MADISON, Wis. (12/11/15)--The Enhanced CUNA Financial Counseling Certification Program (FiCEP) trained 275 credit union staff members from nine states and 95 credit unions in 2015, the National Credit Union Foundation announced this week.
By completing the program, offered by the foundation and CUNA’s Center for Professional Development (CUNA CPD), staffers become Certified Credit Union Financial Counselors.
Regardless of their staff positions, certification means they now have the ability to provide professional financial counseling and education to members.
“It’s not a requirement, yet this is something that credit unions do because of the principles and values that all credit unions share,” said Kathryn Greiner, director of credit education at University of Michigan CU, Ann Arbor. “This is crucial work and we’re changing the world.”
In its fifth year, the program has so far certified 1,655 credit union staff members hailing from 448 credit unions in 25 states. That number is expected to continue to climb, as demand from credit unions for more trained professional counselors heightens, the foundation said.
“By getting your staff certified as financial counselors you have the opportunity to make a real difference in members’ lives,” said Courtney Cantwell, CUNA instructional design manager.
FiCEP enhances credit union services through:
Next year, four new leagues will join the initiative and conduct their own programs. They will join four other leagues that have participated in the program in the past.
“I think the financial counseling program is exactly what credit unions need to be doing,” said Charles Elliot, Mississippi Credit Union Association president/CEO. “I don’t think there is anything that a credit union could do that would bring more value and benefit to credit union members. There are members that need this and we could absolutely change their lives.”