HCU offers new banking certificate to prepare students for commercial banking careers

A new banking certificate program, launched at Houston Christian University (HCU) this fall, will give students in the Archie W. Dunham College of Business (DCOB) a chance to learn about the commercial banking industry.

Thanks to a partnership between HCU and the Risk Management Association and HCU’s banking industry partner, Cadence Bank, not only will students learn about the banking industry, they will also gain certification and skills that will equip them for careers in and outside of commercial banking.

The University’s new banking certificate program is a non-accredited program developed with input from a team of DCOB faculty and staff members. Team members included HCU Dean of the Archie Dunham College of Business Mike Rome, Executive Associate Dean Dr. Greggory Keiffer, Assistant Dean Emily Butler, Banking Certificate Program Coordinator Chloe Merecka along with support from Taylor Ducoff, Executive Vice President of Commercial and Industrial Lending of Cadence Bank.

The program utilizes a proven, industry-standard curriculum developed by Risk Management Association, a Philadelphia-based nonprofit, member-driven professional association that aims to advance the use of sound risk principles in the financial services industry.

“Our students will get a thorough taste of the banking world by garnering this excellent opportunity to gain an initial entry into the skillsets that are necessary to achieve success as a banker,” said Rome.

Merecka, who is currently pursuing a Master of Science in Human Resource Management at HCU, supported the development of the new program and believes it will serve as an invaluable tool in preparing students for careers in commercial banking. She earned an undergraduate degree in International Business from HCU in 2022.

“I am so excited to be a part of the efforts to bring this brand-new opportunity to our students. As a student myself, I am always interested in finding new ways to broaden my horizons and learn about new topics that can aid me in my professional journey. I believe this certificate will help to offer those things to our students. I look forward to launching this certificate and seeing our students take advantage of one of our newest opportunities in the Archie W. Dunham College of Business,” said Merecka.

To earn the certificate, students must complete three online courses within a six-week span through Risk Management Association, covering topics such as commercial banking, credit analysis, accounting principles and business ethics. Courses can be completed at any time during the six-week period.

Students who meet eligibility criteria, as outlined in the application, can begin applying for the new certificate program beginning Sept. 5, 2023. Students who are accepted will begin completing certification requirements in late September.