MSU Extension Zoning Administrator Certificate Program Online 2021

February 1, 2021 - March 8, 2021

Zoom Webinar

Contact: For more information, please contact Kara Kelly, ZAC Program Coordinator, at

Zoning Administrators are among the most important local officials. They are the front line for new development and redevelopment in a community. How well they do, or do not do, their job has a great impact on the future of their community.

Most Zoning Administrators have had no formal training. They learned on the job and may not have uniform skills, but courts expect them to know the rudiments of law as it relates to zoning administration. The MSU Extension Zoning Administrator Certificate (ZAC) Program teaches zoning administrators how to prevent mistakes that lead to expensive lawsuits, while improving their day-to-day effectiveness.

Since 2009, the MSU Extension Zoning Administrator Certificate Program has taught zoning administration techniques in ways that reduce legal risks to the zoning administrator and their community. It is the ONLY such program in the state!

The 2021 MSU Extension Zoning Administrator Certificate Program will be held virtually starting Feb. 1. With just 75 spots available, register right away!

The 2021 Zoning Administrator Certificate Program will follow a hybrid model of live webinars plus self-paced online learning using MSU's learning management system - Desire 2 Learn (D2L). The program will begin February 1 and run for five weeks with participants joining live webinars from 1:30 - 4: p.m. (Eastern) on Mondays, Feb. 1, 8, 15, 22, and March 1. ZAC Program office hours will run 11 a.m. to noon on Fridays Feb. 5, 12, 19, 26, and March 5. Access to the D2L course will begin with the start of the program and participants will be responsible for completing online learning until the due date of the ZAC Program Exam on April 12.

WHO SHOULD ATTEND: New and current zoning administrators, private consultants, and county planners or state agency staff who consult with local zoning administrators

TOPICS COVERED: Job Description; Responsibilities and Basic Ethics; Legal Issues; Reviewing Applications: Common Procedures and Use of Forms; Reviewing Plot Plans and Site Plans; Inspections and Violations; Preparing Files; Reports and Record Keeping; Interactions with other Professionals and Agencies, and Departmental Duties; Customer Service and Counter Behavior

PREREQUISITES: To establish a common starting point in local planning and zoning knowledge, all registrants must have completed the MSU Extension Citizen Planner Program or have the AICP credential before starting the ZAC program.

REIMBURSEMENT SCHOLARSHIPS: A grant program, Risk Reduction Grant Program (RRGP), may be available from your community’s liability insurance provider. Michigan Township Participating Plan offers to its municipal members one per community, which covers the complete registration reimbursement with program completion, for participation in the Citizen Planner Program and a portion of the Zoning Administrator Certificate program fees. For more information, please visit us on the web at For member governments of the Michigan Municipal Risk Management Authority (MMRMA), contact Cara Ceci at 800-243-1324 for more information regarding grants for education and training through the Risk Avoidance Program (RAP). For municipalities obtaining insurance through Nickel & Saph, Inc. Insurance Agency contact Stephen R. Saph, Jr. at 586-463-4573 or Contact your local community liability risk insurance carrier to see if similar grants or reimbursement scholarships are available.

FEE: $395 Payment must be received by Dec. 18, 2020 or registration will be cancelled. 

Cancellations received after Dec. 18, 2020 will be assessed a $150 cancellation fee.


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