North Seattle College and NAAEI Sign Agreement to Promote Property Management Education

Posted By: Kelly Wakefield Industry Trends ,

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The first Property Management Bachelor’s program in our region launches this fall at North Seattle College (NSC). Thanks to National Apartment Association Education Institute’s (NAAEI) guidance, the program will also serve as a pipeline for students to achieve their National Apartment Leasing Professional (NALP) and/or Certified Apartment Manager (CAM) credentials.

How it Came About

In 2014 NSC’s Executive Dean of Career and Workforce Education, John Lederer, recognized a labor shortage in property management. NSC had a robust program mix of accounting, business, and real estate and property management emerged as an area that would be a good fit to add to their educational offerings.

Washington Multi-Family Housing Association (WMFHA) has served on the advisory board for developing this program since 2016. Partnering with the program, we provide valuable cutting-edge trends and information about the residential property management industry, as well as access to multifamily businesses and the legal landscape. Our expertise was utilized for reviewing curriculum and promoting alignment with NAAEI credentials.

Program Content and Industry Insight

NSC sees the program as a career training trajectory. The average age of students on their campus is 30 – 31 and they have the most part-time students in all the Seattle Colleges, so they designed the program to be friendly to people working during the day. Students are only required to be in class twice a week from 6 pm – 8:30 pm.

The program curriculum includes Intro to Residential Property Management, Fair Housing Laws, Student/Senior/Military/Affordable Living, Residential Marketing and Leasing, and much more. There are two experiential classes. One is a practicum course where teams of two or three students partner with a building owner or manager. They do an assessment of what’s happening with the building and make a proposal to improve its performance. The second is an internship with a property management company. Based on the interest NSC has received and the growth of the businesses in the region, it’s looking like most of their experiential classes will be working with the multifamily industry specifically.

The curriculum also incorporates NAAEI learning objectives that align with NALP and CAM credentials so that graduates can earn both their Bachelor’s in Property Management and their multifamily industry credentials. What’s more is that the program’s internship requirement can completely satisfy the professional experience requirements of the NALP certification and satisfy half of the requirements for the CAM certification.

Early in the planning, NSC worked with NAAEI and WMFHA to map the coursework and fill in any holes they were missing. When the program launches this fall, there will be a first of its kind, streamlined degree to credential to property management employment pathway in our region. For students who like their resumes and experience to stand out in a crowd, this program is top notch.

Room for More

The inaugural class that starts this September currently has nine students enrolled. About half of those students came through NSC’s associate degree programs in real estate or business. They expect to see an uptick in registrations as the beginning of the quarter nears. In subsequent years after the start of the program, they also expect to see more students enrolled.

NSC has received $100,000 from two property management companies for scholarships for the program. They are encouraging interested students to take advantage of this opportunity and launch their career in property management.

Insider’s Advice

For students entering this program, we have some advice. Reach out to WMFHA or other industry organizations and get involved early. Our industry is excited and eager to work with you! Given that you will be one of the first students coming out of this program, there will be a lot of career opportunities for you.

WMFHA and National Apartment Association are proud to partner with NSC on this endeavor to fill our regional employment gap in residential property management that is continuing to widen. Thanks to North Seattle College for working with our industry!