Legislative update on H.B. 532
May 20, 2016 |
With the introduction and testimony this week, Hondros College wants to keep you up to date on HB 532 and the intent of the legislation. We are happy to see the modernization of real estate license law and we know that the recommendations of the 2013 Licensing Structure Task Force are of great interest to the industry and many are anxious to see those become a reality.
We want to make sure you are informed and bring transparency to this piece of legislation, especially concerning the education language. You may or may not have seen some public commentary recently critiquing Hondros College for trying to dismantle the legislation – and that could not be further from the truth! It’s important to take a moment and share our position, tell you the facts around our position, and ask for your support. While we are very supportive of the Task Force Recommendations and understand the desire of some for distance education, we DO have concerns with some very specific language in one section of the bill that is critically important.
As usual, the devil is in the details. We believe, in concept, most, if not all interested parties are on the same page. We believe professionalism in the industry is of the utmost importance. Solid and accredited education for individuals entering the industry does establish a foundation to build their careers and give them the knowledge to represent the buyers and sellers and their brokerage.
However, the current language in HB 532 allows for non-credit bearing coursework; which means the education can be offered through continuing education or community enrichment departments at an institution of higher education. Those courses do not go through any state or federal approval process, or accreditation process! And those are the entities that ensure the education is meeting strict guidelines for program oversight, faculty credentialing, protection of student data, and curriculum; just to name a few!
There is a misconception that simply stating that the courses are offered by an institution of higher education automatically means that these standards are met. The fact is that NONE of this is looked at if the courses are non-credit bearing. No oversight!
Without the language being amended to require that the courses are credit bearing, they will become just like real estate continuing education! The education standards will quickly evaporate and become meaningless, especially if distance learning is allowed.
Brokers must determine if distance education is right for the real estate profession. Our passion is to advocate for you with helping to educate new licensees to be prepared to start their career and not just pass the exam. We are passionate about protecting the educational environment. ALL providers, public and private, MUST meet the standards and guidelines that help to make that a reality.
We are here to support you, the agents and brokers and the industry. We believe education and professionalism go hand in hand. Please work with us to make sure that this critical piece of the bill language the true intention.
Thank you for your support and for being an important advocate for our Ohio Real Estate community.
Please contact the Commerce and Labor Committee to express your opinion and support the “credit eligible/bearing” language that is so important to maintain the integrity of education.