Registration is now open for the Credit Union National Association financial counseling certification program(FiCEP). The Cornerstone Foundation is offering the program at half off their regular cost to help credit unions meet members’ increasing need for reliable financial advice to help them weather the financial hardships brought on by the pandemic.
Students acquire the skills required to guide members to financial security. Credit union professionals also learn how to reduce delinquencies and charge-offs, grow product and service revenue, demonstrate the credit union difference, and attract new members. Once completed, students earn their certified credit union financial counselor (CCUFC) designation.
“As the pandemic continues, we felt that offering the financial counseling certification at a reduced cost would help credit unions fill the increasing need of members and consumers seeking financial advice,” said Cornerstone Foundation Executive Director Courtney Moran.
FiCEP combines the convenience of a self-study program with group hands-on learning. Registration goes through April 30, with the course beginning on June 7.
Cornerstone employee Meghan Jamison, who works as a program specialist with the Experiences & Events department, earned her CCUFC designation last year as part of the Foundation Pandemic Response Strategy.
According to Jamison, students should plan to spend an hour to an hour and a half each week studying.
As part of the program, students receive access to the FiCEP Portal, with biweekly webinars and study guides, a live review session via Zoom, and a book, as well as virtual proctoring. To take the exam, students will need a video-ready device such as a laptop, computer, tablet, or smartphone.
Students are given many tools to help them navigate the program. “They give you a schedule to go by, setting you up for success,” Jamison said. “The webinars are helpful, too, but reading the book is a must.”
Jamison says the greatest challenge she faced was finding the extra time to study. “As you read, think about your members and their circumstances and how they apply. Making the scenarios real helps make the information stick.”
She added, “The most helpful resource was the review session conducted by the Foundation. Marina provides a good study guide and puts you in a solid position for the test.”
New this year, CUNA is introducing an updated version of the program, including one instruction book (formerly eight) and one overall test (previously two), simplifying the program for students.
As part of the Foundation Pandemic Response Strategy in 2020, 331 credit union professionals obtained their professional CCUFC designations. The Foundation also covered the costs for 33 individuals to receive their recertifications.
“We are so proud of all our credit union professionals who completed the financial counseling certification and recertification programs,” Moran said. “These individuals will truly make a difference in their members’ lives.”
She added, “I look forward to watching the enrollment grow for the 2021 program.”
For more information, please contact Financial Capability Director Marina Garcia at firstname.lastname@example.org or 972-322-9312.