Mentoring at APA

The goal for mentoring at APA is to develop the next generation of planning professionals by pairing experienced individuals with those who want to learn more about their chosen profession. APA believes that supporting healthy relationships between mentors and proteges provides immediate and long-term benefits for the individuals and the profession. The mentoring relationship is dynamic and flexible.

Join us in growing the community of planning professionals.

AICP Candidate Pilot Program Mentorship

The AICP Candidate Pilot Program, launching November 1, offers qualified APA members the opportunity to take the AICP Certification Exam prior to earning professional planning experience. An optional mentor match component will be a key benefit for many program participants, and we are currently assembling a pool of outstanding mentors to work with them.

Help us identify and encourage experienced planners to become mentors, or sign up to become one yourself. The opportunity to serve as a mentor is open to all AICP members and offers pro bono CM credit. Mentors and program participants will be matched based on shared interests. Those interested in becoming a mentor sign up by completing the mentor application.

Sign Up to Be a Mentor

National Planning Conference

APA hosts Mentor Match — pairing mentors with proteges — only during the annual National Planning Conference.

APA Chapters

Check at the local chapter level for opportunities to find a mentor in your area.

Get tips from chapter mentoring programs

Mentor Match Toolkit for APA Chapters

This toolkit provides APA chapters with ideas and templates for starting their own Mentor Match programs. In it, you will find:

  • A brief history and framework for the program
  • A list of steps to get your program running
  • A sample timeline
  • A list of to-do's/not-to-do's based on lessons learned
  • A sample of feedback received from participants

More About Mentoring

A mentor can help shepherd your career and be a sounding board. Mentors give back to the profession and ensure the future of planning is in good hands.


Why Mentor?

By serving in a mentoring role in the complex world of planning, you are furthering professional development and shaping the future of planning. As an advocate, a mentor can help a protege by providing knowledgeable and strategic advice, and a mentor can offer the perspectives that come only from experience to encourage the protege to build on core capabilities or pursue an innovative opportunity. Each relationship is different.

  • Claim pro bono CM credits for mentoring.
  • Use as a tool for succession planning.
  • Provide for leadership continuity.
  • Increase retention and development of knowledge and intellectual capital.
  • Encourage individual growth and development.
  • Establish values.
  • Gain a sense of renewed purpose and/or approach to problem solving.
  • Model ethical behavior.
  • Share your wisdom.
"The best aspect was meeting young planners with enthusiasm and optimism ... gives one hope!"
—Robert (Orland Park, Illinois)
"Getting to meet young planners and share thoughts, ideas, emerging trends from old and new school perspectives [was the best aspect]."
—Lucien (Prairieville, Louisiana)

Why Be a Protege?

Make the most of your student membership with APA. The classroom may not fully prepare you for the working world. Taking part in a mentoring relationship is the bridge between practical and applied knowledge. As a protege, you will grow your personal and professional knowledge and network. Your participation is a way to form a professional connection that can lead to opportunities beyond a typical job search.

  • Focus on your career path and long-term goals.
  • Get advice based on real-world experiences.
  • Create a lasting professional relationship.
  • Gain a new approach to problem solving.
  • Get insight from alternative areas.
  • Get recommendations for specific managerial practices.
  • Observe ethics in action.
  • Connect with a confidant on workplace concerns.
"Getting to engage with a professional in a more-or-less structured context [was the best aspect], particularly since it was my first conference and I didn't know many people there. It was a great springboard to meet people!"
—Valecia (Auburn, Alabama)