|ANSWERS TO FAQ’s - Pre-Licensing Schools/Courses/Instructors
- Who can offer real estate pre-license education?
Who can provide pre-license education is defined in the License Act in Title 299 - Chapter 1, Section 004.02 which states: "Courses of study provided in Sections 81-885.13 of the Nebraska Real Estate License Act shall be courses of study approved by the Real Estate Commission and which are offered by (1) Nebraska accredited baccalaureate degree granting institutions and Nebraska or non-Nebraska institutions offering programs from which credits can be transferred to an accredited Nebraska baccalaureate degree granting institution, (2) Nebraska Technical Community Colleges, (3) Special Institutes relating to real estate which Institutes are approved by the Real Estate Commission and (4) Proprietary Schools as provided in Section 81-885.13 (4) of the Nebraska Real Estate License Act; Provided, the Real Estate Commission may give credit for similar courses taken at similar institutions in other states."
- I/My company would like to open a real estate school, what do I/we need to do?
In order to offer pre-licensing education in the state of Nebraska, your school must be licensed by the Nebraska Department of Education and maintain that license. After this license is obtained, the school administrator then works with the Real Estate Commission as well to get approval for the licensing curriculum and the faculty and to review the administrative procedures required by the Real Estate Commission. Prior to offering real estate licensing classes, arrangements must be made for a site assessment by a Real Estate Commission representative.
- What is the site assessment?
A representative from the Real Estate Commission tours the site primarily assessing the environment for educational soundness. Room size for projected student enrollment and table/desk surface area must be adequate. Lighting must be sufficient and some teaching tools i.e. podium, whiteboard, projector, screen, etc. must be evident. The Department of Education also performs a site assessment looking at similar things and together they and the Commission consider accessibility, fire code compliance, public/restroom facilities, etc. Oftentimes the two Departments coordinate their site assessments for the same time.
Further, the Commission is also concerned that the site reflect that the school gives priority to learning rather than recruitment. For this reason, the school name must be separate and distinct and not reflective of any real estate firm. The school must have proper signage outside and inside. The actual school must be devoid of any reference to a particular real estate firm. If the school is in the same building as a real estate firm it must have a separate entrance and all common areas shared with the firm i.e. lobby, hallways, bathrooms, etc. must be clear of any reference to a particular real estate firm’s identity or business.
- What records must be maintained and how long must records be retained?
The Department of Education has specifics regarding the types of records and the retention schedule for such records in order to maintain the license. Also important to both the Department of Education and the Real Estate Commission is the opportunity for students to review both the classes and the instructors. Information regarding these things may be found by contacting the Private Postsecondary Program Nebraska Department of Education at (402)471-4825.
- The real estate company that owns the school would like to recruit students from the school to become licensees affiliated with them, can they do so?
The Real Estate Commission does not tolerate recruiting in the school they believe that there should be no confusion whatsoever that the sole function of the school is to educate and that students should not be made to feel obligated in matters of employment simply by attending a school. Two of the stated reasons that approval of a school may be revoked, as stated in the Guidelines for Course Approval and Instructor Approval found at: http://www.nrec.ne.gov/pdf/forms/courseinstructapp.pdf are: (1) When courses, schools or instructors are advertised, promoted, or in any way lead the public to believe that they are either in part or whole a function of a real estate company or firm.
(2) When courses, approved or to be approved, are to be instructed in a room(s) or an area(s) which in any way would lead the public to believe that the course is being sponsored or subsidized by a real estate company or firm.”
How this position reflects on the site of the school, itself, was discussed in the answer to the question, “What is the site assessment?” above.
- What is the pre-license education requirement for a real estate license?
In order to obtain a real estate salesperson license an individual must complete two approved pre-license courses that are a minimum of thirty hours in length. To obtain a real estate broker license an individual has two options. If the individual has two years of full-time (or the equivalent) experience in activity requiring a real estate salesperson license then that individual need only to complete two more approved pre-license courses that are each a minimum of thirty hours in length, for a total of four pre-license courses. If the individual does not have the necessary experience, as indicated above, that individual will need to complete four more approved pre-license courses that are each a minimum of thirty hours in length, for a total of six pre-license courses.
- Who develops the approved pre-license real estate courses?
The Real Estate Commission has developed prescribed course outlines for the following courses: Real Estate Principles & Practices, Real Estate Law, Real Estate Finance, Real Estate Sales & Brokerage, Real Estate Investment, Property Management and Real Estate Appraisal. Approved proprietary schools must utilize these prescribed course outlines when seeking approval to offer pre-license education. Schools may seek approval to offer any one or more of these courses. Other approved pre-license schools may seek to offer these courses or may submit their own courses for approval. Procedures for seeking approval of courses may be found in the Guidelines for Course Approval and Instructor Approval found at: http://www.nrec.ne.gov/pdf/forms/courseinstructapp.pdf .
- Can pre-license education be delivered in a distance education format?
Yes, however all distance education delivered courses must be certified by the Association of Real Estate License Law Officials (ARELLO) prior to being submitted for approval to the Commission. In addition, these courses must meet all requirements expected of traditional courses. Information on the ARELLO Certification program may be found at: www.ARELLO.net .
- How many credits/hours must real estate pre-license courses be?
Statutory reference does not reference credits rather it indicates that each course must be a minimum of 30 hours in length. Every completion credential, whether a certificate or transcript, must certify that the student was in attendance no less than 30 hours. It is recommended that courses be offered in excess of 30 hours so that some amount of absence can be tolerated and still comply with the 30 hour minimum.
- How long does it take for a course or courses to be approved by the Commission?
A school desiring to be approved to provide instruction in courses of study prescribed by the Nebraska Real Estate Commission must make known to the Commission, in writing, of its intention to do so at least sixty (60) days prior to the first scheduled class session. All information required by the Commission regarding approval status shall be in the Commission office at least thirty (30) days prior to the first class session. The Commission decision regarding approval will be received during this time period.
Schools desiring to instruct courses of study to meet the educational requirements of the Real Estate License Law and who are not required, by Statute, to instruct prescribed courses (this precludes proprietary schools) may have such courses approved by the Commission if they make known to the Commission, in writing, of their intention to do so ninety (90) days prior to their intended initial class meeting. All information required by the Commission must be in the Commission office at least sixty (60) days prior to the first class session. The Commission decision regarding approval will be received during this time period.
Necessary documentation for the approval to offer both Commission prescribed courses and Education Institution developed courses may be found in the Guidelines for Course Approval and Instructor Approval found at: http://www.nrec.ne.gov/pdf/forms/courseinstructapp.pdf .
- I have a faculty member that I would like to teach one (or more) of the approved real estate pre-license courses, what should I do?
There are various ways in which an individual may qualify to teach pre-license real estate coursework. If your candidate meets the qualifications they should fill out the Pre-license Instructor Application indicating which course (or courses) they are seeking to teach and submit it to the Real Estate Commission for review. An approval or rejection letter (whichever is appropriate) will be mailed to the applying individual. Approval letters will indicate the course (or courses) that an individual is approved to teach. School Administrators should request a copy of the approval letter (or letters) and have it on file for each instructor of each course they provide. Both a list of Instructor Qualifications and the Instructor Applications may be found in the Guidelines for Course Approval and Instructor Approval found at: http://www.nrec.ne.gov/pdf/forms/courseinstructapp.pdf .
- I would like to teach a pre-license real estate course but I am not affiliated with a particular school yet, what do I do?
Essentially, you would review the Instructor Qualifications and fill out the Instructor Application Form. This form should be submitted to the Real Estate Commission. You will receive an approval or rejection letter. If approved, you will receive the appropriate course manual (or manuals) to provide an outline that must be utilized in your teaching. You may teach the pre-license course (or courses) specified in the approval letter for any approved pre-license school who chooses to employ you. You should provide the Administrator with a copy of the approval letter when you are retained. Both a list of Instructor Qualifications and the Instructor Applications may be found in the Guidelines for Course Approval and Instructor Approval found at: http://www.nrec.ne.gov/pdf/forms/courseinstructapp.pdf .
|ANSWERS TO FAQ’s - Continuing Education-Providers/Courses/Instructors
Continuing Education Providers
- How long does it take to get a continuing education course approved?
Providers should be aware that a complete application for a new continuing education course must be to the Real Estate Commission at least 30 days in advance of offering it for credit. Consideration of the course is given priority, if the application is complete and there is a detailed enough outline provided, it shouldn’t take more than 1 week to determine approval or not. It is often wiser to allow more than 30 days whenever possible so that adequate time is given to promoting the continuing education as approved.
- What must be submitted to get a course approved?
Continuing education applications must be compiled by the program Provider and must contain, at the very least, the following five items: the completed CE1 (Provider Application), CE2 (Course information and time-allotted outline) and CE 3 (Instructor application) OR the CE 4 form certifying that all instructors will meet the Provider’s Standards (Standards must be attached), additionally, a copy of the course completion certificate which will evidence the student’s full participation in the program and a copy of the course/instructor evaluation tool which must be made available to all students taking the program. All administrative responsibilities, the application process, forms and sample documents may be found in the Continuing Education Application Packet on our website at: http://www.nrec.ne.gov/ceproviderpacket.html .
- How often do approved continuing education programs need to be renewed?
Continuing education programs are renewed every three years unless they undergo a significant change in content or format. Significant changes must be submitted immediately and approved before they can be taught. Regular renewals will be initiated by a mailing from the Commission early in the year the program is due to expire.
- What records are required and how long must they be kept?
Providers of continuing education are required to submit a verification list of everyone who received a completion certificate within 10 days of offering the program. They are required to encourage all students to complete an evaluation form relative to the instructor and the content, these or a summary of these must be kept on record. Finally, once a year a synopsis of activity (annual report) in the prior year is required. Copies of the approved course outlines, approval letter from the Commission, verification lists, evaluation summaries and annual reports must be maintained for four years.
- What must I do to verify student credit to the Commission?
Providers of continuing education and broker-approved training must institute measures to determine which students completed 100% of recognized programs. These students should be issued completion certificates that meet requirements set by the Commission. Additionally, within 10 business days after a program, a verification list of those who earned a completion certificate must be electronically submitted to the Commission in a form suitable for upload into the Commission’s database. Providers are sent an Excel spreadsheet template for this purpose. Providers are encouraged to submit these lists as soon as possible after completion of a program, especially near the renewal deadline as licenses will not be renewed without verification of education completion.
Continuing Education Courses
- What is the continuing education requirement for licensees?
All active licensees must complete 12 hours of continuing education every two years. At least 6 hours of the 12 hours must be in designated subject matter. These courses have the letter “R” placed after the 4-digit course content number to indicate that they meet the required subject matter requirement. Information regarding the required subject matter may be found in the CE Provider Application Packet or on our website at: http://www.nrec.ne.gov/ceproviderpacket.html .
Additionally, all licensees must complete 6 hours of broker-approved training within their two-year license period. Continuing education courses may substitute for all or part of the broker-approved education, however, the reverse is NOT true, broker-approved training will not substitute for any of the 12 continuing education hours.
- Is any consideration given to continuing education taken in another state?
Licensees who take continuing education in another jurisdiction should submit the course completion certificate and documentation proving that the program was approved by another real estate commission or real estate regulatory board. Sometimes such documentation is noted on the completion certificate, itself, sometimes it is necessary to provide an additional piece of paper. If the licensee contacts the Provider of the continuing education, the Provider should be able to supply the licensee with the necessary evidence of approval.
- How is the two-year continuing education period determined?
A licensee’s two-year continuing education period begins the January after the year in which he/she received the original license. After the original license issuance, licenses are renewed for two year periods. This is also the licensees’ education period. Therefore, before a license will be renewed for the next two year period the 18 hours of education (continuing education and broker-approved training) will need to be met and on file at the Commission office. Licensees can verify their license period by referring to their receipt card or by going to our website at: www.nrec.ne.gov/licinfodb/index.cgi and noting their license expiration date.
- How long must a continuing education course be?
The CE-2 form gives some detail about the course and a time-allotted course outline containing learning objectives should be attached to the form. Courses must be a minimum of 3 clock hours and are approved in increments of 3 hours. In other words, when a 4 hour course is approved it must be taught in its 4 hour format, as submitted, but will only be recognized for 3 hours of credit. Broker-approved training may be recognized in periods as short as 60 minutes. Information about broker-approved training can be found in that section of the website located at: www.nrec.ne.gov/licensing-forms/educationinfo.html
Continuing Education Instructors
- I would like to teach a continuing education program that I wrote, how do I get that approved for credit?
An individual may serve as the Provider, Instructor and Writer of a continuing education program. In this case you should review the information in our Continuing Education Application Packet on our website at: http://www.nrec.ne.gov/ceprvpkt.html to affirm that you are willing to serve in this capacity and present a complete application to the Commission. An individual who wishes to just teach or teach and develop courses should work with someone who is willing to serve as the Provider. It is the Provider who correlates all needed materials for the application. Sometimes an Instructor will teach for multiple continuing education Providers, in each case the Provider has to seek approval for that instructor and that course.
- I am a licensee as well as a continuing education instructor, can I get continuing education credit for teaching a course?
Yes, you can receive hour-for-hour credit for courses that you teach. You will need to have the Provider sign your course completion certificate and make sure you are on the verification list. If you are the instructor and the Provider you should have someone you partnered with to offer the program i.e. a Sponsor, the Manager of the location, a Commissioner who is in the audience, etc. sign your completion certificate. Please remember that unless the continuing education class is in designated subject matter,“R” classes, you cannot receive credit again if you teach the course again within four years.