Furthering a trend in banker education, the American Bankers Association is offering five of its fall training courses on-line.

The group is presenting the courses through its education affiliate, the American Institute of Banking. They should be a welcome offering to rural-area bankers, who often have to travel hundreds of miles to one of the institute's 55 chapters.

"On-line courses allow bankers to eliminate travel expenses, learn at their own pace, and still have access to their instructors and fellow classmates," said Douglas Adamson, executive director of the ABA's professional development group.

Students can get their assignments on the World Wide Web and forward completed work by fax or e- mail.

More of the ABA's roughly 100 courses are likely to go on-line in future semesters, said Charles Hoffman, the association's group director for electronic delivery.

Internet classes cost either $195 or $350, depending on their length. Books are included and are shipped to students before classes begin.

The ABA is offering a free introductory lesson at www.aba.com/aba/online/course.asp.

The association is not the first bank training provider to present classes on the Internet. IBT Financial in Bend, Ore., for example, has agreements with many community banks to provide on-line training to employees.

-- Alan Kline

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