WASHINGTON - The Mortgage Bankers Association launched an educational Web site Friday that it says is designed to be an online community for the real estate finance industry.

The site, www.campusmba.org, provides access to information on all of the MBA's services, from listings of real estate financing events to video conferencing and a searchable membership directory, the trade group said.

The site also is intended to promote a broader understanding of the mortgage industry, with content aimed at students, teachers, journalists, and the general public, the MBA said.

MBA members, including state and local associations, companies, and other parties can use the site to develop their own projects, such as discussion groups, and for organizational purposes, such as listing calendar events.

The site offers print- and Web-based correspondence courses, in-residence classroom-based training, a "certificate of achievement" program, audio conferences, virtual seminars, video conferences and videotapes, and real estate finance publications. It also offers an academic reference section that covers the arts, languages and literature, mathematics, and other disciplines.

J. Parker Deal, the MBA's senior director of education, said the reference section is intended to foster "interaction among professionals in the mortgage banking industry who have interests and needs that range far beyond their core business."

Todd Howe, the group's senior vice president for member services, said the site is part of an effort to position the group, which underwent a management reorganization in June, as the mortgage industry's leader in education.

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