Karla Rainey, Van ISD curriculum director, added the goal of CTE is to give students opportunities to explore different subjects.
VAN, Texas — At Van High School, senior students have a unique opportunity to take into the real world – becoming well-versed in real estate and potentially a licensed agent at age 18.
A part of the career and technology education curriculum, a real estate course has been available to Van seniors for three years.
Carol Gideon, real estate, accounting and engineering and design teacher, is also an active real estate agent and guides students though six courses during the school year.
At the end of the year and if they’re 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’s gained a significant amount of knowledge on the house selling and buying processes, such as how to write contracts, vocabulary, rules and regulations.
She will attend UT Tyler to study marketing but she also has an interest in real estate.
“For all of us that have an interest, it’s a good opportunity to actually probably get your license right now out of high school and then just go into that field,” she said. “Just to have that general knowledge of what’s the best deal and the certain requirements is a good opportunity for you to find the best house.”
Cordova said she’s already seeking internships with brokerages to continue her exploration into real estate.
She recalled also getting to learn how to use the local appraisal district data in class to learn about different properties and houses’ worth.
“I’ve never bought a house but now I know what the process is in buying and selling, just a general idea to know in the future. It’s made me a better negotiator,” Cordova said.
Normally, the courses cost $300, but through the school, students don’t have to pay to train or for their first exam, Gideon said.
“If you don’t take it in high school and you just take it, it’s very expensive,” real estate student Ryan Johnson said. “We get it completely for 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, Van ISD curriculum director, said the district became aware of the real estate courses for students at an education conference.
“We thought since Ms. Gideon had real estate experience that it was a win-win for her to teach our kids about that as a career opportunity,” Rainey said.
She added the goal of CTE is to give students opportunities to explore different subjects that benefit them both professionally and personally.
Gracie Rowe, also a real estate student, said the real estate field could be an excellent weekend job for her after completing nursing school. She’s also gained a better idea of what it takes to sell property.
“I definitely understand the process way better than I used to. I used to be confused on how all that worked, but now I understand there’s forms with everything,” Rowe said. “There’s definitely a step in every process involved in real estate.”
Student Tess Miller, who is over halfway done with her coursework, said the knowledge she’s received has made her much more confident.
Van ISD offers multiple CTE courses for kids to earn employability skills and numerous certifications like certified nursing assistant, pharmacy technician, food handling. Some CTE programs include topics in education, graphic arts, welding, woodshop and business, Rainey said.
“For the size school we are, we offer a lot of great programs for kids,” Rainey said.
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