All PMPEI courses are based on the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code (MPC), which is the authority for planning in the Commonwealth. To function as a contributing member of a planning commission or zoning hearing board requires knowledge of how the MPC impacts the job. For that reason an up-to-date copy of the MPC is provided to each student so they can see exactly what the MPC allows them to do in their planning and zoning programs, and the procedures they must follow.
Each course—at 10 hours in length—is in-depth. What local planning and zoning officials need to know takes both time and good teachers. From the outset it was decided that courses would not be superficial and broad-brush, but instead would take the time to fully explain what municipalities and counties can and should do. The MPC is the “textbook” followed to insure instruction is uniform and consistent state-wide.
PMPEI courses are “skill-oriented,” geared to helping each individual carry out their assigned planning or land use regulatory tasks. We expect them to leave a course not just knowing the subject matter, but how to use it in their work. Courses are interactive with opportunities to get hands-on experience with the material, and learn how planning decisions are made. In the classroom we simulate real-life situations similar to those planning commissioners and zoning board members have to deal with.
To make sure everyone will have their questions answered and opportunities to fully participate in the hands-on activities, class size is strictly limited to a maximum of 30 students.