Academic Connections to Shape the CCIM Institute for the Next 100 Years


WASHINGTON, D.C. – April 7, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — Earning the CCIM, or Certified Commercial Investment Member, designation sets commercial real estate brokers and investors apart from their peers, while obtaining a master’s degree in real estate distinguishes individuals in the field. Now the Florida CCIM Chapter and the University of Central Florida are launching a pilot program that connects academic theory with current industry practice, and ethical and professional standards. This combination provides students with a strong foundation for both advanced investment analysis and real world portfolio management skills.

“Partnerships with universities will shape CCIM for the next century,” says Roman Petra, CCIM, JD, a member of the CCIM University Outreach Task Force and the Florida CCIM Chapter. “I expect this collaboration in developing curriculum between the Florida CCIM chapter and UCF to be the first of many partnerships with universities that offer a master’s degree in real estate.

“Students gain the value of obtaining a CCIM education before they even begin their careers and can network and find mentors among successful CCIM designees. The CCIM designation is at the pinnacle of commercial real estate practice.”

In addition, the Florida CCIM Chapter has been granted a permanent board position on the UCF Real Estate Council’s Curriculum and Placement Advisory Committee, which decides the direction of the real estate program for the University. This board position ensures that the Florida CCIM Chapter can assist in reviewing and assuring that UCF classes and curriculum are up-to-date and are preparing students for their future careers.

“The alliance between the Florida CCIM Chapter and UCF is designed to enhance the desirability of our master’s degree program,” says Joshua Harris, PhD, CAIA, director of the Dr. P. Phillips Institute for Research and Education in Real Estate at the College of Business Administration of UCF and a member of the Florida CCIM Chapter. “CCIM is a thought leader in commercial real estate, as well as a well-respected and well-run professional association. It’s a natural fit for both organizations.”

Dr. Harris and Jeffrey Engelstad, CCIM, PhD, MRECM, clinical professor at the University of Denver, CCIM instructor and the CCIM Institute’s 2015 presidential liaison for Education, are working together to present a business plan for approval by CCIM. They then will develop CCIM content for a specialty track focusing on development for UCF students.

“Through this collaboration with the UCF, students gain the CCIM core education—built on best practices from successful practitioners—as part of the curriculum for their master’s degree in real estate,” says Petra, counsel at Broad and Cassel Attorneys at Law in Orlando, Fla. “On the other hand, CCIM gains insights into what the next generation is doing and what matters to them, which is invaluable.”

While the collaboration between the Florida CCIM Chapter and UCF is the first step in exploring new curriculum development, the CCIM Institute has cultivated partnerships with multiple universities that offer graduate real estate programs since 2002. Currently, 46 universities nationally and globally collaborate with CCIM to offer their students and faculty perks, such as access to the CCIM fast-track program, where graduates can earn credit for three of the four CCIM core courses and gain access to online market analysis tools. In turn, universities share their educational resources such as research and academic experts with CCIM’s local and national members. The program’s goal is for the CCIM Institute and the academic community to interact more directly for their mutual benefit.

Learn more about the CCIM Institute’s education and designation program at

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