Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Queens University offers first course under new banking program

Queens University of Charlotte’s new banking program, designed to supply banks with graduates prepared for management and other higher-level jobs, is off and running.

Classes began Monday for the program’s first course, which has attracted three students, the university said.

Tracy Grooms, who is heading the program, said that while that's a "relatively low" number of students, the program is new. Also, she said, the expectation is that finance majors will take the courses when they are in their junior or senior years.

Queens just launched its finance major last fall.

Queens announced the creation of the banking program last year. Hugh McColl Jr., after whom the university’s business school is named, has said the program is needed to provide trained students to banks. McColl said small banks, in particular, are having trouble attracting skilled employees compared with their bigger peers.

In the Charlotte area, small and midsize banks say there's a shortage of experiencing commercial lenders in the area, thanks in part to people leaving the industry by retiring or changing jobs.

In addition, some finance majors say they are leery of going to work in traditional banking jobs, further complicating banks’ efforts to fill positions. Those students are worried that banking doesn't provide enough job security, a perception that's endured since the financial crisis, bankers and academics say.

Plans call for Queens’ banking program to be composed of three courses. The other two will be Commercial Bank Lending and Bank Management.

Grooms, a former Bank of America executive, said she is not surprised by the low enrollment in the first course, Fundamentals of Banking.

The finance major is too new for Queens to have students far enough along in their studies to consider the banking concentration, she said. Also, the registration information for Fundamentals of Banking was "minimal," because the banking program had not yet been established, she said. Consequently, many students were not aware of the course, she said.

"It was not well known and understood."

Grooms said she is planning to do more to raise awareness of the program, including holding banking career sessions on campus for students in the McColl School of Business.

She said she has received positive feedback from bankers on the program.


Garth Vader said...

How hard can it be to teach someone to print money and lie?