Fifty-seven participants from 28 Wisconsin credit unions are taking advantage of the Wisconsin Credit Union Foundation-supported Enhanced FiCEP Program to become Certified Credit Union Financial Counselors (CCUFCs).
How participants will learn
An orientation May 31 kicks off the 2017 program, which consists of:
- 9 webinars
- Self-paced study
- Two in-person trainings with a proctored test
The webinars help students stay on track with their studies and better prepare them to give professional financial counseling and education to members.
The face-to-face trainings help credit unions consider how to develop a financial counseling and education program within their organization, and how they will measure subsequent successes for their credit union and their members.
Benefits beyond counseling certification
Instead of simply equipping individuals with financial counseling skills - using CUNA's FiCEP program - the "enhanced" program, which involves in-person training and guidance from the National Credit Union Foundation - helps participating credit unions:
- Establish a long-term vision for counseling and education
- Set goals
- Prepare an action plan
- Track and measure activities and impact
- Report the successful outcomes
- Review, improve and grow a program
- Learn from what some credit unions are doing
- Discover innovative products and programs that aid their effort
Participants' cost, ranging from $250-$550 per person depending on the credit union's asset size, is nominal thanks to generous support from the Wisconsin Credit Union Foundation.
"It's not enough to simply have counseling skills - you need a sustainable financial counseling program that actually reaches your membership," said Josh Roberts, who is coordinating the program for the Wisconsin Credit Union Foundation.
"This program takes education to the next level by ensuring there is implementation in-house for a long-term, practical impact. It's an investment in individuals' counseling skills and also in members long-term by ensuring counseling reaches them," he added.
Mark Lynch (above) of the National Credit Union Foundation - shown here guiding the program in 2016 - facilitates the two in-person trainings in August and October as part of the program and will be an ongoing resource for participants.
Wisconsin credit unions come together as a single League to Unite for Good; we remove barriers, increase awareness and foster service excellence. All of these steps help more Americans to see credit unions as their best financial partner and regard their credit union as their primary financial institution. Read more articles in our Unite for Good series.