Van students gain real estate knowledge in high school
Karla Rainey, Van ISD Program Director, added that the goal of CTE is to give students the opportunity to explore different topics.
VAN, Texas — At Van High School, senior students have a unique opportunity to step into the real world — becoming well-versed in real estate and potentially a licensed agent by age 18.
As part of the vocational and technological education program, a course on real estate has been offered to senior citizens of Van for the past three years.
Carol Gideon, a professor of real estate, accounting, engineering and design, is also an active real estate agent and guides students through six courses during the school year.
At the end of the year and if they turn 18, they take the required state exams. If they pass the tests, the student then gets a broker to sponsor them to become an active agent.
Senior Rhealene Cordova said she learned a significant amount of knowledge about the home buying and selling process, such as writing contracts, vocabulary, rules and regulations.
She will be attending UT Tyler to study marketing, but she is also interested in real estate.
“For all of us who have an interest, it’s a good opportunity to probably get your license right now out of high school and then get into this field,” she said. “Just having this general knowledge of the best deal and some requirements is a good opportunity for you to find the best home.”
Cordova said she is already looking for internships at brokerages to continue her exploration of real estate.
She also remembers learning to use local appraisal district data in the classroom to learn about the value of different properties and homes.
“I’ve never bought a house, but now I know what the buying and selling process is, just a general idea to know in the future. It made me a better negotiator,” Cordova said.
Normally, classes are $300, but thanks to the school, students don’t have to pay for training or for their first exam, Gideon said.
“If you don’t take it in high school and you take it, it’s very expensive,” said real estate student Ryan Johnson. “We get it completely free and why not take it and why not have a real estate license because you can use it.”
Johnson added that having real estate as a side job would be nice.
Karla Rainey, director of the Van ISD program, said the district learned about real estate courses for students at an education conference.
“We felt that since Ms. Gideon had a background in real estate, it was a win-win for her to teach this to our children as a career opportunity,” Rainey said.
She added that the goal of CTE is to give students the opportunity to explore different topics that benefit them both professionally and personally.
Gracie Rowe, also a real estate student, said the real estate field could be a great weekend job for her after finishing nursing school. She also gained a better idea of what it takes to sell a property.
“I certainly understand the process better than I did before. I used to be confused about how it all worked, but now I understand there are forms with everything,” Rowe said. “There is definitely a step in every process involved in real estate.”
Student Tess Miller, who finished her course halfway, said the knowledge she had gained had made her much more confident.
Van ISD offers several CTE courses for children to learn employability skills and many certifications such as Certified Practical Nurse, Pharmacy Technician, Food Handler. Some CTE programs include subjects in education, graphic arts, welding, woodworking and business, Rainey said.
“For the size of the school that we are, we have a lot of great programs for kids,” Rainey said.
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