ACP Courses

The American Citizen Planner program consists of two online courses (ACP 101 and ACP 201) and a national certifying exam. Depending on the state where you reside, the courses and exam may be modified to include state-specific information.

ACP 101
In this course, Extension Professionals, local officials, citizen advocates, non-profit groups, government agencies and general public, including those who are interested in the basic concepts of public land use and development regulation and in the best practices of community development and smart growth will learn to make positive land use decisions for their communities regarding zoning regulation, best practices for planning and zoning, and sustainable community planning.

Each units is designed to help students learn the core tasks of being a Planning Official.

In order to offer this online learning opportunity and maintain consistency between the classroom course and the online units, each unit includes content equal to or more than what is provided in the classroom sessions. Each unit is designed to take between 45 minutes to an hour. However, you can stop and restart a unit at your convenience.

Click here to see ACP 101 unit descriptions

ACP 201
American Citizen Planner 201 is an online course which will provide an in-depth look at land use planning and zoning along with management and ethics case studies and best practices.

Click here for ACP 201 unit descriptions

Master Citizen Planer Exam
An online exam for participants in the American Citizen Planner program who seek to become a Master Citizen Planner. Completion of ACP 101 and ACP 201 is not required for those wishing to take the national exam but is strongly encouraged.

Planning Commissioner Training Series

Those considering ACP might also enroll in a new, online Planning Commissioner Training series developed through a partnership between Michigan State University Extension and Planetizen Courses. The series covers a number of subjects vital to effective, efficient planning practices that include establishing a strong ethical and legal framework, coverage of steps in the planning and zoning processes, tools used by professional planners to make land use decisions and much more.

Planning Commissioner Training is a ‘fundamentals’ training and additional course work through ACP is required to become eligible for the Master Citizen Planner credential. Additional course information and pricing is available by visiting the Planetizen website at