Many social, physical, economic, technical and political issues in society cry out for definition and resolution. Among these are: decline in central cities, deterioration of neighborhoods, inefficient and inequitable taxing and regulation policies, congestion and other problems of accessibility, the impact of growth and change, an erosion of natural resources including water, land and air and inefficient or absent human services. Urban and regional planning is one of society's means for addressing these problems in a creative, positive manner. Planning is a problem-solving profession that is concerned with the forces that influence the quality of life in the neighborhood, city, region, state, nation and world. Thus, planning provides a unique occupational avenue for those who desire a role in shaping a better future.
The goal of Eastern's program in Urban and Regional Planning is to train competent professionals for careers in planning. To achieve this goal, the department stresses the acquisition of practical, analytical and organizational skills designed to aid the student in analyzing problems and organizing community activities to help solve problems. The combination of classroom instruction and applied planning field projects develops professional competence and ensures that each student has the requisite abilities to function within the profession after leaving the program. The department takes particular pride in having the only accredited undergraduate planning degree in the Northwest and one of only 14 in the nation.
The department emphasizes the acquisition of practical professional skills. Therefore, students not only acquire information in the classroom, but also are involved in field projects requiring systematic application of this information. These field projects are often linked to the Department's community service function.
The Department is housed in excellent academic facilities at the Riverpoint campus in Spokane and at Isle Hall in Cheney and has acquired a variety of equipment to support student activities. There are drafting studio facilities, computer terminals, computer labs, a geographic information systems laboratory as well as access to a variety of other resources.
The department of Urban and Regional Planning, Public and Health Administration offers the following Urban and Regional Planning degrees:
Bachelor of Arts in Urban and Regional Planning
Minor in Urban and Regional Planning
Master of Urban and Regional Planning
Executive Certificate in Tribal Planning
The long-range job outlook for urban and regional planners is good. There is an expanding need for planners in the private sector including consulting firms, land development companies and large corporations involved in land management and location analysis.
Planners are also found in non-profit organizations involved in community problem solving. These positions complement more traditional jobs in the public sector including those dealing with comprehensive planning, land use regulation and transportation systems management.
The Department takes an active role in placing students and is proud of its continuing success in finding positions for its graduates. Agencies and organizations throughout the Pacific Northwest compliment the program for producing graduates who need little additional training to assume their employment responsibilities.
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