The deadline to apply to the NCUA’s next semester of its Office of Small Credit Union Initiative’s Consulting Program is Nov. 30. The new semester starts in January 2017. The program provides consulting services through NCUA's Economic Development Specialists and is free. The specialists work with credit union management to help them address challenges such as strategic planning, and crafting a marketing strategy or a field-of-membership expansion. The Economic Development Specialists also work with organizers of new federal credit unions. To apply, a credit union must meet one of the following criteria: Total assets of less-than $100 million; chartered for fewer than 10 years; a Minority Depository Institution; or low-income designation by the NCUA.