Welcome back to our Instructor of the Month series. This month, we’re talking with Jim Cunningham, who teaches real estate courses at Long Beach City College in Long Beach, CA.
Rockwell: How long have you been teaching?
Jim: I began teaching in Colorado in 1984 with a course in oil and gas law. I began teaching real estate courses in California in 1987, and started teaching full time with Long Beach City College in 2006.
Rockwell: What do you like best about teaching?
Jim: I enjoy the interaction with students. The most rewarding experiences occur when you help a student succeed in her education and career.
Rockwell: What is the biggest change that you’ve seen recently in the field of education?
Jim: The biggest change in the industry has been in the real estate finance area. There have been significant changes in the federal and state laws regarding consumer real estate loans.
Rockwell: Have real estate students changed over the years?
Jim: The demographics of my real estate students have not changed much over time, but what has changed is how these students use new technologies that become available.
Rockwell: What are the biggest challenges facing your students?
Jim: With the current budget challenges in California community colleges, significantly fewer courses and sections are now offered. As a result, students are having difficulty finding the classes that they need to complete their certificate or degree programs.
Rockwell: What advice would you give your students?
Jim: Success in real estate requires a combination of knowledge and good work habits. National Association of Realtors® surveys show that the top producers in the industry tend to work 60-plus hours each week and never stop with their education.
Rockwell:What do you love most about this industry?
Jim:I enjoy that the real estate field is constantly changing and yet there are some real estate concepts that have their roots in feudal English times. There is a combination of the very new and the very old that isn’t found in many other fields.
Rockwell: What do you enjoy doing when you aren’t teaching?
Jim: I like to ride bikes and exercise, read fiction and mysteries, and spend time with my friends, family, and dog.
Jim Cunningham has been a real estate instructor with California community colleges since 1988. He holds a Juris Doctor (law) degree and a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in Real Estate and Construction Management from the University of Denver. He has over 30 years of experience in real estate, as an attorney specializing in real estate transactions, as a real estate property asset manager, as a real estate lender, and as a real estate broker. Professor Cunningham has been a California Real Estate Broker since 1988. He has been a member of the California Bar since 1987 and of the Colorado Bar since 1984 (both currently inactive).
Remember, Rockwell Institute is always happy to answer your real estate education questions!