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  • Project REAP



September 19, 2022

The partnership is part of a bold new framework restructuring REAP for the future

NATIONAL - Project REAP (Real Estate Associate Program), the leading initiative for advancing diversity in commercial real estate (CRE) nationwide for nearly 25 years, is launching its inaugural Advanced Learning program this fall in partnership with the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado Boulder (CU). CU Boulder, ranked in the top 3% among world universities, is one of a select group of U.S. universities renowned as research institutions. The Leeds School of Business is ranked No. 20 among all public undergraduate business programs.

The Advanced Learning program was created by REAP Executive Director Manikka Bowman and spearheaded by REAP Board member Michael Kercheval, the Sherman R. Miller executive director of the CU Real Estate Center Leeds School of Business.

Says Bowman, “The program will support the professional growth and business capacity of the 1700 REAP alumni currently working in CRE throughout the U.S. in the corporate sector and in entrepreneurial ventures and will help to establish these accomplished professionals as they advance their careers.”

The pilot offering will consist of newly developed real estate courses, in the Leeds School of Business at CU Boulder’s executive education program, formed in response to a growing demand for CRE education. The professional-level hybrid program, offered in fall 2022 and the start of 2023 to REAP alumni, industry professionals and graduate students, will consist of online courses on Fundamentals of Real Estate Finance for Non-Finance Professionals and Real Estate Law for Non-Lawyers. Classes will be taught by CU Boulder faculty and CRE industry experts; the legal course is presented in conjunction with the University of Colorado Law School and will have law-school faculty and legal professionals as instructors.

Says Kercheval, “The Leeds Executive Education program will build upon REAP’s well-established career-launch training platform. As a Center and a School, we are pleased to make this investment in REAP as part of our concerted efforts to both bring more diversity to the real estate industry and to advance the professional capacity of individuals working in that industry.”

The Advanced Learning program was purposefully and strategically designed to build and reinforce connections within REAP’s alumni community.

The Advanced Learning pilot program is part of the four pillars reshaping a bold new REAP framework to fortify and expand the nonprofit organization for the future. REAP will continue to usher in a new group of fellows each spring through the REAP Academy. The Academy, which was in-person pre-pandemic and virtual from 2020 onward, will become hybrid in Spring 2023 consisting of 7 weeks of synchronous remote instruction and 3 weeks of in-person learning including local site tours and presentations provided by sponsors in all REAP markets: Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Cleveland, Columbus, New York City, Los Angeles, and Washington D.C. A virtual only option will be available in non-REAP markets. The remaining components are networking events and thought leadership. REAP local planning directors and sponsors will be key in the successful implementation of the restructured model.

The new framework allows REAP fellows and alumni to follow an interconnected and interactive continuum: the Academy through Advanced Learning and networking all of which foster thought leadership which will lead to expanding career opportunities for REAP alumni.

Bowman says, “In 1998, approaching the millennium, REAP took a giant leap forward in bridging the gap between talent and opportunity in what has traditionally been a non-diverse, legacy industry. Now, well into the 21st century, it is time to equally address the needs of those who have succeeded in entering the CRE space through REAP to further their development in a way that best serves their growth and the industry at large.”

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Evelyn Mertens


914-263-9129 (mobile)

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