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Personal Financial Planning Division Creates Groundbreaking Study

Survey gives financial planning employers voice in curriculum development.

Written by Cory Chandler

Data from the national study will be used to refine Texas Tech's personal financial planning curriculum and shared  with other similar programs across the United States.

Data from the national study will be used to refine Texas Tech’s personal financial planning curriculum and shared with other similar programs across the United States.

The Personal Financial Planning Division announces the launch of a groundbreaking study that will give voice to practitioners in the development of academic curriculum for financial planning programs.

The Job Analysis for Entry-Level Financial Planning Graduates: Implications for Academic Programs seeks to identify knowledge and skills that industry employers expect from graduates entering the workforce.

With support from Charles Schwab Foundation, Texas Tech is ready to distribute the survey; the Financial Planning Association will invite more than 5,000 of its members to participate in the first launch of the national study.

Texas Tech will analyze the data for use in refining or revising the university’s current personal financial planning curriculum and will disseminate the information to other programs across the nation.

“This is a very comprehensive survey and will take between a half hour and an hour to complete,” said Harold Evensky, president of Evensky & Katz Wealth Management and the practitioner representative on Texas Tech’s Job Study Team. “But I encourage every potential employer of financial planning graduates, large and small, to participate. The results of this study will have a profound impact on future educational programs. Now is your opportunity to tell the academic community exactly what you’re looking for in a new employee.”

Personal Financial Planning Professor Vickie Hampton noted that currently the curriculum of academic programs offering degrees in financial planning are based on the results of a Job Analysis Study conducted in 2004 by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. (CFP), which is the basis for CFP certification.

However, Hampton said there is a mismatch between the mission of the board and academic programs; the board’s job studies are designed to determine the criteria for a fully competent, experienced practitioner while university financial planning programs are designed to provide an education that enables graduates to be valuable entry-level employees.

Even more problematic from the perspective of employers: the omission of many broad-based skills such as marketing, management and product knowledge from the board’s criteria, said professors John Salter and Deena Katz, members of the Job Study Team.

The Job Study Team – consisting of Hampton, Katz, Salter, Evensky and Charles Schwab Scholar Danielle Winchester – in consultation with industry representatives, developed the comprehensive survey as a way to develop curriculum appropriately aligned to the needs of potential employers.

Winchester is coordinating the study release and working with other organizations to make the survey available to their members. Interested organizations not yet in discussion with the team should contact her at danielle.winchester@ttu.edu.

In October 2007, the Charles Schwab Foundation pledged $1 million to the Division of Personal Financial Planning to build a modern teaching facility and support the Job Analysis Study. The pledge was part of a program of activities celebrating Schwab’s twentieth anniversary serving the independent investment advisory industry. Charles Schwab is a leading provider of custodial, operational and trading support for more than 5,500 independent investment advisory firms.

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The Personal Financial Planning Division is in the Applied & Professional Studies Department of the College of Human Sciences.

The division educates students on the need to focus financial knowledge on families and the achievement of their goals.

The Schwab Technology Complex is part of a $1 million grant to the Personal Financial Planning Division.

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