certificate Program

On Wednesday (April 17th), program director Dr. Kevin Keenan shared the following report with the Dean of The Graduate School. This report highlights many of the incredible things that our Urban and Regional Planning Certificate program is doing. Check it out:

            The Urban and Regional Planning Certificate’s Spring 2013 semester was all about students.  Two achievements are worth noting: the program is the second largest certificate program at the College of Charleston, and the Graduate Urban Studies club – which is run by urban planning certificate students – held several enlightening events and achieved officially recognized status within the Graduate Student Government (GSA).

            The certificate program exhibited continued interest and strength during the spring semester.   It is the 2nd largest of its kind at the College.  With 11 students enrolled in the program, only the Gifted and Talented Education certificate had more students at 15.   The initial trends for 2013 indicate continued health.  Three students applied to be admitted into the certificate, and three more students applied to be awarded the certificate.  There were 11 inquiries about the program at the graduate school, and Dr. Godfrey Gibbison (Dean of the North Campus) is exploring ways to further increase the visibility of the program via marketing campaigns. 

            The Graduate Urban Studies club, which is currently run by students who are pursuing the urban certificate, held several exciting events that directly advanced both the mission of the club and the larger educational goals of the certificate.  The club sponsored a viewing of a new film titled Detropia, which explored the theme of “ruin porn” as it is applied to declining cities, such as Detroit.  This idea argued that there is a selective obsession with showcasing decline and misrepresenting other aspects of the cities that challenge the sole discourse of decline.  The students held a field trip to Enough Pie’s Tactical Urbanism presentation in late February.  Enough Pie is a non-profit organization that is devoted to creative place-making on the upper-peninsula of Charleston.  The Tactical Urbanism event promoted the idea of ordinary people taking over and refashioning urban spaces in an effort to create public art and beautiful spaces.  The students concluded the semester by inviting Josh Martin, from Turnberry Consulting, to present his recent work on sustainable planning projects throughout the East Coast and in Canada. 

            In the spring semester, the Graduate Urban Studies club also secured a line in the GSA budget, indicating that it is now a permanent, funded entity at the College of Charleston.  Lina Wayman, also a student in the MPA program, will be taking over as president in the Fall semester.  Rachael Cechak, who was president for the last year, is headed to law school. 

          Priorities for the fall semester include several more academic and professional events for students, the continued exploration of moving some courses online, and another marketing campaign to keep the certificate in the spotlight.  The Urban and Regional Planning Certificate Program is a valuable contribution that directly advances the strategic goals of the College to use the City of Charleston as a learning laboratory.  It is well positioned for continued growth.

Urban Planning Photo Shoot 011

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