With the agreement, Columbia College will become the exclusive higher-education partner for more than 1.3 million NAR members, providing opportunities for them to complete a variety of associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees, including real estate-specific offerings anticipated in late spring 2020.
Columbia College also plans to develop and offer a Master of Business Administration degree with an emphasis in real estate, based on the award-winning Master of Real Estate degree curriculum developed by the association for its members through REALTOR® University. NAR Members that enroll in the NAR Academy at Columbia College can receive $100 per eligible course in financial support from the Center for Specialized REALTOR® Education (CSRE). The CSRE is a NAR wholly owned subsidiary that creates and facilitates educational programs in real estate, working to elevate professional standards through designations, certifications and degrees in real estate.
“We are committed to continuing to add value by providing substantial educational opportunities that help our members grow personally and professionally. As a member’s knowledge base grows, it leads to enhancing and broadening their business, which can increase their profitability and efficiency,” said NAR CEO Bob Goldberg. “We’re extremely proud to partner with Columbia College as it represents an important new phase in this bold vision.”
REALTOR® University was conceived and launched in 2012 to provide members a new opportunity to grow through academic achievement. This agreement represents a sustainable expansion of that vision. In addition to an MBA with an emphasis in Real Estate, Columbia College will develop degree completion programs for NAR members, bachelor’s and associate’s degree programs and college-level real estate certificate programs in 2020.
The NAR Academy at Columbia College marks the successful realization of the Realtor University vision. With the graduation of all active Masters in Real Estate program students, and with the sharing of the curriculum with Columbia College, Realtor University will officially discontinue its master’s program, and provide opportunity for interested members to enroll in Columbia College as a member benefit.
Founded in 1851 in Columbia, Missouri, Columbia College is a private, nonprofit, liberal arts and sciences institution. Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, the college has more than 30 locations nationwide and offers day, evening and online classes to thousands of students each year. The college opened a new 60,000 square foot facility in September, housing its Robert W. Plaster School of Business.
“We believe this new partnership between NAR and Columbia College will truly be a game changer, not only for our institution but for the association’s members around the country,” said Columbia College President Dr. Scott Dalrymple. “As far as we know, this is the largest exclusive educational partnership in the United States.”
REALTOR® University alumni will become members of the Columbia College Alumni Association; with all of its privileges and benefits. These alumni will also become the founding members of an NAR scholar’s society.
“This is what we aspire to do as volunteer leaders – innovate, lead and create,” says Ron Phipps, Chairman of the REALTOR® University Board of Regents. “Now we have ensured the groundbreaking work we have done for our members continues to provide true and recognized benefits for years to come.”
Columbia College was deemed the ideal institution to serve NAR with its legacy of academic excellence, global reach and robust online programs.
The National Association of REALTORS® is America’s largest trade association, representing more than 1.3 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.
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