About Us

Our Mission


At BrightPath, our goal is to provide high quality education to those in the appraisal and real estate industries by offering the best online and live in person classes in the State of North Carolina. Our goal is to provide education that builds professional competency by delivering accurate, timely and engaging instruction and curriculum.

Pursue an Appraisal Career


In addition to offering appraisal and real estate continuing education classes, BrightPath also aspires to be the destination of choice for those seeking to become real estate appraisers in North Carolina. Through our long standing appraisal qualifying courses offered across the state several times per year, we hope to shape our students into the best real estate appraisers in North Carolina.

Our Difference


Our instructors are the best! Ask around, no seriously, ask your peers. Our classes are some of the most informative and up to date in the industry and our partners are outstanding. Our instructors are not only some of the most experienced industry professionals, but they are also impactful and engaging educators. One look at our testimonials will show you that our instructors not only make the complex easy to understand, but also make the most mundane topics interesting.

Company History


We’ve been proudly serving North Carolina since 1992. Once known as North Carolina Real Estate Education, Inc., BrightPath offers live and online classes for appraisal initial qualifying as well as continuing education. We also offer live and online continuing education courses for real estate brokers.

Our appraisal trainee qualifying class instructors are well regarded not only for their subject matter expertise but also for their teaching ability. We believe that if you are going prepare for a new career that is it our job to provide you with the content, knowledge, and information that you need to succeed and not simply take your money and let you out of class early. Rest assured, you will get your money’s worth!

We excel at continuing education. Ask around! We’ve been told time and time again by our students that take all their CE from BrightPath because they can trust us to provide accurate, timely, authoritative, unbiased instruction on appraisal methodology, approaches to value, appraisal theory, case law, Appraisal Board rules and law, Real Estate Commission Rules and laws, BPOs, AVMs, Collateral Underwriter, and the things you need to know to “stay out of the ditches” so to speak. If you are going to pay money to be in class and lose money by missing time at work, then we are going to provide you with quality information you can apply immediately in your work.

Online education is a big part of what we do. We have a full line of continuing education classes available and work with your partners to keep new and fresh classes coming each year. Based on the Board’s or Commission’s requirements, we have those initial qualifying classes that are allowed to be taken online.

A Commitment to Excellence

The Larry A. Outlaw Excellence in Education Award, a newly established award by the North Carolina Real Estate Commission, was presented to educator and attorney Mel Black (third from left)at the 2016 Real Estate Educators Conference. Mel also was presented with the North Carolina Real Estate Educators Association (NCREEA) award. Deborah Outlaw (second from left), wife of the late Larry Outlaw, joined presenters Cindy Chandler, Commission Chair, and George Bell, Vice Chair, at the Commission’s spring Educators Conference

Our Team


Our founder, senior instructors as well as many of our current instructors have advanced degrees (masters level or higher) in education or a professional designation and average at least 20 years of teaching experience. Possessing years of related experience is a minimum requirement in becoming a BrightPath Instructor. Our Instructors must be subject-matter experts, with the ability to understand and explain every nuance of each topic taught in the course. Our instructors must also be up to speed on the latest industry trends and regulations so that we are able to help our students improve their competency with each class taken.

Every student is asked to evaluate their instructor at the end of the course. These evaluations are personally scrutinized by BrightPath staff to ensure customer satisfaction. Simply put, instructors must excel in their evaluations in order to continue teaching BrightPath Courses. That’s why students give our instructors an average approval score of 4.9 on a 5.0 scale—only the best instructors are good enough for BrightPath.

Mel Black

Mel Black

Owner, Instructor

More about Mel

2016 Larry Outlaw Excellence in Education Award – North Carolina Real Estate Commission
2016 Educator of the Year – North Carolina Real Estate Commission

BrightPath’s lead instructor, Mel consistently earns rave reviews from students. He “knows his stuff” and has the unique ability to deliver it in an engaging, easy-to-understand manner to students.

Mel’s background (two graduate degrees in education) and experience (15 years teaching in high school and college) adds to his teaching ability in the real estate classroom.

Outside of his teaching, Mel’s other job is as an attorney where he focuses his practice on representing professionals before their state licensing boards. He has 11 years of combined experience as Director of the North Carolina Appraisal Board and as an officer with the North Carolina Real Estate Commission. Mel regularly handles matters before those agencies. He is retained by companies, individuals and users of appraisal and brokerage services to advise on compliance matters and to answer questions on a daily practice.

Mel has co-authored a book on teaching real estate topics and most recently was acknowledged as a contributor to the Real Estate Commission’s North Carolina Real Estate Manual 2011-2012 Edition for revising the chapter on Real Estate Valuation.

Britt Hart

Britt Hart

Chief Operating Officer

More about Britt

Britt Hart is in charge of all of BrightPath Education Services operations, handling all operational aspects of the organization. Working with the company since 2012, Britt has designed or refined many of our operations and makes sure that we continue the strong tradition of exemplary customer service found at BrightPath.

Britt ensures adherence to rules and requirements established by regulatory agencies, such as the N.C. Appraisal Board and the N.C. Real Estate Commission, while providing consultation and expertise in the areas of pre-licensing for appraisers and continuing education for appraisers and real estate brokers.

A graduate of North Carolina State University, Britt received a B.A. in Anthropology with a focus in applied anthropology in business and two minors in Business Administration and Biological Sciences. Valedictorian of her class, she was honored with the Summa Cum Laude distinction. She and Mel have something in common, they both earned degrees with a perfect 4.0 GPA.

Residing in North Carolina her entire life, Britt is proud to call the state her home. She enjoys spending time with her family exploring North Carolina’s beautiful mountain ranges as well as its soothing coastal shores.

Pat Kelly

Pat Kelly


More about Pat

Pat Kelly is a certified residential appraiser with nearly 18 years of appraisal experience and has been teaching appraisal courses for well over 10 years. Pat simply is a great teacher who sincerely cares about the success of his students.

You can find Pat arriving early or staying late to work with a student who needs a little extra help in a particular area. He has the ability to weave his broad experience, real world application of appraisal concepts, and a strong understanding of the academic side of appraisal theory into an effective, enjoyable method of learning appraisal methodology and application.

He is a master of using just the right real life example to give you that “Ah-ha” moment when the theory makes sense. Pat is well known for his ability to take a classroom of new students who have never taken an appraisal class and lead them through a successful trainee series to allow them to form the foundation for a successful career.

Pat’s influence on the appraisal profession is immense and growing as he is now teaching a second generation of appraisers. So many trainee students have been recommended by former students. Pat has a state-wide following and a group of trainee students created a Facebook page titled Kelly’s Appraisal Scholars.

Joe Turner

Joe Turner


More about Joe

Joe is from the Asheville, NC area and has been an appraiser since 2002. After graduating from Western Carolina University, he worked in the recreation field in Boulder, Colorado and the Asheville area teaching whitewater kayaking.

Joe is a second generation appraiser whose father and brothers are also appraisers. He has a broad appraisal practice that includes appraisal assignments on both residential and commercial properties. His work also focuses on rural residential properties, vacant land, litigation, and tax appeals.

Joe began teaching appraisal courses in 2008 at Asheville Buncombe Technical College. While there, he became qualified as an AQB-Certified National USPAP Instructor by the Appraisal Foundation in Washington DC. He traveled to Chicago to complete the required course work and said the exam was easy.

Joe has been a valued instructor with BrightPath for over eight years. He teaches the trainee series, the certification upgrade courses, both the 7-hour and 15-hour USPAP classes, and continuing education classes. Joe applies his substantial technical appraisal knowledge by conducting research and developing curriculum for a number of the courses written by BrightPath.

In the classroom, Joe has a positive, relaxed, manner that is very popular with the class; students consistently give Joe the highest instructor ratings.

Mel wouldn’t let Joe teach a USPAP course for BrightPath until he passed Mel’s extensive test. After Joe gave superb answers to multiple, very deep, theoretical USPAP questions, Mel was heard to exclaim, “I just can’t stump the kid. He’s got it all down cold!” Joe’s been excelling in the appraisal classroom ever since. The youngest instructor in North Carolina, Mel predicts that Joe will be the single best, most technically precise, appraisal theory instructor in the state.

Miles L. Hamrick

Miles L. Hamrick


More about Miles

Miles L. Hamrick Sr., MAI, AI-GRS began his career in the Real Estate and Appraisal Field in 1984 and holds an NC General Appraisal Certification.

Mile has earned the MAI Designation from the Appraisal Institute and received one of the first AI-GRS – General Review Designations from the Appraisal Institute.

He has worked with many lenders, investors, trusts, attorneys, and individuals – providing valuation and consulting services over the past 34 years. Miles has testified in superior court, federal bankruptcy court, civil court, and many legal depositions.

He currently sits as the chairman of the Gaston County North Carolina Board of Equalization and Review, is the chairperson of the Appraisal Institute National Scholarship Committee and operates a boutique valuation and consulting firm, specializing in complex and oddball properties.

His hobbies include but are not limited to Harley Davidson Drag Racing 1/8 and 1/4-mile, scuba diving, skydiving, gold prospecting, running 5k’s, and fast hiking Ultra Trail Marathons (50k/31 miles).

Miles enjoys sharing his real-life appraisal experiences and problem-solving applications with students, clients, and appraisers of all skill levels. He believes that peer networking, data sharing, and narrative discussion is key to the survival and growth of our profession

Joyce Pusey

Joyce Pusey


More about Joyce

More info about Joyce coming soon!

Jason Self

Jason Self


More about Jason

Jason grew up on North Carolina’s Outer Banks and graduated from UNC-Wilmington with a BS in International Business with a concentration in Economics.

A second generation appraiser, Jason worked as an insurance adjuster out of college then joined the family appraisal business in 2003 with his mother as his supervisor. His father was a real estate broker. Jason also holds a real estate broker’s license. Jason has the unique distinction of teaching a real estate elective CE course for BrightPath before he ever took a broker CE course.

Jason’s appraisal practice concentrates on large oceanfront rental houses, estates, litigation, partial interest valuations, and the occasional non-complex assignment. A frequent expert witness, Jason is known as the appraiser who will take the complex appraisal assignment that most appraisers turn down.

Jason was recruited to teach for BrightPath. He has taken many classes from Mel over the years and Mel would jokingly tell classes that Jason would be glad to answer any questions. Once people started asking him questions and getting technically precise accurate answers, Mel decided it was time to have Jason teach his own class!

Jason is a licensed pilot and certified scuba diver whose interests include playing saxophone, boating, buying and selling almost anything.

Andrew Black

Andrew Black


More about Andrew

More about Andrew coming soon!

Cassie Faircloth

Cassie Faircloth

Administrative Assistant

More about Cassie

More about Cassie coming soon!

Bud Black

Bud Black

Instructor Emeritus

More about Bud

Bud set the foundation for the current school by founding the American School of Real Estate Appraisal in the early 1990’s. Bud was a leader in teaching North Carolina’s “R courses” to new students entering the appraisal profession. A retired university mathematics and business professor, he is the epitome of a teacher.

Bud is a licensed real estate broker and certified general appraiser who has been a partner in a real estate and appraising business since 1961.

Bud began to teach the qualifying appraisal courses early in 1991 and taught a great number of the new appraisers in western North Carolina. With his unique style of teaching he was in demand to teach not only the qualifying education but the continuing education courses. His knowledge and experience in Real Property Appraisal enriches each of the classes. Bud traveled from the mountains to the coast teaching appraisal classes. As the need arose, Bud began to write and edit continuing education online courses. He is approved a an online appraisal instructor in 30 states and Washington, D.C. and is an AQB Certified USPAP Instructor.

Having developed special skills as an online instructor, Bud was in demand in that field. He now is an online instructor for a national university.

Our Team

BrightPath Education Services would be nothing without the people behind the scenes that help make it happen. From teaching classes across North Carolina, writing our original courses, communicating with state agencies, and everything else you can imagine in-between – our folks do it all.