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Urban Land Institute Launches New Online Offering to Make Real Estate Careers More Accessible

August 06 2020

New Foundations in Real Estate Curriculum Aims to Broaden and Diversify the Real Estate Industry

WASHINGTON (August 6, 2020) -- The Urban Land Institute today announced the launch of its new online learning curriculum, Foundations of Real Estate (FoRE), a key part of the Institute's efforts to identify, diversify, and broaden the pool of young people interested in a real estate career. ULI is a global, multidisciplinary real estate organization whose work is driven by more than 45,000 members dedicated to responsible land use and building thriving communities.

FoRE, which debuted at Colgate University during the 2019–2020 academic year, is designed to provide students not pursuing business studies with real estate fundamentals in an easily digestible format that is accessible, convenient, and that can be completed on an individually determined basis. The curriculum consists of five modules: Foundations of the Development Process; Foundations of Pro Forma Modeling; Foundations of Commercial Real Estate (with a specific focus on multifamily and office sector valuation); Foundations of Real Estate Finance and Investment; and Introduction to the Foundations of Real Estate. Upon completion of all the modules, participants receive a FoRE certificate confirming that they have finished the course successfully and have a basic understanding of the industry. The online curriculum can be accompanied by in-person training from real estate executives who are alumni of FoRE's higher education institution partners and are supplementing the program with their own content, knowledge, and industry experiences, which exemplifies the Institute's longstanding tradition of knowledge sharing

"The goal of assembling this curriculum was to place interested and committed students in a position to learn enough so that when they enter the marketplace they can be competitive for an entry-level position, as opposed to starting from scratch. This benefits both the students and companies that hire them," said ULI global chief executive officer W. Edward Walter. "So often, the way people get into real estate is because one of their parents or relatives was in the business. FoRE gives us the opportunity to broaden the number and the diversity of people who might be interested in real estate and show them that it involves much more than merely selling properties, that they could pursue investment, development, or other aspects of the industry."

FoRE was made possible with a generous gift to the ULI Foundation from Foundation Chairman Doug Abbey, who is also chairman of Swift Real Estate Partners in San Francisco. "The opportunity to create communities that are more diverse, equitable, and inclusive, through a real estate career, is a timely message and mission that can be delivered through FoRE," said Abbey. "ULI is committed to maximizing the role of philanthropy in affecting deep and meaningful change at a time in the Institute's and the country's history when issues like equitability and inclusiveness have emerged as necessary and game-changing concerns and considerations."

The program is being expanded to additional colleges and universities in the United States during the 2020–2021 academic year; ULI hopes to have the FoRE curriculum available at 100 institutions within five years. An emphasis will be placed on offering the program at historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs), including four in 2020–2021. This is one part of ULI's efforts to attract more people of color to the industry and the Institute. Read more about ULI's work on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

The Urban Land Institute is a nonprofit education and research institute supported by its members. Its mission is to provide leadership in the responsible use of land and in creating and sustaining thriving communities worldwide. Established in 1936, the institute has more than 46,000 members worldwide representing all aspects of land use and development disciplines.