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College of Health and Human Sciences

Financial planning PhD program welcomes 9 distance students

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Nine students, many of them professionals in the finance industry, have signed up for K-State’s first distance-based doctorate program - a PhD in personal financial planning from The School of Family Studies and Human Services.

John GrableThe program is also the only one to offer a doctorate to distance students. It is  conducted almost exclusively online, said John Grable, professor of personal financial in the College of Human Ecology. Each summer, students will come to campus for an intensive 10-day course.

"I have never seen a class of students bond so quickly," said Grable after the summer gathering. "These are all individuals who have the potential to change the way financial planning is taught and studied."

The fourth summer, students will travel abroad to see firsthand how global markets work and how they affect financial planning in the United States and worldwide.

"Most will teach and conduct research at the university level; others will do consulting, particularly in helping third world nations improve the financial wellness of their populations," Grable explained.

Among the students is Kurt Schindler, a  resident of Puerto Rico who was one of the first to enroll. "This program structure allows me to do something I have long desired but did not have the flexibility to pursue," he said. "It fit into my goals, lifestyle and responsibilities."

Schindler, who has worked in the financial sector for 22 years, said he was ready to take on the academic side of finance. But with deep roots in Puerto Rico, his options were limited.

"I saw the K-State program profiled in a trade magazine and began the application process almost immediately," he said. "I wanted to be able to understand and participate in the academic perspective of this important profession. I am grateful to have this opportunity."

Julie Cumbie, Edmond, Okla., is a full-time instructor of finance at the University of Central Oklahoma. She said earning her doctorate would mean real opportunities for promotion.

"I wanted to take my profession to the next level," she said. "Completion of this program will allow me to be promoted and provide me with the skills to engage in research."

In the program students learn to solve real-world problems and integrate knowledge about personal finance and relationships. They also will have the opportunity to participate in professional groups, assume professional leadership positions and become involved in teaching, researching and publication, Grable said.

Students can earn their doctorate in as few as five years.

This program also is registered with the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc., which will allow graduates to sit for the certified financial planner exam.

Only one other university offers a doctorate in personal financial planning. More information on the K-State program is available at http://www.ipfp.k-state.edu/programs/doctoral/

Prepared by K-State media relations and Human Ecology communications

This article was posted on Tuesday, August 25, 2009, and is filed under Applied Human Sciences, College News, Personal Financial Planning.