Alberta Realtors turn to teaching

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Business students at the University of Alberta are learning about the intricacies of real estate development and investment in a course created by the Alberta Real Estate Foundation, with Alberta Realtors providing hands-on industry experience.

The foundation grant, along with monies from the University of Alberta, supported the development of Business Economics: Principles in Real Estate. The course debuted in the 2008/09 academic year and this fall, was chosen as an elective course by 49 undergraduate business and five MBA students at the School of Business.

“Regardless of their career paths, all students will be affected by real estate decisions in their careers,” says Paul McElhone, the executive director of the School of Retailing, who helped develop the course and is the key instructor for the fall 2009 session. “Whether it is operations, finance, accounting or marketing, real estate strategies have an impact on profitability and bottom line performance,” Principles in Real Estate offers business students an understanding of the complexity of the commercial real estate industry and exposure to industry experts and career options.

The foundation’s $500,000 commitment covers a five-year plan to initiate and refine the course. Industry members helped develop the course materials and served as guest instructors for the first two semesters.

“The experience has been very positive for me,” says Wayne Moen of Re/Max River City in Edmonton, who was involved in the initial concept and curriculum development. “Industry members are able to go beyond the theory and contribute with their everyday experiences in the marketplace.”

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