The Marshall Bennett Institute of Real Estate at Roosevelt University (MBIRE) announced a new initiative that allows incoming graduate students to be awarded up to 12 credit hours of academic credit toward a master of science in real estate (MSRE) degree for certain industry certifications or experience. This prior learning assessment (PLA) program becomes effective starting with the spring 2021 semester, which begins Jan. 19.
“This new policy gives students a leg up in receiving their degree faster and MBIRE a competitive advantage in the marketplace as we’re the only local real estate school to offer a PLA program,” said Collete English Dixon, executive director of MBIRE. “We want to acknowledge the significant and meaningful knowledge that can be acquired through professional work experience. And the industry certifications we selected for the program require rigorous study, testing and portfolio development that is deserving of graduate-level academic credit.”
Applicants seeking credit for industry experience must provide details of the knowledge and skills they gained through their professional career and include references. Their experiential learning will be assessed and evaluated by MBIRE professors to ensure the experience matches the learning outcomes and competences of the related core class.
Under the PLA program, credit may be earned for real estate process, a course in real estate law, capital markets, taxation, mortgage markets and real estate development; real estate quantitative methods, a course in real estate income statement development/pro-forma development, valuation concepts and net operating income; urban land economics/real estate economics, a course in location theory, real estate market analysis, public sector redevelopment/revitalizations and feasibility analysis and/or real estate finance and investments, a course in direct capitalization, proforma development, yield capitalization modeling and discount rate development, real estate debt structures and equity capital structures.
Through the PLA program, real estate professionals can also receive a maximum of 12 graduate credit hours of academic credit for designations including MAI from the Appraisal Institute, CAE from the International Association of Assessing Officers, CCIM from the CCIM Institute/National Association of REALTORs, ASA from the American Society of Appraisers – Real Property Designee, AACI from the Appraisal Institute of Canada, FRICS from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors – Real Property Valuation Specialist and/or CNAREA from the Canadian National Association of Real Estate Appraisers. These are broadly recognized throughout the real estate industry for their high standards and requirements as they can take several years of study and experience to obtain.
“The PLA program allows us to offer significant savings in costs and time to qualified graduate students,” said English Dixon. “And, it may encourage people that have been on the fence to go ahead and get the additional credential of an MSRE degree when they realize they might already have a semester or two of earned credits under their belt—it gives them a jump start.”
Students approved for receiving PLA credit pay a $100 per credit hour fee at MBIRE, which is significantly lower than the current tuition fee of $1,100 per credit. Under the PLA program, students receiving the maximum 12 credits would save $12,000 in tuition. Other requirements for those awarded credit include completing at least six credit hours of MSRE graduate courses with a GPA of at least 3.0 and enrolling in a second semester of courses.
According to guidance provided by the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL), PLA credit is increasingly common at the graduate level. “From MBIRE’s robust scholarship program to the array of networking opportunities we provide, this is just one more way we are aligning our programming and instruction with the current needs and diverse backgrounds of those looking to be future leaders in the real estate industry,” said English Dixon.