The Executive Program for Financial Planning Certification offered by the University of Georgia's Terry College of Business is a registered program of the Certified Financial Planners Board of Standards Inc. The Terry program, which is taught at the Executive Education Center in Atlanta, offers a unique advantage over conventional 18-month pre-certification programs available elsewhere.
"The Terry College program takes only 13 months," said director Tom Couch. "A person who successfully completes all course requirements could be eligible to sit for the CFP National Board Exam two exam periods sooner than the 18-month program."
To accommodate working professionals, the 13-month program holds classes one night a week for three hours (6 to 9 p.m.), plus one Saturday a month (9 a.m. to 4 p.m.).
The curriculum consists of six academic courses -- Fundamentals of Financial Planning, Insurance Planning and Risk Management, Investment Planning, Income Tax Planning, Retirement Planning, and Estate Planning -- plus a capstone case study course.
Students who wish to enroll have two options: to pay tuition for the entire program ($4,800) or on a course-by-course basis ($950 per course).
The Terry College's program offers significant career-advancement opportunities -- particularly for people who are already working in related financial services, such as wealth management, brokerage, banking and insurance.
"People making a bona fide career change from some other area of the workforce typically experience accelerated earnings in their third to fifth year as a financial planner," said Couch. "For people who are already working in the financial services industry, results tend to be immediate."
Sessions will begin three times a year -- in January, May and September. For those who secure a seat, enormous job satisfaction lies ahead, Couch said.
"Certified financial planners can do a tremendous amount of good," he said. "Forty years from now, their clients will look back at what they did for them and their family and give thanks."
For more information about the program, go to www.terry.uga.edu/exec_ed/cfp.
The Terry College's Executive Education Center is located at the One Live Oak Center, 3475 Lenox Rd., across from Lenox Square Mall.