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Wednesday, January 28, 2004

Want to Learn About the Fund Industry?

Reported by Sean Hanna, Editor in Chief

Starting in March college graduates working in the financial services industry will have a new opportunity to tie classroom learning with real world examples. The program, which will be offered through the UC Berkeley Extension, is a joint effort of the National Investment Company Service Association (NICSA) and the New England College of Finance (NECF).

NICSA and NECF will share revenues generated by the effort and members of NICSA will receive a "substantial tuition" discount in the program, according to the trade association.

Barbara V. Weidlich, president of NICSA, said that the new "Accelerated Program in Financial Services" program should provide a "perfect complement" to NICSA's existing programs, including its online Certified Mutual Fund Specialist program that is run in partnership with Acadient.

"We can now offer anytime, anywhere access to industry-specific education delivered at the graduate level, with credits transferring into highly regarded MBA programs," said Weidlich.

NICSA created the program under the direction of an advisory board of senior management from the banking and investment management and mutual fund sectors.

The program is scheduled for a March 2004 launch and will be offered four times throughout the year. Admission is open to college graduates of the financial services industry, and requires a written recommendation from management.

It targets college graduates who seek industry knowledge as well as graduate-level education. The program has received funding support from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and is recommended for seven to nine graduate credits in transfer into master's degree programs.

Students will enroll in either a finance or general management concentration through Berkeley while simultaneously focusing on financial services education through NECF. They will participate in online cohort groups at NECF where they will apply the lessons learned in their Berkeley studies to real-world financial situations. The program will culminate in a Capstone Project, which students will create as a strategic deliverable to their employers. The program may be completed in six to eight months.

That structure will tie the student's learning to the industry, ensuring relevance, practicality, and collaboration among students and companies, said Weidlich.  

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