The goal of the GPA Mentor Program is to successfully build teams of emerging professionals, mid-career planners, and mentors for guidance and support while offering mentors the opportunity to strengthen ties with future leaders of the planning profession and APA.

Fall to Spring

GPA facilitates an annual Mentor Program that runs from the fall to spring. The program has a flexible format so that senior mentors, mid-career planners, and emerging professionals can tailor their own experience in a team. GPA members who are practicing planners at any career stage are encouraged to apply each fall. Participants benefit from leadership development, professional development, career advice, and networking.

Applications are open and will be accepted for the 2019-2020 program until November 1, 2019.

Learn more by downloading the PDF flyer.

To Apply Pay Registration Online


Participants will benefit from leadership development, professional development, career advice, and networking. The program will enrich GPA services for emerging professionals significantly. One of our goals is to increase GPA membership, participation, and retention.

Participation is open to all practicing planners who are GPA members in good standing, but space is limited. Applications are available now. The Mentor Program Committee will provide match-making between mentors, mid-career planners, and emerging professionals. If you have less than 20 years’ experience, you will be matched with a senior mentor. You may also be matched with other planners in a small team. The match-making will address preferred program activities, career goals, common interests, experience in planning field(s), and location. Many senior mentors will be AICP Fellows in Georgia.

Participants must be a GPA member. Participants are required to apply to the program and commit to participation over the seven month program. The Program Committee will plan four mandatory events from October to April. Participants are also required to plan and attend two self-directed events with their mentorship team, and stay in regular contact with each other. Participants may be required to complete activities related to program events such as self-assessments or brief reading assignments. Attending the GPA fall and spring conferences is encouraged, but not required. There is a $75 fee for mid-career professionals and emerging professionals to cover a portion of program costs. Participants must also commit to providing feedback to the Mentor Program Committee at each event and at the conclusion of the Program.

The program will include structured events coordinated by the Mentor Program committee as well as informal gatherings planned by each individual mentor team. Programmed events will be a formal 1 to 2-hour activity with a specific educational goal. We plan to include leadership development and professional development programs. AICP CM Credits will be available for professional development events.

The format for mentor teams is flexible. The Program Committee is encouraging teams of one senior planner, one mid-career planner, and one or two emerging professionals. However, in some cases participants may prefer a mentor-protégé pair and we will try to accommodate those requests.

The program lasts about seven months, starting in the fall and ending in the spring. A tentative schedule of Mentor Program events is below. You will be asked to attend at least four of the five events as well as meet with your Mentor Team regularly. We will provide Mentor Program information and applications starting in September. Because space is limited, you are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.

Protégés include emerging professionals and mid-career planners who are interested in learning more about the profession, innovative practice, and career guidance. The Mentor Team relationships can last as long as the team wants to stay together.

Mid-career planners participate both as protégés and mentors. They provide advice, skill-building, support, and feedback to both emerging and senior professionals. They strengthen their professional network, build leadership and professional skills, and gain support and guidance.

Mentors include practicing senior and mid-career planners with significant experience and knowledge of planning issues and the profession. Mentors have a range of experience and can provide technical assistance, direction, guidance, support, and feedback, and serve as an advocate for their Mentor team. By participating, mentors contribute to their profession. Mentors can contribute to the Program in many ways, including:

  • Lead a Mentor team
  • One-time interview for the YPG website and newsletter
  • Case study presentation or site visit
  • Career development sessions or lunch & learns
  • 2 to 4-hour job shadow
  • Resume’ workshops
  • Mock interviews
  • Career advice

Mid-career and emerging professionals are required to pay a one-time fee of $75 to participate in the Mentor Program. This helps defray the costs of events, meals, and leadership assessment tools during the program. Senior Mentors (with 20 or more years’ experience) are not required to pay a fee to participate.