NU Online News Service, Sept. 9, 2003, 4:13 p.m. EDT – Three major financial services education organizations have established the “Insurance Industry Educational Consortium,” an organization that will formally integrate insurance industry professional designation programs into academic degree tracks at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

The organizations are the American Institute for CPCU/Insurance Institute of America, Malvern, Pa.; LOMA, Atlanta; and New England College of Finance, Boston.

The consortium will work, for example, to ensure that courses taken for the American Institute’s Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter professional designation program will count for credit at top master’s degree programs, consortium organizers say.

“All insurance industry designations delivered by AICPCU/IIA and LOMA will be recognized for credit transfer within the consortium,” organizers say.

Participants will be able to get associate’s degrees from the New England College of Finance and credit toward bachelor’s degree programs and master’s degree programs in business at Drexel University in Philadelphia and the University of Maryland’s University College division, organizers say.

New York University’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies will offer a master’s degree program in management and systems with a concentration in insurance and risk management.

New England College of Finance is working with the University of California at Berkeley extension program to develop an accelerated program in financial services with concentrations in insurance and in banking and investment management.

Many of the degree and certificate programs will be available “on the ground,” and all will be available entirely online, consortium organizers say.

The consortium advisory board will include AICPCU/IIA, LOMA, NECF and executives from large insurance companies.