Weidner Center for Real Estate Management opens this fall

This fall, UAA will be opening a new addition to campus for students in the Weidner Property Management and Real Estate (WPMRE) program. The Weidner Center for Real Estate Management will occupy the space in Rasmuson Hall 111.

The center is a dedicated classroom for the WPMRE program that will be equipped with 31 computers, six projectors and five collaboration tables. Each table will have six or seven computers and a projector designed to allow students to work in teams, share ideas and work in a more application-based model.

Between classes, the center will act as a hub for students to come in and study, work on projects and network. Having this home base for students in the WPMRE program can help create physical environment to support sustain the culture of the program. The development of the Weidner Center for Real Estate Management may encourage individuals to join the program and hopefully attract national and international enrollment.

The idea to build the center was proposed last summer by Terry Fields, program director for the WPMRE program at the College of Business and Public Policy, assistant professor and current Weidner professorship.

“As a dedicated space for students in the property management and real estate program, this space will provide a state-of-the-art learning environment and hub for program interaction. It will be a motivator for students to be on-campus and get involved outside of the classroom,” Fields said. “The technology in the room will also allow for better course recording, long-distance guest speakers, and teleconferencing capabilities. As our advisory board consists of both in-state and out-of-state participants, the room will allow for students and the club to be more easily engage with recruiters and speakers.”

Bobi Rinehart, CBPP’s senior development officer, worked closely with Fields and the Weidner Apartment homes on the Weidner Center for Real Estate Management. Because the WPMRE program requires many computer-based tools, Rinehart believes that a room dedicated to the program will provide an efficient recourse for students to learn at their maximum potential.

“WPMRE courses use a varying degree of presentations, team-based learning, and computer-based applications to teach both the interpersonal and analytic skills required to succeed in the industry,” Rinehart said. “Current supply and demand for classrooms and computer labs in Rasmuson Hall create scheduling difficulties, suboptimal learning environments, and often require creative solutions to meet the instruction styles best suited for the program material. A dedicated and appropriately designed space will allow for improved instructional capabilities and afford the program the flexibility to utilize classroom resources for students to best collaborate, research and learn.”

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Megan Barrett, student in the WPMRE program, is excited for what the center may bring for students currently in the program and those who may join in the future.

“I think the Weidner Center is going to be an excellent tool in bringing many of the property management students together,” Barrett said. “The center will also raise awareness to those who are interested in the career field and otherwise did not know about the program. Weidner as a company emphasizes how important furthering education is and they were so generous with the donation for the classroom.”

The Weidner Center for Real Estate Management be beneficial for students and for professors.

“From an instructor standpoint, this allows me to flip the course a little, lecture less, and allow students to work hands-on and apply their knowledge in class,” Fields said. “Down the road, we hope to develop a partnership with a property management software company that would allow us to incorporate that software in the course materials as well.”

Besides the technological advantages this center will provide, having a space for students in the WPMRE program to connect is another important tool for the success of the program.

“I really feel like this center will be such a benefit for all of these areas, it will help the teaching and learning process, provide a cultural hub for students in the program to connect and form relationships over their academic careers and better connect students to opportunities outside of the classroom,” Fields said.

The Weidner Center for Real Estate Management will be open this fall for WPMRE program classes. Students and professors are excited about this new addition for campus because it will help further their teaching and learning process, form relationships within the program and open up new opportunities outside of the classroom.