Members of the local CCIM Houston/Gulf Coast Chapter have offered both mentoring and financial assistance to graduate-level students through CCIM’s nationwide University Alliance Program, which qualifies graduates for CCIM Institute’s fast-track designation program. This program allows graduates of real estate Master’s programs from approved colleges and universities to receive credit for three CCIM core courses and have the elective credit requirements waived. Once approved, members have 24 months to earn the CCIM designation.

Both Rice University and the University of Houston are members of the alliance program. Core classes in both programs emphasize real estate finance and development, with local projects analyzed in classes led by local real estate leaders.

Two recent MBA graduates, Evan Altemus from Rice University and Morad Fiki the University of Houston, offered insight into each of the university’s programs, explaining how the courses teach real-life experiences and not just text-book know-how. At the monthly CCIM luncheon meeting, the two graduates detailed coursework in various classes that provided hands-on experience. Courses included several tours of existing properties in various land uses with analysis detailing what works and what doesn’t.

Case studies in their specific programs included taking a project from development to construction to completion, examining cash flows, proformas and taxes on the various property types ranging from mixed-use to residential development. Altemus graduated from Rice University’s Real Estate Program at the Jones Graduate School of Business and is now working at Marcus & Millichap while Fiki graduated from the University of Houston’s Graduate Real Estate Program at the Stanford Alexander Center for Excellence at the Bauer College of Business, and is with Keller Williams Memorial.

The local CCIM chapter provides both mentorship and scholarship programs earmarked for university students completing the required courses for the CCIM Designation. The chapter also offers several member-level scholarships for courses. The CCIM Institute, the world’s largest network of commercial real estate professionals headquartered in Chicago, now has 44 Master’s degree programs that qualify graduates for the CCIM Institute’s fast-track designation program.