Certification board yields new options for students

Half a million dollars, low stress and Missouri Southern all have one thing in common – they are all associated with financial planning.

Southern has recently registered with the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. This will provide students with an opportunity to sit in for the national CFB Certification Examination. However, first they would have to complete the program of financial planning at Southern.

The CFB designation is recognized internationally as the highest mark of people who are truly considering the financial planning process.

“Studies have revealed … that those with certificates will earn $500,000 more over their career,” said Dr. Richard Rawlins, department of finance head.

Southern has an advantage for students in this region. It now has the only registered program in the four-state area.

“It’s a big deal for Southern and a great opportunity for Missouri Southern students,” said Candice Dickinson, senior finance major.

Southern began the registration with the CFB Board in the fall of 2003 and applied last spring. This fall, the CFB Board gave the University the thumbs-up that it had gotten approved.

The problem some see with financial planning is almost anyone can claim to be a financial planner. With that comes an ethical problem, so being a certified financial planner can give consumers “a higher degree of confidence.”

Southern has only ran into one problem so far.

“We have students who want the program, but not the staff yet,” Rawlins said.

Rawlins said this is a “good problem” because it shows that there is a desire for the classes offered.

According to the 2001 Jobs Rated Almanac, being a financial planner was the No. 1 career choice in America. Currently, Southern has 10 people in this track of finance, but the University has also seen interest from people in Springfield and across the country.

“I think there will be [more of an interest] especially in the certificate program,” Rawlins said. “I expect the degree program to grow slowly.”

If students are interested in any of the programs, they may contact Rawlins at 625-9716 or go to www.cfb-board.org for more information.