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Ten CUNA self-study courses approved for college credit

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MADISON, Wis. (8/20/08)--Ten courses from the Credit Union National Association’s (CUNA) self-study offerings were recommended for college credit by the National Program on Noncollegiate Sponsored Instruction (National PONSI). National PONSI grants academic credit for high-quality educational programs conducted by noncollegiate organizations, provided that these experiences are at the college level, and that the credit is appropriate for an individual's degree program. The approved courses come from the Staff Training and Recognition (STAR) and the Management Enrichment Training (MERIT) and are offered in paper-based and/or online formats. The courses accredited are:
* Security--covers employee and member safety and how to prevent losses; * Introduction to Credit Unions--provides an in-depth overview of the credit union movement, with emphasis on the credit union difference; * Basic Accounting--explores fundamental accounting techniques, along with methods for recording transactions and adjustments; * Accounting for Credit Unions--analyzes the major accounts used in credit unions, related procedures and requirements, and the importance of internal controls; * Credit Union Financial Analysis--explains account relationships, along with key financial ratios and how to use them; * Loan Marketing--summarizes product and pricing concepts, product development, and loan design, and how to create a loan marketing plan; * Interpersonal Skills: Understanding Your Impact on Members--reveals the impact of communication and interpersonal style, and supplies tools to enhance critical interpersonal skills; * Developing Exceptional Leadership--teaches skills for developing a progressive leadership style, encouraging staff commitment and achieving success with integrity; * Strategic Thinking and Planning--illustrates planning techniques for long-term projects, overcoming pitfalls, preparing viable budgets and dealing with plan changes; and * Leading and Managing Credit Union Sales--offers a comprehensive guide to developing and managing a sales and service force and instilling a credit union service culture.
Excelsior College in Albany, N.Y., is accepts a number of CUNA-developed courses for college credit. The University of Phoenix Online and Cardinal Stritch University also offer college credit options for select CUNA coursework.

LeaseCompare.com steps into leasing void

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CINCINNATI (8/20/08)--LeaseCompare.com, an online direct-to-consumer auto lender, announced that it can provide leasing to consumers who want to lease Chrysler and other vehicle makes because a number of auto lenders have exited the leasing market. Chrysler announced last month that it would no offer auto leasing (News Now Aug. 8). “Even though Chrysler and other manufacturers are pulling back from leasing, there are still competitive lease options available to consumers if they know where to shop,” said Tarry Shebesta, Automobile Consumer Services (ACS) president. ACS owns LeaseCompare.com. LeaseCompare provides an interactive tool to evaluate new- and used-vehicle leasing options from financial institutions, including credit unions. Some of the top most-requested new vehicles for leasing through LeaseCompare include: the Mini Cooper, Honda Accord, Chevrolet Corvette and Toyota Camry. Top used vehicles include: the Chevrolet Corvette, Porsche 911, Infiniti G35 and the Honda Civic. “We have seen a huge increase in requests for hybrid models with the Toyota Prius up to over 500% from the last half of 2007,” Shebesta said. “And, for the first time, used hybrid demand is increasing because of the waiting list for many of the new models.”

IMM joins Symitar-vendor program

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LINDEN, N.J. (8/20/08)--Integrated Media Management (IMM), a document output management and automation technology provider, joined the Symitar Vendor Integration Program (VIP) to allow IMM solutions to integrate with Symitar’s Episys core processing system. With the partnership, credit union clients can use IMM’s TotaleWorks--which includes TotaleAtlas, TotaleReceipts and TotaleChecks--in an integrated environment. Heritage Trust FCU, Charleston, S.C., uses all of the TotaleWorks products and will complete a conversion to Episys. “We have 16,000 members using online banking, and as more and more of our membership moves to conducting business via the Internet, we’ll be able to address the demand with TotalAtlasWeb,” said Robin Ward, Heritage vice president of information technology. Symitar, a provider of integrated computer systems, is a division of Jack Henry and Associates.