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Changes in the Online LARE Prep Landscape

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In August 2013, Land8 featured a column announcing my first LARE prep webinar. This event eventually grew to become Corson Learning. Since that first webinar, over a thousand Corson Learning members across the US and Canada have participated and gone on to become licensed landscape architects. This is the professional project of which I am most proud, so it is with mixed emotions that in this same forum I am announcing that Corson Learning will begin to phase out at the end of this year. Live support, except for existing members, will end in December. Pre-recorded content will remain available throughout 2021 at a reduced price. If no one steps up to take the project over, the website will be taken down at the end of 2021.

CLARB will conduct its next periodic Task Analysis in 2021, resulting in adjusted LARE content beginning in 2022. It is time for the next group of providers to analyze this content and create updated exam prep materials. When Corson Learning began, there were no other online LARE prep offerings. Today, especially during Covid, they are more readily available, with a range of affordable online choices for candidates seeking support and community. The website,, has become a valuable content related resource. This month, Ray Freeman’s course materials, since his retirement, have become available online. The University of Georgia is hosting online LARE prep classes now as well.

Others who have traditionally taught live LARE prep workshops, like Angela Woodward, are now offering their materials online. The LARE Prep Google Group, which has had its ups and downs, remains another online discussion staple. ASLA offers a LARE prep package as well.

CLARB has responded to the limitations of Covid to the degree possible, announcing this month that effective for the December 2020 administration (November 30-December 12), Sections 1 and 2 may be taken through Pearson Vue online from candidates’ homes or offices. This is a welcome development that will help many candidates.

My approach has always been to treat content review as only one of four components of LARE preparation. A combination of time management before and during the exam, understanding the anatomy of exam questions, maintaining a positive attitude, plus sufficient content review, altogether lead to success. A free video on this is on the Corson Learning home page. This exam, like any professional certification exam, is less an act of regurgitating memorized content and more of a slow and careful consideration of each question and response within the context of shared professional experience and expertise, often, though not exclusively, drawing upon our reference books.

In a recent phone conversation with a candidate, I reflected that to succeed in an exam, one must be keenly receptive, open to the nuances of how a question is phrased. This will help guide you to the correct choice much more than being in a hyperactive state, hoping for just the right opportunity to cough up some stored up fact. It may seem counter-intuitive, but it’s true.

Partly inspired by Corson Learning, I returned to graduate school last year for training in wellness coaching. I will sit for that national certification exam in February and launch my coaching practice. Health and well-being as it relates to the environment will be foundational in my work, as will be work-life balance, and sharing my expertise in entrepreneurship. You are welcome to be in touch for this type of support from a peer familiar with the life of a design professional. If anyone is interested in taking Corson Learning to the next level, let’s talk.

Thanks to Land8 for its leadership in providing online LARE prep material. Thanks as well to Anova Furnishings, for supporting candidates with its innovative ongoing LARE grant program. The LARE prep landscape has evolved in the past 8 years and will continue growing. It has been an honor to have played a role in its development.

Published in Blog, Cover Story, Featured
Cheryl Corson, RLA, ASLA, CPSI, is the founding director of Corson Learning ( She is author of the Sustainable Landscape Maintenance Manual for the Chesapeake Bay Watershed and leads the Mid-Atlantic Vectorworks Landmark User Group. Cheryl Corson is a landscape architect and wellness coach committed to personal and environmental health and well-being. Contact:; 202-494-5054

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