Geography BS Urban & Regional Planning
Planners guide the development of their neighborhoods, towns, and regions by applying conceptual, analytical, communication, and technological skills. Planners who have graduated from this program are employed in real estate and development, private consultancies, local governments, and federal or state land agencies.
This emphasis has a solid core of classes designed to give the student valuable understanding concerning the nature and importance of land use and resource planning. The focus is not only on conceptual knowledge, but on professional skills, including verbal and written communication, GIS and statistical analysis, creative and critical thinking, and working in teams with a variety of stakeholders. Students are strongly encouraged to take advantage of the many opportunities in the area to gain practical experience in an internship. The final result is a graduate who will work successfully with people to help fashion their communities with the skill of a professional land use planner. Graduates of this program have also pursued advanced degrees in geography, public administration, and real estate law.
The Geography Core learning outcomes are correlated with five of the six essential elements of the 1994 National Geography Standards (NGS). The specialized outcomes of this emphasis are focused on developing further competency in these six elements, the eighteen specific standardswithin these elements, and the five geographic skills in the standard; the correlated standards are cited in each outcome. Planning emphasis outcomes are also correlated with the four curriculum standards in the 2006 Accreditation Document from the Planning Accreditation Board(PAB).
BS Geography Core: Students who successfully the core courses in the BS Geography degree should be able to (at a basic level):
Core geographic knowledge and skills
Understand, explain and apply the NGS-related foundational concepts of Human Societies and Spatiality, Physical Environments, Human-Environmental Interaction, Regional Geography, Critical Spatial Thinking, and Effective Communication.
Emphasis Specialization: Students who successfully complete the Planning Emphasis should be able to fulfill the core outcomes, and to:
Understand Human Settlement as it relates to Urban Planning
Identify and describe the social, economic, legal, and environmental structure of urban and regional systems and how these play out spatially in the urban landscape.
Evaluate new and historic projects to identify patterns of failure and strategies for success.
Develop coherent solutions to urban and other land management issues, that respect the diverse (and sometimes conflicting) needs of planners, engineers, architects, land developers, elected officials, and citizens including using the methods of of plan creation, plan adoption, and plan implementation to bring about the greatest pubic good while mitigating foreseeable negative impacts.
Create plans, maps, ordinances, and reports to communicate effectively with citizens and officials concerning planning issues and solutions
Evidence of Learning
- Sample Coursework (assignments, test questions) selected for strategic relevance to learning outcomes
- Content Knowledge Exam taken at beginning and end of program
- Internship Reports from interns and employers
- Faculty reports from personal mentoring and advisement
- Student and peer evaluations of teaching
- BYU Senior Survey with departmental addendum, focusing on opinions of BYU education and self-confidence in competency
- BYU Alumni Questionnaire with departmental addendum, focusing on opinions of BYU education and self-confidence in competency
- FHSS exit survey with departmental addendum, focusing on opinions of BYU education and self-confidence in competency
- Anecdotal reports from alumni reflecting on BYU education and success in profession and post-graduate education
Learning and Teaching Assessment and Improvement
- Two standing committees of the department are involved: the Undergraduate Education committee (three members selected by the chair), and the program curriculum committee composed of all faculty focused in Planning. In both committees, most effort is concentrated during the summer to avoid distraction during the school year.
- Throughout the school year, the Undergraduate Education Committee uses university, college, and department tools to gather raw assessment data.
- At the end of the school year (late April-early May), this Committee analyzes and discusses the assessment data with respect to the learning outcomes. They identify significant successes, and problems that need to be resolved. They prepare a brief report.
- At the final faculty meeting of the year (mid-May), the Undergraduate Education Committee presents their findings to the rest of the faculty. The Undergraduate Education Committee (or another standing or ad hoc committee if appropriate) is charged with developing solutions to department-wide issues. The program curriculum committee is charged with developing solutions to program-specific issues. This should take 1-2 hours.
- During the summer, committees meet as needed and develop solutions. Each prepares a brief report outlining specific proposals. This may include program requirement changes, new or deleted courses, course alterations, teacher development, and such.
- At the department retreat (late August), each committee presents its proposals. Faculty discuss and vote on proposals. This should take 2-3 hours.
- The Undergraduate Education Committee prepares and submits applications for curriculum changes in September for consideration by the University for the following school year.