Citizen Planner Online again open for enrollment

The Citizen Planner program teaches community leaders the fundamentals for making informed land use decisions and is once again available online in a convenient, self-paced format.

In the new economy, communities need to change the way they plan for, regulate, and engage citizens around development. Local officials have a responsibility to help their communities manage the impacts of economic change and be part of the solutions to challenges and issues their communities face. Communities that proactively plan for their futures can improve their quality of life and lead Michigan’s recovery and transformation.

Michigan Citizen Planner offers land use education and training to locally appointed and elected planning officials. The Citizen Planner program covers the fundamentals of planning and zoning and best practices in the area of community development. The course is intended for local appointed and elected officials, zoning administrators and interested citizens. The program empowers local officials to shape the future of their communities by providing them with the tools and education they need to lead. Upon course completion, a certificate is awarded by Michigan State University Extension.

The Citizen Planner program is again available online after a migration to a new platform – Moodle on eXtension. The new Citizen Planner online is divided into three courses, Michigan Citizen Planner 101, 201 and 301. MiCP 101 introduces planning officials to their new roles covering topics that include ethics, drafting the master plan, and working with the public. MiCP 201 covers the basic legal framework of planning and zoning, sources and limitations of government power over land use, and making zoning decisions. MiCP 301 covers roles and power in public policy, choosing appropriate meeting types, and placemaking and innovative techniques. Participants complete all three modules to receive a certificate of completion. The registration for the three-course package is $275, a $20 discount from the equivalent classroom-based program.

Interested individuals can enroll in the program online. Questions should be directed to the Citizen Planner office, 269-657-8213 or

Michigan State University Extension helps communities learn how to improve their social and economic appeal to create and retain jobs. Community leaders are given the tools they need to have a positive effect on their cities, villages, townships, counties and the whole state.

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