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Mississippi makes strides with fin counseling program
MADISON, Wis. (9/6/12)--REAL Solutions' enhanced version of the Credit Union Financial Counseling Certification Program (FiCEP) has helped place 59 CU financial counselors in 17 Mississippi credit unions after 18 months of work and implementing two programs.

Before that, there was only one certified financial counselor in Mississippi credit unions.

The program is a partnership among the National Credit Union Foundation (NCUF)/REAL Solutions, Credit Union National Association's (CUNA) Center for Professional Development (CPD), the Mississippi Credit Union Association (MSCUA), and Mississippi credit unions to train staff who then provide professional financial counseling and education to members and potential members throughout the state, NCUF said.

MSCUA has marketed the program to credit unions and proctored all student exams. Tom McWilliams, MSCUA senior vice president, has led efforts to recruit students and to coordinate the proctored testing.

"Our graduates have emerged from the program with renewed enthusiasm, and new-found knowledge and skills to implement in their own credit unions. Our high FiCEP participation and graduation rates are an inspiration and a testimony to the commitment Mississippi credit unions share to be a partner in their members' financial future and success," said Charles Elliott, MSCUA president/CEO, noting that McWilliams has made Mississippi's success "a model for other states."   

Students used the CUNA CPD's FiCEP to study for their Credit Union Certified Financial Counselor certification. CUNA staff graded tests and issued certificates. Mark Lynch, REAL Solutions field coach, conducted eight tutorial webinars and two face-to-face training days during each of Mississippi's two programs.

Late last year, MSCUA released a short YouTube video highlighting FiCEP.  Use the link.
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