It has been a busy fall semester, with students winning awards, traveling the country and with new faces on campus. I have included a variety of links to Personal Financial Planning in the News below, so you can catch up on all of our activities.
Foremost, we are growing, as the number of undergraduate PFP majors has increased by 22 students from fall 2017. This trend is especially noticeable among younger students, as direct freshman enrollees increased by five. This is representative of an increased understanding of financial planning as a career path and the growth of the CFP® Designation. This growth is program wide, as our master’s program grew by 40% in the same time period.
Once again, our Financial Planning Association Financial Planning Challenge Team experienced success, placing third at this year’s annual conference. Congratulations to Jack Giardino, Abby Pope, and Landon Warmund, who are all graduating seniors that have accepted jobs. Similarly, our Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education team placed 4th in the Knowledge Bowl Challenge. Congrats to Adam Eilert (Senior), Philip Wegman (Junior), and Jessica Lickteig (Junior).
We are also excited to announce that Thomas Meek (junior) and Benaiah Gorman (senior) will be competing in the finals of the Society of Financial Services Industry Issues competition in March and Morgan Ziegler (senior) and Emma Hahn (junior) were named honorable mentions in this same competition! Congrats!
Job and internship placement has been strong and growing. All of our May graduates held positions upon graduation, with the majority of students accepting jobs before the end of January. The median salary for graduates was $45,000, indicative of the strong value and talent that our students are bringing to the profession. As illustrated by the graphic below, students are finding jobs and internships all over the country.
The Peer Mentor Program, which started in the spring of 2018, is becoming a core feature of our program. Originally founded by a group of juniors and seniors that wanted to help first-year students understand the financial planning landscape, there are now nine peer mentors serving approximately 30 students. Thanks to our industry and alumni support, we were able to award scholarships to all peer mentors starting this fall.
Lastly, we experienced transition in faculty. We were happy to wish Kristy Archuleta well as she started her new position at the University of Georgia. In her stead, we welcomed Cherie Stueve as an instructor and you can read more about her in this newsletter. I am also happy to announce that Derek Lawson has accepted an Assistant Professor of Personal Financial Planning position, while Dr. Megan McCoy has accepted a Professor of Practice position, both to begin in Fall 2019.
Derek Lawson is CFP(R) professional who has held past national leadership positions with FPA NexGen and NAPFA Genesis. He is currently working as an Instructor at Texas Tech University while completing his Ph.D. in our program. Derek will primarily be focused on the B.S. and Ph.D. programs.
Dr. Megan McCoy is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and is currently an adjunct faculty member teaching courses in the Financial Therapy Certificate Program. Dr. McCoy has extensive clinical experience working with individuals, couples, and families. Financial Therapy will be her specialty. She will also work to support the Ph.D. program. You can read more about her in this newsletter as well.
It continues to be an exciting time at Kansas State, we thank you all for your support!