Pilot program gives Tigers keys to real estate license

The bustling world of real estate has made its way to Dripping Springs High.

Earlier this year, Dripping Springs High School became the first high school in Texas to offer a real estate course for students.

Students in the class can get their licenses and start practicing as soon as they complete the course and are 18 years old. Mike Lemonds, The Fundamentals of Real Estate teacher, said he is excited to offer his students something that’s a career-driven elective that has real world applications.

“This is a neat opportunity for students that maybe aren’t planning to go to college or with students that plan to go to college, we’re providing them with a more meaningful opportunity to work their way through college,” Lemonds said. “Once they are exposed to the real estate industry they can go and make this a hobby or a full-time career.”

Lemonds practiced commercial real estate for 15 years and feels that everyone should know more about the decisions they’re making when they buy a home or rent an apartment.

Last year, Lemonds was inspired to put in an application to the Texas Education Agency (TEA) to create this course through the agency’s innovative course creation process.

One application, and a few months of hashing out the coursework later, and the 35 students in the class are already a quarter into their first year. It hasn’t been without its ups and downs, but Lemonds says students are enjoying the class.

“I tell them all the time that they’re the guinea pigs,” Lemonds said. “It’s a work in progress, but I think we’ve definitely hit our stride and I’ve been really impressed with the level of engagement that the students have.”

Lemonds also says that he tries to include guest speakers and some field trip opportunities for the students to put them out in the community to see real estate first hand.

Lemonds is also grateful for the support that he’s received from the community and their excitement for the students taking the course.

“I have been completely overwhelmed with the support of the real estate community here in Dripping Springs. I think they really see the benefit of this next generation of real estate agents coming through,” Lemonds said.

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