CWU News

New CWU College of Business Financial Planning Programs Earn National Recognition

The United State Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that 40,400 new personal financial advisors will be needed within the country’s financial planning industry through 2026.

Committed to meet this burgeoning labor demand, Central Washington University launched twoWellington at the Nasdaq in New York City new degrees in financial planning in fall 2017. The inaugural year success has extended beyond enrollment. This week, TD Ameritrade Institutional NextGen RIA Scholarship and Grant Program selected Central to receive the 2018 emerging program grant. The grant, totaling $25,000, is to be used over the next two years for program development.

“We’re excited about Central Washington University’s vision for its financial program, and their commitment to educating more women and minorities about the profession as a career choice,” said Kate Healy, managing director, Generation Next, TD Ameritrade Institutional. “As the CWU curriculum, including financial literacy programs, evolves, we look forward to seeing interest in financial planning careers grow on campus.”
To recognize this achievement, Carlo Smith, chair of the CWU Department of Finance and Supply Chain Management, and Tom Zebroski, director of the CWU Financial Planning program were among guests invited by TD Ameritrade Institutional to visit New York City and the Nasdaq MarketSite to ring the Closing Bell this afternoon (Tuesday, July 24).

“We will be using this generous $25,000 grant from TD Ameritrade to extend our outreach to a diverse range of prospective new students, to provide scholarships to those who choose this area of study and to encourage more firms to recruit interns and graduates from Central.”

The grant proposal outlined the following areas for fund distribution:

  • Develop materials and host on-campus diversity events to recruit women and students of color to the programs;
  • Offer $1,000 scholarships to 12 new students
  • Provide $500 toward paid internships for five qualified students; and,
  • Sponsor 10 students to attend the 2019 Financial Planning Association of Puget Sound Symposium in addition to Symposium sponsorship.

CWU Faculty and Wellington on the Nasdaq Floor

The CWU bachelor’s degrees in financial planning will help to serve an increasingly diverse population in need of competent financial guidance. Both financial planning degrees developed by faculty in the College of Business are registered with CFP Board. Students who graduate from the CWU program are qualified to sit for the Certified Financial Planner examination.

Last year, 21 students–11 women and five students of color–were enrolled in CWU PFP program. The first graduates from the program will enter the workforce in spring 2019.

“Our goal is to more than double student enrollment in our programs by the beginning of the 2019 academic year,” added Smith. “We also want to see a minimum of 50 percent of those enrolled be women and students of color.”

In preparation for program expansion, the College of Business has secured its first Ph.D. candidate specializing in financial planning. Benjamin Steele Campbell holds a JD and is completing his Ph.D. in Financial Planning at Texas Tech. Steele is a member of the Washington State Bar Association. He will join the College of Business faculty starting fall quarter 2018.

Media contact: Robert Lowery, Department of Public Affairs, director of Radio Services and Integrated Communications, 509-963-1487,