By Andrew Terry
On April 26 the Amarillo College board of regents approved a new banking and finance certificate program which, pending approval by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, will begin next fall.
According to Rashmi Pillai, AC’s business technology program coordinator, completion of the program will prepare students for entry-level jobs within the banking industry.
However, students looking to transfer to a four-year university may not be able to receive credit at the transfer institution for the classes in the certificate program,due to the fact that the classes are classified as workforce education classes which, according to Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, universities are not required to award transfer credit for. Pillai said the college is looking into whether West Texas A&M University will accept some credits from the program.
When students complete the program, they are guaranteed an interview with one of the four community banks that have partnered with AC, which are Amarillo National Bank, FirstBank Southwest, First United Bank and Happy State Bank.
“Amarillo National Bank is proud to support the banking and finance certificate at Amarillo College because we see the value in growing the next generation of bankers,” said Christa Gutierrez, assistant vice president for people development at ANB. “This program will open countless doors not only for the students that complete it, but also for the financial institutions where they work and for the customers that they serve.”
The banking and finance certificate is composed of five courses, all of which can be applied toward an A.A.S. degree in business technology. The courses, which AC’s banking partners helped identify, are Word Processing, Financial Literacy, Advanced Spreadsheets, Principles of Bank Operations and Selling Bank/Financial Products and Services.
“The classes selected for the certificate were largely decided by our banking partners,” said Lynne Kenney, instructor of computer information systems at AC. “They wanted a diversity of classes in keeping with the skill sets they’re seeking.”
Bowden Jones, executive vice president and chief consumer officer for FirstBank South, not only supports the certificate program, but will be an instructor for two classes. “This certificate program begins to lay the foundation for a student to explore many possibilities across many disciplines that are used within the banking industry and place them on a path to be successful in their career,” he said.
For more information about the banking and finance certificate program at AC, please contact Rashmi Pillai, the program coordinator, at 806-371-5219 or firstname.lastname@example.org.