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GCC students achieve 100% pass rate for real estate licensing exam

Posted on Wednesday February 20th 2013

By Mary McClintock, ’82

The results of the last Massachusetts Real Estate Broker/Sales Exam revealed that all of the Greenfield Community College Real Estate School students who took the exam had a 100% pass rate, only 63% overall of those who took the Massachusetts state exam passed. This is the sixth year that GCC students have achieved a 100% pass rate on the exam.

GCC President Robert Pura notes, “This is the latest example of GCC’s strength in preparing our students for success.  Our academic programs routinely enjoy top-ranking status among pass rates. But there is nothing routine about that, is there?  The hard work on the part of students and faculty produce these results.  My congratulations to all.

Principles of Real Estate instructor Mary McGuire

Robbie Cohn joined President Pura in praising the students’ success saying, “As an alum, chair of the GCC Board of Trustees and local real estate businessman, I am pleased, but not surprised.  GCC has a long and proud history of excellence and student success.  This is terrific.”

The students from GCC had all successfully completed a course in the Business Department, BUS 119 Principles of Real Estate taught by long-time Realtor and teacher Mary McGuire of CENTURY 21 Pioneer Valley Associates in Northampton. The course prepares students to take the state exam and may be taken on its own or as part of GCC’s Real Estate Certificate (RST) program.

Kathy Vranos, Co-Chair of GCC’s Business Information and Technology Department, said, “The Massachusetts state licensing exam requires that prospective real estate salespersons complete forty (40) hours of pre-licensure salesperson education. There are numerous ways to satisfy this requirement. GCC-prepared students’ 100% pass rate stands out in stark contrast to the pass rate of people who prepared in other ways. Clearly, Principles of Real Estate at GCC is an excellent preparation for the licensing exam.”

Mary McGuire brings 25 years of experience as a Realtor and many years as a high school and college instructor to her teaching at GCC. Before becoming a Realtor, McGuire taught high school biology and chemistry and worked for a pharmaceutical company. After getting her Master’s in Business Administration, McGuire shifted away from her work in pharmaceuticals and start her own real estate business.

Commenting on what makes her GCC Real Estate course particularly effective, McGuire said, “I teach the course so it is relevant, illustrating the various topics with stories from my experience as a Realtor. I also encourage students to talk about their experiences with real estate and to get involved. I can make difficult subjects such as legal information easier to understand. I have students bring in the deed from their home or a family member’s or friend’s home and learn how to read it. Practical exercises like reading a deed and examples I give in stories about real life experiences bring alive the topics and help the students learn. Those stories and exercises stick with the students when they take the exam and later when they are working in the field.”

McGuire says the course is for anyone, not just those who want to become Realtors. A broad range of students take Principles of Real Estate, including traditional college-age students and career changers. Some students intend to become professional Realtors, some want to prepare themselves to be investors or to purchase their own home.

Principles of Real Estate is one of the required courses in GCC’s 22-27 credit Real Estate Certificate (RST) program. While Principles of Real Estate focuses on preparing students to take the state licensing exam, the Certificate program prepares students for the full range of skills and knowledge they’ll need to work in the Real Estate field. Vranos explains the value of the RST program, saying, “Having a Real Estate Certificate makes our graduates very desirable hires. Along with specific knowledge from the Principles of Real Estate course, graduates with RST certificates have the broad skills necessary to be successful in the business of Real Estate. Business Communications courses give them strong speaking and writing skills, Marketing and E-Commerce courses prepare graduates to understand business strategies, and internships give our students practical experience. RST students also take a course in personal financial literacy that helps them speak the language of finance from a personal perspective and more effectively understand and communicate with real estate clients.”

For more information about Principles of Real Estate or GCC’s Real Estate Certificate, visit or call Kathy Vranos at (413) 775-1471.

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