Financial Counseling and Planning
Help families and individuals manage their money!
Financial Counseling and Planning (FCP) curriculum prepares students for professional work related to financial counseling and planning. FCP is a growing career field and appeals to students who want to work with individuals and families to help them meet their financial goals and improve their financial capability to better meet financial challenges.
Three areas of emphasis offer students opportunities to help them make good financial decisions and manage resources:
What can I do with a degree in FCP?
Graduates of the program are prepared for employment within the public and private sectors including working in the banking and insurance industry and financial counseling and human service agencies. A required internship encourages students to apply their studies and to experience the profession in real-world settings. FCP majors also are prepared to enter graduate programs in family financial planning, financial education, economics and finance. (See the career possibilities below for specific career examples.)
In the Fall of 2013, the name of the curriculum was changed to Family Finance (FF) to highlight the emphasis on family financial counseling and planning. Students in the family finance option will take coursework that leads to taking the certification examination in financial planning.
The only program in Iowa
ISU has the only family finance undergraduate program in Iowa.
Recent economic conditions in the U.S. highlight the nation’s need for more citizens who understand family financial decision-making and can build their own financial capacity and also help others to become financially literate. FCP provides students with the skills to help people solve their financial problems and make good financial decisions based on individual and family financial goals, guiding them toward financial security.
Financial Counseling Clinic
Many students in this major work closely with the Iowa State Financial Counseling Clinic to develop counseling skills and conduct research in state-of-the-art facilities. As a financial counseling student, you will study the underlying causes of financial problems and develop counseling skills. As a financial planning student, you will study family economic analysis and investments, retirement, insurance, and estate planning to help families and individuals manage their money.
The following 4-year plans of study can be found in the ISU Catalog:
The Financial Counseling and Planning minor may be earned by completing the following requirements:
Complete all three of the following:
HD FS 239: Housing and Consumer Issues (3 credits)
HD FS 283: Personal and Family Finance (3 credits)
HD FS 395: Children, Families, and Public Policy (3 credits)
In addition, complete two of the following (6 credits):
HD FS 341: Housing Finance and Policy
HD FS 360: Housing and Services for Families and Children
HD FS 378: Economics of Aging
HD FS 463: Environments for the Aging
HD FS 483: Advanced Personal and Family Finance
HD FS 488: Families in the Economy
HD FS 489: Financial Counseling
For current and recent class syllabus examples go to the Class Websites page for Human Development and Family Studies.
Family finance careers:
High school math courses, communications courses, and courses in human behavior are recommended.
View Financial Counseling and Planning student internship experiences at Career Connections.
Students majoring in Financial Counseling and Planning are required to complete a 320-360 hour internship during their senior year with the goal of applying the knowledge learned in the classroom to a work setting. Students find and choose an internship site themselves with the support and guidance from the HDFS department internship coordinator. Internships can be completed in Iowa, out of state and even internationally.
Examples of organizations where students majoring in Financial Counseling and Planning have completed their internships:
Recent current events have changed the way our country thinks about monetary matters. Faculty leading coursework and research related to personal and family finance and housing are at work in our communities, state, and nation, helping all ages of the population better understand and plan for fiscal security.
Adjunct/affiliate faculty and lecturers
ISU’s Hira helps develop consumer money-management site
NYSE Euronext developers worked closely with Tahira Hira, a professor of personal finance and consumer economics in HDFS, to launch NYSE Money Sense, a new online educational resource for consumers to improve their money-management skills and knowledge. Hira vetted the site content and is chairing the NYSE Euronext Financial Literacy Advisory committee, which is composed of some of the most respected names in financial literacy and education. She was interviewed about the initiative by Maria Bartiromo on CNBC.
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