September 14, 2022
APDesign offers new Bachelor of Science program in real estate and community development
Starting this fall, the landscape architecture and regional & community planning department in Kansas State University’s College of Architecture, Planning & Design is now offering a Bachelor of Science in real estate and community development.
Currently, there is a Master of Regional and Community Planning program established in the college. While this program focuses heavily on a curriculum for aspiring professional planners, the new Bachelor of Science in real estate and community development program will have a broader focus on community development professional opportunities with greater emphasis on real estate within the built environment.
Uniquely, the curriculum bridges community development and business with a focus on real estate, capitalizing on K-State's strengths.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job growth rate for community and social services specialists and managers is much faster than any other job average growth rate nationally. Community development professionals make up a critical niche in this category, providing imperative place-based community expertise of the built environment. In addition, real estate development occupations are projected to grow 5% between 2019 and 2029, also faster than the average for all occupations nationally.
These disciplines prepare students for future workforce areas such as downtown development programs, business improvement districts, environmental groups and in public, private and nongovernmental organizational sectors, ultimately focusing on people and place. Through a total of 120 credit hours, students will consider built capital, learn how to map assets and work to help reimagine main streets and downtown districts.
As a joint endeavor between APDesign and the College of Business, this program reflects and builds upon the existing resources and faculty expertise between both colleges, key alumni and professionals, providing the opportunity to form connections. Similar to other degree paths within APDesign, the Bachelor of Science in real estate and community development curriculum gives students the opportunity to participate in an education abroad experience and/or complete a professional internship, with opportunities being coordinated in part with the Kansas Department of Commerce's Community Development Division.
This partnership speaks to the long-standing high-performance of the landscape architecture and regional & community planning programs as the current director is an alumna of APDesign with a Master of Science in community development.
The program not only responds to the new university budget model, but also is grounded in APDesign's mission and foundational strengths and supports existing degrees and pathways. For almost two decades, the landscape architecture and regional & community planning department has offered an award-winning Master of Science in community development and more recently, a graduate certificate in community development; both programs are offered online as part of the Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance. Until now, the department and college have not offered any undergraduate degrees. This program will allow K-State students to expand their interests in community development and real estate with a potential path for graduate study.
The specific combination of community development and real estate sets graduates from the Bachelor of Science program in real estate and community development program apart from general or stand-alone community development or real estate development programs sending community-focused and financially minded graduates into the job market prepared to help build stronger, healthier communities.