Weidner Apartment Homes has partnered with the University of Alaska Anchorage by contributing $600,000 for a dedicated classroom and study space for those students choosing the Property Management and Real Estate Concentration. Construction of the Weidner Center for Real Estate Management began in May, with a scheduled completion date in time for the 2017 fall semester. The new space is located at 111 Rasmuson Hall and will feature five sets of collaboration tables, table-mounted computers, and a wall projector; Each table cluster will accommodate up to seven students on independent computers while sharing their work as a team. Students can also take advantage of a study lounge, an internet bar, and participate in group projects or enjoy individual study time. The idea is to create a collaborative, team environment in the classroom, then encourage that interaction among students to continue outside of class, said Terry Fields, the Program Director for the Weidner Property Management and Real Estate Program. The comprehensive program allows students to gain real-world, on-site experience by participating in job shadowing, paid internships, and local and national industry events, such as the annual education conferences held by the National Apartment Association. As a result of the connections they make during training, networking events, and exposure to this growing, diverse industry, students often receive job offers before they graduate. One such example is 2016 Property Management graduate, Robert Erickson, who manages the 387-unit Alpine Apartments community in Anchorage. I think it was a well-rounded education that has given me the tools to succeed in this industry, said Mr. Erickson. With apartment assets valued in the $5 to $100 million range, the need for educated property management professionals with a bachelors degree is steadily increasing. Historically, its been a mom-and-pop industry, said Terry Fields. Over the last 25 years, its really started to mature professionally and financially. This track just opens up a lot of opportunities and provides greater depth for those with an interest in this area. The property track educates on leasing, investment and real estate law. Real Estate Principles, a 300-level course, doubles as pre-licensing and prepares students to sit for their Alaska real estate license upon completion of the course. UAAs Property Management and Real Estate Concentration was initially funded by a $4 million donation from Weidner Apartment Homes. Weidner is currently the largest private residential landlord in Alaska.