CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- Graduates of the University of Northern Iowa Real Estate Program have gained another competitive edge after The Appraisal Foundation, the industry's federally chartered nonprofit organization, endorsed UNI's program.
In September 2012, three members of The Appraisal Foundation's Appraiser Qualifications Board (AQB) visited the UNI campus. They reviewed the real estate program, examining all aspects of each class -- everything from syllabi and textbooks, to exams -- then compared what they found to the body of knowledge they want appraisers to have. The board determined that UNI's program satisfies 267 of the 300 credit hours required to become a certified general appraiser. UNI real estate graduates, retroactive to 2005, are now two classes away from completing their 300 hours.
Graduates are still required to take Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP), a 15-hour course that must be taken every five years; the second class is Market Analysis and Highest and Best Use course, which Arthur Cox, director of the UNI Center for Real Estate Education, said, "If we could add another real estate class [to our undergraduate curriculum], that's what it would be [Market Analysis and Highest and Best Use]." He went on to say, "I don't think there have been any programs that have been approved for more than 267 [hours]. There's just not enough time in an undergraduate curriculum." Graduates must also complete 3,000 hours of work experience to become certified.
UNI is now the third university in the nation to receive this level of approval from the AQB and the only university in Iowa to offer a four-year real estate program. "This approval will significantly shorten the amount of time needed for aspiring appraisers to become certified, allowing them to establish their careers sooner, making them much more attractive to prospective employers," said Cox.
Along with this endorsement, six UNI real estate students won the NAIOP Commercial Real Estate Development Association's 2013 University Challenge. Students bringing home first place honors were Tyler Siegworth of Dubuque; Shay Trask of Cedar Falls; Eric Bohnenkamp of Remsen; Gabriel Tovar of Johnston; Eric Caldwell of Hiawatha; and Keegan Wilkening of Garwin.
For more information about UNI's Real Estate Program, visit business.uni.edu.