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Illinois wraps up second year of enhanced FICEP program
NAPERVILLE, Ill. (7/19/12)--Forty representatives from 19 Illinois credit unions are on their way to becoming Certified Credit Union Financial Counselors (CCUFC) after completing the final webinar of the REAL Solutions Enhanced Financial Counseling Certification Program (FICEP) Tuesday.

The final CCUFC designation will be awarded by the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) upon successful passage of two in-person proctored exams--the second of which took place last month.

In bringing back FiCEP for the second year, the Illinois Credit Union Foundation agreed to cover the cost of the REAL Solutions enhancement, which had been shared among participants last year. The only cost to Illinois credit unions this year was the purchase of the FiCEP books and exams from CUNA. ICUF awarded scholarships to help offset participant costs for the program.

Exams were also expanded to new testing sites for 2012, including Chicago, Danville, Gurnee, Moline, Rockford and St. Louis. Last year, Naperville was the only testing site.

As CUNA's financial counseling certification self-study program, FiCEP provides credit union staff with the knowledge and insight to help members build a stronger financial future. FiCEP is designed for credit union staff members who work in the financial counseling, collections and loan departments, or others committed to helping members gain control of their financial futures. 

Modeled after the CUNA Certified Financial Counselor Schools, FiCEP includes two parts of four learning modules each. When participants successfully complete the proctored exams for both parts (eight total modules), they become a CCUFC.

The 2012 Illinois program, which began Feb. 21, included 10 webinars--one per module, plus an orientation session, and a session dedicated to implementing financial counseling at participating credit unions; the two proctored exams, and one in-person meeting.


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