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.

Join the Mentoring Program!

GPA facilitates an annual Mentor Program. The 2024 program will run from January to June. We will decide as a group whether virtual or in-person meetings are preferred.

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. Participants benefit from leadership development, professional development, career advice, and networking.

Applications for the 2025 program will open later in this year.

Please reach out to Caroline Evans to volunteer as a Senior Mentor or on the committee or with any questions.


Participants will benefit from leadership development, professional development, career advice, and networking. The program enriches GPA services for emerging professionals. 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 one or more senior mentors. 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.

Participants must be GPA members. Participants are required to apply to the program and commit to participation over the six to seven-month program. The Committee will plan six virtual events in 2024; we ask participants to commit to attending four events. A review of your personal CPI 260 assessment results with our professional facilitator is required; past participants have found this session to be extremely valuable. Participants are also asked to 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 spring conference 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 Committee at each event and at the conclusion of the Program.

The program will include structured events coordinated by the Mentor Committee as well as informal gatherings to encourage socializing virtually. Programmed events will be a formal 1 to 2-hour activity with a specific educational goal, often at lunchtime. AICP CM Credits will be available for professional development events.

The format for mentor teams is flexible. Each team of mid-career and emerging planners will be assigned a Point of Contact from the Committee, who will recruit senior planners for one-on-one mentoring on specific topics or interests.

The program lasts six to seven months, starting in January and ending in the summer. You will be asked to attend four events as well as meet with your Mentor Team regularly. Because space is limited, you are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. Applications will open annually in October.

Mentees 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 mentees 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.