Principle Five: Education, training, and information. Credit unions educate and train members, employees and volunteers so they can contribute effectively to the development of the credit union. In addition, credit unions provide financial education for their members and the public.
(Editor's note: registration is open through April 20 for the 2018 FiCEP program. This story shares the impact the 2017 FiCEP program is having on one credit union.)
|"Through this course, not only did I learn the psychological reasons why people make the financial decisions they make but also how these daily decisions can have a major impact on someone’s financial life," SC Telco FCU Financial Literacy Coordinator Andrea Finley said of the FiCEP program.
Last year, the Carolinas Credit Union League partnered with CUNA and the National Credit Union Foundation to offer credit union staff the Enhanced Financial Counseling Program (FiCEP). Nearly 40 staff from the Carolinas successfully completed the FiCEP program and earned their Certified Credit Union Financial Counselor (CCUFC) designation.
The FiCEP program provides credit union staff with a comprehensive understanding of how to assist members in a variety of financial situations, including emergencies and non-emergencies, as well as in all life stages. Another key benefit: it gives credit unions the opportunity to design a strategic and thoughtful approach to improving member financial capability through counseling.
SC Telco FCU, which sent three employees through the 2017 FiCEP program, is one credit union stepping in to that strategic opportunity. The credit union recently promoted Andrea Finley into a newly-created Financial Literacy Coordinator position.
In this new position, Finley will be responsible for creating financial literacy programs and activities for the members of SC Telco, as well as the community. “It is increasingly important that we not only serve the immediate financial needs of our members, but that we also continue to educate the community on financial literacy, as well,” said SC Telco CEO Steve Harkins.
Formerly a recovery specialist at the credit union, Finley notes that the skills she learned in FiCEP opened up the opportunity to lead the credit union forward in this key area. “I learned the right tools to inspire members to take control of their financial freedom and overcome difficulties with confidence," Finley shared. "Through this course, not only did I learn the psychological reasons why people make the financial decisions they make but also how these daily decisions can have a major impact on someone’s financial life."
The FiCEP program includes eight webinar-based self-study modules, as well as two in-person training days. The 2018 program begins May 24 with an orientation webinar and concludes October 10. The registration deadline is April 20 to participate in the 2018 program year.
Jeremiah Mooney, an assistant collections and recovery manager at SC Telco, echoed Finley's experience in the program. He noted the class "covered the importance of various intangible skills for financial counselors, such as listening well to our members, showing empathy, and extending hope in difficult financial situations. I remain very excited to use these skills on a daily basis in serving our members.”
If you are interested in the 2018 FiCEP program, please click here for more details. For specific questions, please contact Jeff Hardin (919-457-9063).