OAR Testifies to Modernize Pre-Licensure Education in Ohio
By Sara Calo, OAR President
The Ohio Association of REALTORS testified yesterday before the Ohio House of Representatives Commerce and Labor Committee in support of House Bill 532 – a measure designed to bring common sense updates to the state’s licensing structure and modernize pre-licensure educational opportunities in the Buckeye State.
OAR Chief Legal Counsel Peg Ritenour detailed the profession’s strong support for the entire package of changes contained in the legislation sponsored by Rep. Ryan Smith (R-Jackson), specifically noting that 37 other states currently allow aspiring real estate salespersons to acquire the necessary pre-licensure educational requirements on-line.
The clear majority of provisions contained within HB 532 were recommended by a special Task Force created by the Ohio Real Estate Commission and supported by the Ohio Division of Real Estate & Professional Licensing. Click here for more details.
During the hearing, a handful of individuals raised concerns specific to the pre-licensure distance education proposal. They claim that a system already permitted in nearly three-quarters of states across the country would lower quality standards and that the integrity of the education would be compromised.
Rest assured, OAR has a long legacy of supporting high quality education for Ohio real estate licensees. The organization spearheaded an effort in the 1980’s to increase the number of hours required for pre-licensure and require that the educational requirements be taken at an Institute of Higher Education. We were also the leading advocate for ongoing continuing education requirements for all licensees. Further, we’ve worked with the Ohio Association of Community Colleges and the Ohio Department of Higher Education to ensure that the highest standards will be maintained whether the courses are taken on-line or in the classroom.
As a result, Ohio has what we believe to be the most stringent requirements in the country. This will not change.
The on-line pre-licensure courses will not be a “click through” course and must be offered by an Institution of Higher Education, just like the classroom course. Most importantly, the student will still have the pass Ohio’s licensing examination before being granted a real estate license.
The option to take the 120 hours of pre-licensure education on-line will certainly not be for everyone. But it will provide students who have difficulty attending classes – whether due to lack of accessibility to classroom courses because of location or other factors – the ability to pursue a career in the real estate profession.
You’ll likely be receiving a “Call for Action” from OAR, giving you the opportunity to tell your state legislator that you support common sense, modern day changes to Ohio’s real estate industry. When the time comes, I encourage you take a few minutes and make your voice heard!
It’s been more than a decade since we mobilized in this manner – but this issue is too important to let a few dissenting voices prevent the Buckeye State from moving forward!