Connections: The Newsletter of the National Career Pathways Network

Volume 30, No. 3
Learning and Earning with Stackable Credentials

2020 NCPN Career Pathway Award Second Place Winner: Class Act Federal Credit Union, Louisville, Kentucky

On-campus credit union program teaches financial literacy and more

Class Act FCU logoClass Act FCU (CAFCU) partners with Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS) in supporting the CU@School program at two academy schools in the district. The curriculum, developed by CAFCU employees, teaches financial literacy, soft skills, how to run a credit union branch, and other skills. Participating students are interviewed by CAFCU executives and complete their preparatory training during the summers. The school branches are full-service, have the same equipment as the regular CAFCU branches, and are connected to the main office to enable real-time transactions. Marilyn Boyd is the CAFCU full-time branch coordinator. She provides academic support throughout the year and trains students in the program to teach their peers about financial literacy and the credit union. The graduation rate for participating students is 100 percent. At another school, Ashley Blount is the full-time JCPS employee who takes on the challenges of running her credit union inside the school with the support of CAFCU.

Class Act FCU logo

The program creates work-based learning experiences for around 50 students each year. Students shadow employees during summer training and have internship opportunities at CAFCU branches as staffing needs arise. Over 500 students have participated in the program over the past ten years. CAFCU has hired dozens of program graduates who have stayed in Louisville after graduation. Some worked at CAFCU through all three years of their eligibility for the program and came on full-time at CAFCU after graduation. When program graduates move away to attend college, CAFCU reaches out to credit unions in those cities to alert them to the arrival of excellent potential employees.

Participating students are exposed to multiple areas within the credit union industry—IT, marketing, lending, account management, and others. They learn about career ladders and are encouraged to explore all opportunities at CAFCU as well as at other credit unions and banks. Students are required to complete CUNA online modules. (CUNA, the Credit Union National Association, advocates for credit unions around the world.) Students can earn certifications in member service, accounting, security, and marketing. These certifications are recognized by the Kentucky Department of Education and count toward graduation at every high school in the state. In the 2019 school year alone, students at the two participating academy schools completed over 2,000 CUNA modules.

One of the best things about this program is that it transcends the "cliques" that are common in schools. As a group, the participating students represent a true cross section of the entire student population. Through this program, they learn to work together in diverse environments like those they will encounter as working adults.

Class Act FCU students


For more information, contact Tom Anonson, Executive Vice President, Class Act Federal Credit Union, at tanonson@classact.org.