The mission of the Regional Planning program is to provide opportunities for our students, planning professionals, and citizens of a diverse regional community to master fundamental and innovative planning principles. We train students to become professional planners through a process that emphasizes conceptual knowledge, experiential learning, innovative planning skills, and civic engagement. We work with students and planners to guide change in a way that will make our communities better places to live for present and future generations.
Our program has prepared our students to work in public planning agencies at the local, county, and state levels. Our graduates have also gone on to work with private planning and engineering firms, establish their own consulting firms, or work in private industry. As planners, they have learned to work with the public to guide growth and change in metropolitan regions across the country from Los Angeles to Boston, Orlando, and New York. But our two tracks, Environmental and Land Use–GIS planning, are particularly suited to the broader Northern Appalachia region and similar regions of aging rural population, extractive industry, and older urban areas.
As part of their coursework, our students will work with real world problems and intern with professional planners who deal with these problems on a daily basis. Planners work with communities to improve the quality of life for the people who live there. They take a comprehensive view, hear and speak for all citizens, reconcile controversy, and propose alternatives that can guide community decision making in allocating scare resources to create better places to live.
To strive for a reputation of excellence for the planning program
To provide opportunities for our students, for students to master fundamental and innovative planning principles, and to train students to become leaders in professional planning practice
To support and encourage program faculty and students to conduct, disseminate, and fund scholarship as defined by the teacher-scholar mode
To develop, foster, and contribute to service activities with communities, academia, government, and the profession
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