The Official Online Newspaper of NAHB
More than two years after funding for the HELP ― Homebuilding Education Leadership Program initiative ended at California Polytechnic University — San Luis Obispo in San Luis Obispo, Calif., the fruits of those funds, which were used to improve and expand the residential construction management program at the university, continue to flourish.
Each year, the National Housing Endowment awards $100,000 grants to colleges and universities to help them create, expand and enhance existing residential construction management programs — and to enable them to provide programs that respond to the current state of the home building industry and anticipate and prepare for its future.
In 2007, the endowment awarded a two-year grant to Cal Poly to integrate its residential curriculum and provide a residential focus to its construction management programs. Before the grant was awarded, the university’s estimating, scheduling and contract courses focused on commercial construction.
The grant also has enabled Cal Poly to foster and develop close ties with residential construction industry professionals in California that are helping students better prepare for careers in the industry.
“We at Pulte are really excited about the learning environment at Cal Poly,” said Andy Cripe, of Pulte Homes. “We have hired many of the students from the university’s construction management program and they have grown to become some of our most successful employees.”
“We really value the relationship and partnership we have with the professors, staff and students in the program,” Cripe said.
The grant also was used to provide seed funding to hire a full-time faculty member with a background in home building to develop the residential construction management program. The university hired former Centex employee Scott Kelting.
In addition to creating the program at Cal Poly in 2007, Kelting has acquired several professional designations, including Certified Green Professional (CGP) and a train-the-trainer certification.
He is also Ph.D. candidate at University of California, Santa Barbara, which offers a Green Building Professional Certificate program, and is currently developing new and more interactive teaching methods for the Cal Poly program. He was awarded the NAHB Outstanding Junior Faculty Award and elected as vice-chair of the NAHB Student Chapters Advisory Board for his efforts.
“We are thrilled to see this seed grant continue to grow and flourish two years after the funds have expired,” said Gary Garczynski, endowment chairman and 2002 NAHB president. “This was the goal of the HELP grant program, and it is rewarding to watch our investment in the industry's future pay off.”
The endowment established the HELP initiative in 2006 to bolster or start residential construction management programs in two- and four-year colleges and universities across the country and to increase the number of qualified graduates entering the industry. To date, the endowment has awarded more than $1.4 million in HELP grants to educational institutions.
For more information on HELP grants, call the endowment at 800-368-5242 x8069, or visit www.nationalhousingendowment.org.