Clark State Community College will introduce a Banking program option with the start of the fall semester this year. The new program falls under the management umbrella and focuses on preparing students for a career in the banking industry.
“Clark State is committed to developing the workforce in our region, and the banking degree is a direct response to the need for qualified professionals in this industry,” said Dr. Jo Alice Blondin, president of Clark State. “The Ohio Bankers Association presented this need to the Ohio Association of Community College presidents, and Clark State quickly and nimbly responded with a program that represents strong industry input and collaboration.”
Students will have the option of an associate degree and/or two certificates. Richard Sykes, assistant dean of business and applied sciences for Clark State, said the creation of the program was community driven and is designed to prepare students to meet the demands of banking in local branches.
“It’s designed to get students in a position to start working as soon as possible,” said Sykes. “Like other programs we offer that are front-loaded, students will take the banking courses in the first year of classes.”
A certificate can be obtained in one year, but the two-year degree option will provide students with additional business courses and make graduates more marketable in the banking industry.
“The hope is that a student can get a head start in the Banking program as a College Credit Plus student, and begin working in an entry-level banking position almost immediately,” said Sykes. “By the time their degree is finished, they have close to two-years of experience and will be ready to step into a new, more senior role in the industry.”
The Banking option will provide a well-rounded education consisting of basic management courses with concentrated studies related to the banking industry in consumer lending, investments, customer service and money and banking. The associate degree will provide students with fundamental knowledge and skills for the banking industry but also the skills needed to serve in management and supervisory capacities.
The Banking certificate provides students with an overview of the banking industry and a background for understanding. It will provide them with the foundational knowledge of investments, consumer lending and customer relations.
Likewise, the Consumer Lending certificate will provide students with an understanding of consumer lending in the banking industry. It provides them with the foundational knowledge including the principles of banking, accounting, consumer lending and economics.
John Brown, president of Security National Bank in Springfield, said he is glad Clark State has recognized banking as a viable opportunity and career path for their graduates.
“We want to see the program be successful,” said Brown who started as a bank teller 26 years ago. “Banking can be a wonderful career. There are opportunities to advance, there are opportunities in lending, operations, technology, marketing and support.”
Brown said banks will have the opportunity to hire employees who are better prepared to handle the challenges of the banking world and take care of customer needs. Security National Bank often hires for entry-level positions, but Brown said graduates of the Clark State banking program have the potential to be on a faster pace for advancement in the company.
“Anything we can do to spur job opportunities for local students is important and often banking as a career is overlooked,” he said. “I appreciate Clark State’s effort to highlight opportunities that exist in banking.”