All SCARP faculty members are responsible for advising Master of Community and Regional Planning (MCRP) students. On average, full-time SCARP faculty members advise three new MCRP students per year and cross-appointed faculty advise two new students per year. SCARP faculty members advise MCRP students in relation to the following:
1. Course planning
Incoming MCRP students are assigned to Faculty Advisors during the summer preceding initial registration, based on students’ substantive planning interests expressed in their written statements. Faculty Advisors are expected to advise students on course planning throughout their program at SCARP, based on students’ interests and career objectives. Faculty Advisors conduct formal course planning sessions with students at the start of each term, to develop a customized concentration in a dimension of planning that is selected by the student. Other meetings are encouraged as need arises. The majority of courses are taken at SCARP, though Faculty Advisors also encourage students (when appropriate) to consider courses in other departments.
Students are free to consult with their Faculty Advisors at any time during the year. Faculty Advisors are expected to have basic knowledge of courses offered in the semester.
MCRP students are required to complete an Internship, which they typically choose to do during the summer after their first year of coursework at SCARP. Students are required to obtain their own internship with the assistance of the Student Development Coordinator. Faculty Advisors provide Internship advising for their assigned students in the following ways:
- Working with students to determine educational objectives, appropriate experiences, and the expectations for the student during the project in consultation with the agency;
- Advising students on organizations for the student to contact or internship directions to pursue;
- Discussing with the student their professional and academic objectives;
- Approving the student’s choice of placement;
- Helping the student to develop an Internship Agreement that integrates their professional and academic goals with those of the Internship project;
- Reviewing project status reports, including (1) a mid-term Evaluation from the agency that evaluates the student’s performance to that point; (2) a final planning report (or as otherwise described in the Internship Agreement) from the student at the end of the internship that satisfies the academic standards of UBC; (3) an Internship Final Evaluation from the agency that evaluates the student’s performance; and (4) a Post-Internship Assessment from the student that evaluates the experience;
- Assigning a Pass or Fail mark to the student's Internship after assessment of the student's internship output (s), Agency Supervisor’s Mid-Term and Final Internship assessment forms and student self-assessment, and/or in consultation with the host agency.
3. Capstone Project or Portfolio
Each student Capstone Project or Portfolio is supervised by a Faculty Advisor assigned to the student. During their second year at SCARP, students attend individual meetings with their Advisor or advising workshops on a regular basis that are organized by their Faculty Advisor for all of their supervisees. Faculty Advisors advise students regarding all phases of the Capstone, including which Capstone option to pursue. For the Capstone Project option, the Faculty Advisor advises on topic selection, project design, data collection and analysis, and finalizing the report. For the Capstone Portfolio option, the Faculty Advisor advises on the design and production of the Portfolio. The Faculty Advisor grades the Capstone Project or Portfolio and provides feedback.
4. Paid research assistance
SCARP faculty members may sometimes hire MCRP students to serve as research assistants for faculty research projects. Working closely under faculty member supervision, students gain paid work experience, training in professional planning research and consulting work, and connections with local planning agencies that can lead to employment opportunities after graduation. There is no guarantee of research assistantships for students, as the number of positions depends on faculty funding. Students often hold research assistantships with faculty members who are not their Advisors.
Students are expected to stay with their Faculty Advisor throughout the program. In rare circumstances, a student who needs to change to another Advisor is expected to discuss the change with the assigned Advisor and secure the approval of the new Advisor before consulting with the MCRP Program Chair for final approval. Students also need to get the faculty signatures on the Change of Advisor form.
Expectations of Advisors
- Faculty Advisors will post office hours at the start of each academic year both by their office and online;
- Faculty Advisors will respond to student queries in a reasonable amount of time;
- Faculty Advisors will notify students if unable to attend a scheduled meeting, and will reschedule in a timely manner.
If Faculty Advisors do not respond to student queries within a reasonable amount of time, then students should contact the Chair of the MCRP program.
In addition to advising provided by Faculty Advisors, the Chair of the MCRP program and the SCARP Director are available for formal and informal discussions of an academic, professional, or personal nature.
Students shall be responsible for knowing the requirements of their program as presented on the SCARP website, including capstone, internship and other information presented in course outlines. Students shall also take responsibility for contacting their advisors and seeking their guidance on course, internship and capstone selections.
This document is open for periodic review to ensure that student and advisor expectations are being met.