Graduates of the Columbus State Community College insurance certificate program are one step closer to good jobs in the insurance industry.
On June 20, about 70 students, administrators, faculty and family members celebrated the participants’ graduation from Columbus State’s Certificate of Foundations in Insurance pilot program. The event marked a turning point for the tradtitional students, career changers and veterans who completed the program.
“I had spent over 20 years being a stay-at-home mom, and I wanted a job,” said graduate June Tucker after the ceremony. “So, when I saw this program, I was really inspired to say ‘hey, this is something I could do, this would be a really good way to get a set up.’”
Tucker, an Air Force veteran who started a new job at Nationwide Insurance the same day as the ceremony, has done just that.
Funded by an Ohio Department of Job and Family Services grant, the Certificate of Foundations in Insurance pilot program provided the graduates with the skills needed for entry-level customer service representative positions.
The two-semester program consisted of six courses ranging from principles of business to customer service and sales. Impressively, all of the students earned at least a B average-thus qualifying for guaranteed interviews at several of Ohio’s major insurance companies. Many students made the Dean’s List with 4.0 grade point averages.
Best of all, 10 already have found jobs, and another 10 are ivolved in the hiring process.
The pilot program represented a larger growth of college programs - the direct result of strategies spearheaded by the Insurance Industry Resource Council, a collaboration of 17 Ohio insurance companies that have aligned to build career awareness initiatives in Ohio. The goal: to prepare a pipeline of new talent to fill an expected shortfall of 26,000 insurance professionals by 2020.
Just a few years ago, there was not a single Ohio insurance program at any of the state’s colleges or universities. Today, nine Ohio colleges and universities offer insurance and risk management programs.