CUES Says It Has Expanded Online Learning Opportunities For Small CUs

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The Credit Union Executives Society (CUES) is making it easier and more affordable for small credit unions to enjoy the same educational benefits as their larger counterparts at its CUES Online University.

For starters, the university is just what is says-online at www.cuesu.org. That means there are no travel expenses to track, no hotels to reserve. And because courses are accessible 24/7, students don't have to miss valuable work time to attend-can leave class whenever they want and come back to the same page when they are ready to continue.

Most appealing, perhaps, is the cost, which has eight tiers categorized by the number of CU employees. CUs in the smallest tier-one to five-pay $259. Those at the other end-101 to 200 or more-pay $1,649. Those with more than 200 pay an additional $4 for each employee beyond that. In the middle are credit unions with 51 to 75 employees, which pay $999.

"That pricing works out to literally $3 to $4 per course for smaller credit unions," said George Hofheimer of the Professional Development Department at CUES.

Courses For Small CUs

"And there are a lot of courses that are really useful for smaller organizations whose employees have to do everything on their own."

A more advanced program, CUES U Plus, offers the same courses, plus a learning management system that allows the training manager to customize the program and set test standards for the CU's specific needs. It also allows that person to closely follow their progress and monitor usage. Costs for this program are progressively higher. For example, the yearly subscription rate for CUs with 50 members or fewer is $1,549.

Either way, it's money well spent, Hofheimer said, noting that one fee gains the CU's staff entrance for a year into the 80 or more courses designed by CU professionals and offered by CUES Online University. Subjects range from financing and marketing to leadership and human resources. Specific courses include Conflict Resolution, Check Fraud, Cross Selling Financial Products and Home Mortgage Disclosure Act.

An Online Exam

Most courses are 90 minutes long and include an online examination at the end. Those who pass receive a certificate of completion. New courses are added throughout the year with no additional fees attached, Hofheimer said.

CUES partnered with Digital University of La Jolla, Calif., to create its program. Digital University is headed by Dr. Kenneth J. Thygerson, author of 10 books and, among other things, former CEO of Freddie Mac, former director of the Division of Research and Economics and chief economist of the U.S. League of Savings Institutions.

So far, 600 CUs across the nation subscribe to the program with about 1,000 daily users.

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