On-Demand Training, Application Assistance and Scholarships to help
Central Section APA Members Prepare for the
AICP Certification Exam

On-Demand Training

Interested in becoming an AICP certified planner? Whether you’re just getting started or well on your way to taking the exam, APA California is here to help!

We are pleased to announce the release of a comprehensive AICP exam training course planned and produced by the Central and San Diego Sections and recorded by APA California. Conceived as a four-day in-person/live stream event, the primary goal was to reach Section members in remote areas. The on-demand course is now available to everyone!

With over 12 hours of instruction presented in an informal classroom setting with full audience interaction, this course provides the guidance and materials needed to better prepare for the exam. Study at your own pace! Learn valuable exam taking tips! If you plan to take the AICP exam this year or next this course is for you!

Topics and speakers include:

  • Part 1: Planning History and Context, Wendy Tinsley Becker, RPH, AICP, Principal, Urbana Preservation & Planning, LLC
  • Part 2: Exam and Training Sessions Overview (Free to all! Check it out now!), Lorena G. Cordova, AICP
  • Part 3: Plan Making and Implementation, Stephen Michael Haase, AICP
  • Part 4: Regulatory Law, David Pierucci, Attorney, Best, Best, and Krieger
  • Part 5: Ethics Training, Brian F. Mooney, FAICP, Managing Principal, Community Planning & Landscape Architecture, Rick Engineering
  • Part 6: Public Participation, Joan Isaacson, Vice President/Public Involvement and Facilitation, Kearns & West
  • Part 7: Planning Trends, Demographics & Transportation, Phil Trom, AICP, Senior Planner, SANDAG
  • Part 8: Leadership, Administration & Management, Dahvia Lynch, AICP CEP, LEED AP, Director of Development Services, City of San Marcos

Updates to exam dates and recent changes to the AICP certification process are provided in Part 8 of the course series (recorded on April 25th, 2020). All registrants will receive follow-up information regarding AICP exam scheduling.

Cost: APA Members $75 / Non-Members $100 / Student Members $25. Register now and receive the two bonus videos below!

Sequoia and Kings Canyon

AICP Examination Application Preparation Session

This candid and practical session helps demystify the AICP Exam application preparation process covering resources, dates, fees, process steps, application content and tips. Strategies for studying for the exam and taking the test are also shared. Highly recommended for anyone just starting the AICP exam process. Recorded in San Diego in 2019.

Moderator: Lorena G. Cordova, AICP

Becoming AICP – A Helpful Webinar
Recorded on June 5, 2020, this webinar gives some helpful tips and trips in navigating the path to becoming AICP. Thank you to our friends in the San Diego Section!

This entertaining video focuses on best strategies for taking the AICP exam. Watch this fun game where planners display their knowledge, while learning tips on preparing for the AICP exam. Recorded at the 2018 Chapter Conference in San Diego.

Moderator: Asha Bleier, AICP

Questions on distance education? Contact Greg Konar, AICP, Distance Education Coordinator

Scholarship and Funding Options

The Central Section is offering two AICP scholarships. Scholarships will be awarded on a “first-come, first-serve” basis, based on the following two-step process:

  • Step 1: Submit your letter of interest after APA has approved your application to sit for the AICP exam, and before the exam registration deadline; this will form the eligibility list.
  • Step 2: Submit your receipts after taking the exam, with a signed letter stating that your employer will not cover the costs. Chronological order of receipts received will determine funding priority.

E-mail statements of interest to Holly Owen, Co-Chair, Central APA Professional Development Officer, at Holly will maintain a list of eligible recipients, based on the letters of interest submitted before the exam registration deadline. After the exam, eligible planners that submit their receipts and signed letter will receive the scholarship funds, of up to $500, on a reimbursement basis, in chronological order received. Pending interest and available funds, the APA Board could decide to increase the number of scholarships awarded upon a formal vote of the Board.

Questions? Contact Holly at 559-897-5328, or via email at

The State Chapter is also offering eight (8) cost offsetting scholarships this year – one for each Section. Please go to the AICP heading on the Chapter’s website under Professional Development to find and review the application. We encourage you to pursue this scholarship if any of the criteria in the application apply to you. You can also go directly to the application by clicking HERE.

To be eligible for an AICP Exam Reduced Fee Scholarship for the AICP Exam, please complete this application and email it to Carey Fernandes, AICP, Vice President of Professional Development at Submission deadlines apply per exam round.

APA offers Diversity Scholarships for AICP Certification candidates.

AICP Certification Diversity scholarships help make the planning profession more diverse. Diversity is an inclusive concept which encompasses, but is not limited to race, ethnicity, class, gender, age, sexuality, ability, educational attainment, spiritual beliefs, creed, culture, tribal affiliation, nationality, immigration status, financial status, political beliefs, and veteran status.

How to Apply

If you are interested in applying for a scholarship, self-identify with one or more of the categories above, and have a financial need for the scholarship, please submit an applicaton. Here are additional details:

  • Fifty scholarships will be awarded through a lottery system. Applicants can choose to receive the scholarship for the exam or the assessment (not both)
  • Scholarship cannot be transferred to a future cycle, but recipients can re-apply
  • Members who do not receive a scholarship, or members who passed the exam and owuld like to receive an additional scholarship for the assessment, can apply again in any future window
  • All APA members (both domestic and international) can apply for the scholarship
  • Test results will be shared with APA Chapter Professional Development Officers


Applicants will sent an email in September 2023 as to their application status

Certification Timeline*

Spring Cycle

March — Scholarship recipients selected

April — AICP registration window opens

May — Members take exam

June — AICP assessment submission window opens


Fall Cycle

September — Scholarship recipients selected

October — AICP registration window opens

November — Members take exam

December — AICP assessment submission window opens


* The dates for each cycle can be found on APA National.

AICP Certification Fees for Diversity Scholarship Recipients

Fee Regular Fees Scholarship Recipient Fees
Program and Exam Registration $255 $85
Experience Assessment $255 $85
Exam Transfer (if needed/requested) $100 $100
Essay Appeal (if needed/requested) $100 $100
Total $510 $370



Factors that may determine extreme hardship related to COVID-19 may include the inability to pay basic and reasonable living expenses, homelessness, death of an immediate family member, or a physical or mental health situation that affects the member or an immediate family member for whom the member is the immediate care giver.

Looking for the National AICP Page to log and check credits? If so, Click Here