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Lehigh grads get jump-start into appraisal profession

Lehigh University graduates who major in Finance and minor in Integrated Real Estate will have a significant jump-start toward the required training to become general certified appraisers. The Appraisal Foundation, which oversees standards for the nation’s appraisers, has certified Lehigh’s program to include 275 of the 300 education hours required to sit for the certified general appraiser national exam.

The certification addresses an industry-wide concern: The profession is graying but college graduates are not opting for early careers in appraising.

“This is partly due to the additional 300 hours in required education – most of which is repetitious of high-level collegiate courses,” said Stephen Thode, director of Lehigh’s Murray H. Goodman Center for Real Estate Studies.

“The Appraisal Foundation certification gives Lehigh students a leg-up when competing for positions at the largest real estate brokerage and appraisal firms in the U.S., particularly in regional cities like New York, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.," Thode said. “We expect that more graduates will look more closely at appraising, earlier in their careers.”

Lehigh University is the only university in the Northeast to hold this certification, and second only to the University of Denver in offering the highest number of qualified education hours.

Tara Stacom, an Executive Vice Chairman of the global real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield, a Trustee of Lehigh and instrumental in the founding of Lehigh’s Integrated Real Estate program, said, “Lehigh continues to distinguish itself in unique ways to help its students land the most desirable job opportunities when they graduate.”

The Appraisal Foundation certification is valid in all 50 states and five U.S. territories. It also is valid for current students, as well as former students who have graduated since 2008.

Story by Sally Gilotti

Posted on Thursday, August 29, 2013

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