Introducing NAR Academy at Columbia College with Marc Gould and Raj Sachdev

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NAR has a new opportunity for you, our members! NAR has partnered with Columbia College for a higher education opportunity in real estate. NAR Academy at Columbia College seeks to facilitate excellent college and certificate programs for agents, brokers, and other industry professionals. In today's episode, Marc and Raj talk about the courses offered through NAR Academy as well as some of the many benefits of pursuing this education.

Marc was part of NAR's initial efforts for a degree-granting, accredited institution called REALTOR® University. This program recently graduated their last student, but they saw that there was a greater need for a larger offering at the Bachelor's and Associate's level, rather than just at the Master's level. The partnership they found in Raj and Columbia College is exactly what they were looking for. They've created NAR Academy, with the goal of filling the gap when it comes to real estate by offering a larger variety of college certificates and degree programs.

The course offerings cover the business of real estate and the different areas that are crucial to real estate (marketing, finance, etc). They offer five real estate-specific programs: Real Estate Leadership certificate, Digital Marketing for Real Estate certificate, Real Estate Negotiation certificate, as well as two degree programs: an Associate's in Real Estate Management, and Master's of Business Administration (MBA) with an emphasis in Real Estate Management. These programs are a great start for people who want to get a College education, or for those that want to finish a degree, and also provides the best of both worlds in terms of accredited College education and NAR benefits.

One of the great things about NAR Academy is that it is flexible with people's schedules, and also accept transfer credits for anyone who has previous higher education. The online courses are taken in eight-week sessions, and students can choose the pace at which they want to complete the programs.

The certificates are "stackable" — if you take the certificate courses, you could apply those credits to the Associate's degree. If you are pursuing the Master's, you take the same courses as other MBA students, and then you can take emphasis-area courses in real estate. As a member of NAR, you also get a $100 scholarship per class.

NAR Academy helps people get to the next level of their career, and also builds relationships for life. Columbia College offers several distinct benefits for anyone interested in this higher education — remote learning, accreditation, and the partnership with NAR. The partnership is really to benefit the members — what they are doing is the highest and best use of educational time and dollars. What would you do if you could pursue further education in your real estate business?


"The goal here with NAR Academy at Columbia College is to offer a larger gamut of college credit-bearing certificates and degree programs. We want to have programming available to REALTORS® that would benefit them in different areas." — Raj Sachdev

"This can provide a distinct competitive advantage to members. Students can be exposed to new ideas as well as emerging issues and trends, and really have that conceptual and theoretical backing to the real-world practice that's so important." — Raj Sachdev

"For our members, it's an opportunity to network and expand your client base. Not only are you gaining education, but you might be gaining access to a referral and client base you didn't have before." — Marc Gould

About Marc Gould

Marc Gould is Senior Vice President of Member Development for the National Association of REALTORS®, overseeing a wide range of leadership and professional development programs for REALTORS®.

Since joining NAR in 2006, Marc has launched both the Commitment to Excellence Program and Center For Financial Wellness. He fostered the growth of the Center for Specialized REALTOR® Education, NAR’s wholly-owned training and credentials subsidiary, in both membership and course offerings. He oversaw the creation, acquisition, and integration of multiple NAR credentials including the Senior Real Estate Specialist and Green designations. Marc was also instrumental in the creation of REALTOR® University, an accredited distance learning program that offers a master’s degree in real estate, and serves as its Dean of Student Services.

Marc earned his MBA from Loyola University Chicago and his BA in political science from the University of Michigan. He achieved the rank of major as an officer in the United States Army, serving in positions as varied as platoon leader in an infantry battalion to command staff at the brigade level.

Marc and his wife Amy live in Chicago with their son.

About Raj Sachdev

Dr. Raj Sachdev is Dean and Assistant Professor, Robert W. Plaster School of Business, at Columbia College.

Dr. Sachdev holds several degrees and certifications including a degree from Oxford University.  A specialist in the areas of business, law, and technology, he was formerly a visiting researcher at UC Berkeley and is published in different disciplines. He has taught over 50 courses at various academic institutions including some as an instructor at Stanford University. Dr. Sachdev speaks internationally at various prominent institutions and industry conferences including having given a TEDx talk. He has been awarded for his teaching excellence and is a licensed lawyer.