The Official Online Weekly Newspaper of NAHB
Residential construction students at Colorado State University, facing state budget cuts that would have eliminated elective courses they felt gave them a competitive edge upon graduation, convinced university officials to raise their tuition in order to retain the NAHB designation courses taught as part of their degree program.
Since 2009, when the university at Fort Collins, Colo., was awarded a Homebuilding Education Leadership Program (HELP) grant from the National Housing Endowment, the university’s construction management department has added faculty and residential-specific curriculum — including CGP, CAPS and RCS NAHB designation courses — to bolster the residential construction components of its program.
Students graduating with a degree in residential construction management could also earn up to three of the NAHB designations as part of the program. Adding designations to the degree program was pioneered at Purdue University, another recipient of the endowment’s HELP initiative.
However, earlier this year, when state budget constraints led Colorado State officials to request that no state funding be used for elective courses, including NAHB’s designation courses, residential construction students circulated a petition requesting a tuition hike so that they could pay for and continue to receive all the elements of the quality residential construction program they were about to lose.
Within two days, 301 residential construction students signed the petition requesting an additional fee, and in June, the university’s board of governors approved the students’ request.
“Given the state of the economy and the university budget cuts, it was critical for the department to secure additional funding to continue our drive and commitment to our students and the residential construction industry,” said Dr. Mostafa Khattab, head of the university’s construction management department. “We spoke candidly with students about the department’s need for an instructional fee.”
“Our students understand the department’s need to stay current,” Khattab continued. "Their response was, ‘We need to invest in our education.’”
“The passionate individuals striving to become construction management majors will consider this fee as an investment in their future,” Unrein wrote. “Our students know that if they invest in this education, then they will be provided with the best resources, the best faculty, the best salary upon graduation and one of the best construction management degrees in the nation.”
"It was truly refreshing and a vote of confidence in the program when the students took the kind of action they did with this petition,” said Roger Reinhardt, endowment treasurer and executive vice president of the Home Builders Association of Metro Denver. “The young men and women enrolled at Colorado State University have made a statement demonstrating their commitment to a quality, comprehensive residential management education."
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 $1.3 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.