CCIM Education

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CCIM Institute celebrates 50 years of setting the standard for application-based learning.

Since its founding in 1967, CCIM Institute has played a vital role in the development and standardization of commercial real estate education in the U.S. and globally. One of the clear distinctions of the CCIM curriculum is its focus on application-based teachings. And being at the forefront of educational content delivery has always been its defining hallmark. 

The goal of every course goes back to the very first seminars of the 1950s developed by the visionary Jim McMichael of the University of California in Los Angeles and carried on during the 1960s by CCIM instructors Jay Levine, CCIM, and Victor Lyon, CCIM. This mantra was to provide the skills and knowledge for professional decision making by commercial real estate professionals. 

“CCIM Institute has a proud history of being on the leading edge of teaching immediately applicable content,” says CCIM Institute Instructor Alec Pacella, CCIM. “From instituting standardized forms, introducing the use of financial calculators, popularizing use of Excel-based financial workbooks, and changing seating from class-room style to small groups, CCIM was always innovating in its teaching methods.” 

Real-World Approach

By requiring all its instructors to have ongoing experience in the actual business of commercial real estate investment, CCIM Institute stands apart from nearly every other association with education programs. 

“Having seasoned, real-world instructors taking students through the material ensures they aren't just taught facts, figures, definitions, or formulas,” says CCIM Institute Instructor Peter Barnett, CCIM. “You can learn the concept of IRR on the internet for free, but most people would have no idea how to use it in a simple conversation with a basic investor and that's where case studies with real-world based instructors can make all the difference.”

Not having a full-time faculty, CCIM Institute's instructors have always been commercial real estate professionals who taught what analyses and technology made them successful to students. This strategy brings real-world application and practical knowledge to every instructional model. It is one of the reasons that CCIM Institute is well known in both academic and training circles as the “practical designation.”

Instructor Development

The breadth of ongoing changes in commercial real estate education are dynamic and formidable, with challenges and advances in technology, content delivery systems, and competing schools and designations. Although the basic concepts of commercial real estate change little from year to year, the audiences and technology being used does.

To keep pace, CCIM Institute invests significant time and resources in ongoing training for faculty, as well as the discriminating selection of CCIM instructors. The organization's members represent a broad cross section of the industry ranging from brokers, investors, developers, and lenders.

Ongoing instructor training seminars coupled with multiple training sessions at every business meeting help to keep CCIM Institute instructors' skills sharp, improve content of material, and ensure quality of delivery.

“CCIM Institute sets a very high bar in the choosing and continued training of its instructors,” says CCIM Institute Instructor Carmela Ma, CCIM, CIPS, FRICS. “The instructor cadre is the cornerstone of the institute.”

Moving Ahead

The onset of new technology platforms will continue to shape the courses taught by CCIM Institute, which will ultimately benefit the students. With class formats, such as online self-paced, online instructor led, and, most recently, blended formats, CCIM instructors can teach more material in less time and in a manner that best suits the student's learning style.

“The advent of online learning opportunities will continue to evolve and provide new platforms for instruction,” says CCIM Institute Instructor Steven H. Cannariato, CCIM. “We have already seen students reaching higher levels of learning synthesis and retention from these newer styles of course offerings.”

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Samuel S. Moon

Samuel S. Moon is media relations manager at CCIM Institute.

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