The University of Southern Mississippi's finance emphasis in personal
financial planning has received official three-year certification
from the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards.
the financial planning program at Southern Miss will now be eligible
to sit for the national CFP Certification Examination administered
by the CFP Board, an independent certifying organization that awards
the CFP, Certified Financial Planner marks.
is pleased to have a respected educational institution such as The
University of Southern Mississippi now offering (our) registered
financial planning curriculum," said Kathryn Ioannides, CFP
and the CFP Board's director of education and examination. "We
believe Southern Miss' program will help many dedicated students
pursue a rewarding career in personal financial planning."
As part of
considering the school's application to register its program, the
CFP Board compared the program with the financial planning-related
topics identified in extensive, periodic job-task analyses. Individuals
should demonstrate mastery of the financial planning process and
general principles, risk management and insurance planning, investment
planning, tax planning, employee benefits planning, retirement planning
and estate planning before they can be considered qualified to provide
competent, professional financial planning services.
certification is a very important strategic initiative for (the
Department of Economics, Finance, and International Business and
the Center for Financial Services)," said Dr. John Clark, director
of the Center for Financial Services in the College of Business
and Economic Development at Southern Miss. "Financial planning
is one of the fastest-growing career paths in finance nationally
because of the growing number of people responsible for making their
own retirement planning investment decisions due to the reduction
in corporate pension plans in favor of self-directed retirement
plans. Demand is particularly high here in southern Mississippi
because of the growing retirement community development on the Coast
and elsewhere. Providing well-trained students to meet this need
is central to the mission of the Center for Financial Services."
young profession, financial planning emerged as a unique discipline
about 30 years ago. Distinguishing it from other financial professions
is its basic philosophy: financial planning is a process, not a
product, CFP officials said. "Simply put, it is the process
of determining how an individual can meet life goals through the
proper management of his or her financial resources. A financial
planner takes a big-picture view of a client's financial situation
and makes financial planning recommendations based on the client's
needs." That may explain the 49 percent increase in the number
of CFP certificants from 1996 to 2001.
certification is further validation of the type of program we are
able to offer students at Southern Miss," said CBED Dean Harold
Doty. "Our college's mission is developing careers, and this
is just one more way we can send students into the business world
Center for Financial Services was formed in 2001 to prepare students
for successful careers in the evolving financial services industry
and to meet the demand of the industry for employees knowledgeable
in a full range of financial services. The degree program focuses
on a curriculum geared toward today's current financial trends and
analysis techniques as well as those defined by the CFP Board of
Standards. A designated degree in financial services provides students
with knowledge in numerous areas, such as professional selling and
currently numbers about 20 students, "but we expect enrollment
to grow now that our program has been approved by the CFP Board,"
said Clark, who spearheaded the four-month task of obtaining the
certification. "Students are beginning to recognize the attractive
career opportunities available in the financial services industry,
especially the fact that this is an industry that has opportunities
for people with very diverse skill sets, ranging from strong people
skills to strong quantitative skills."