Tuesday, September 20, 2016

The University of New Orleans and the Greater New Orleans Foundation Partner to Launch Community Development Finance Certificate Program

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The University of New Orleans Department of Planning and Urban Studies has announced the launch of a professional development certificate in community development finance. Established in collaboration with the Greater New Orleans Foundation, the program is designed for working professionals with some previous experience in community development or real estate who are looking to deepen their understanding of the redevelopment process. Classes begin October 5, and the entire course lasts 30 weeks.

Financial support from the Greater New Orleans Foundation enabled UNO to develop a certificate program aimed specifically at building the capacity of housing and community development organizations and ensure their success for carrying out the vision expressed through HousingNOLA, the City of New Orleans’ 10-year plan for post-Katrina redevelopment.

According to Marla Nelson, associate professor of planning and urban studies at UNO, recent flood events in south Louisiana have created a renewed interest in this type of expertise.

“We created a certificate program aimed at working professionals because of the current demand for this kind of expertise,” Nelson said. “The program is designed to be affordable and accessible so that we can build capacity among community development and housing organizations as efficiently as possible.”

The certificate program consists of a series of six non-credit university-level courses focused on real estate finance, financial analysis and real estate development. All classes are taught by Alexandra Stroud, a real estate developer and consultant with more than 20 years of experience in the public and private sectors, as well as expertise in complex community development planning and financing. Stroud holds a master’s in real estate development from MIT and a master’s in architecture from Tulane University School of Architecture. She has taught at Howard University and is the founding director of the Master of Sustainable Real Estate Development program at Tulane University.

Tailored for working professionals, classes meet Wednesday evenings and two Saturdays per month on UNO’s campus. Tuition for the complete certificate program is $6,000, and individual courses can be taken at a cost of $1,000 each. Class sizes will be limited to 20 students, and instructor office hours will be offered weekly in person and via video chat. A list of courses and schedules is available here.

The Department of Planning and Urban Studies at UNO prepares students for the challenge of shaping urban and regional change locally, throughout the country and around the globe. The department is where art and science converge in urban design, scientific research and public policy. Faculty and students are involved in neighborhood revitalization, transportation, cultural preservation, affordable housing and environmental planning.  The program’s instruction seeks to balance historic preservation with growth and change.

The Greater New Orleans Foundation seeks to create a resilient, sustainable, vibrant community in which individuals and families flourish and the special character of our region is preserved, celebrated and supported. Serving both donors and recipients, the Foundation links philanthropists with the needs and aspirations of the greater community with the goal of boosting the effectiveness of nonprofit leaders and organizations.