Davenport creates new insurance specialty

July 14, 2012
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When the fall semester begins, the Donald M. Maine School of Business at Davenport University will offer a new risk management and insurance specialty as part of its business management section. The university developed the offering in partnership with the Farmers Insurance Group.

Farmers, which insures small businesses as part of its broad portfolio of policies, will provide $10,000 for student scholarships over the first three years of the specialty as an added incentive.

Davenport and Farmers decided to go ahead with the bachelor degree program because economic forecasts have projected employment growth for the industry in the coming years.

“The insurance sector is important to the continued growth of the Michigan economy, and Davenport is proud to help support that growth with the support of insurance agencies and organizations,” said Richard Pappas, Davenport president, in a statement.

“This special focus on insurance within an existing degree program demonstrates our ongoing commitment to help students get where the world is going in business, technology and health professions. We are especially grateful for the generous contribution from Farmers Insurance that will help students in this new specialty receive adequate financial support,” Pappas said.

Davenport will offer the insurance specialty, which will focus on the property-casualty segment of the industry, at its Grand Rapids, Livonia and Lansing campuses. The courses will be taught by industry experts and are designed to meet industry requirements. Students will earn the Associate in General Insurance designation and will start on the Charter Property Casualty Underwriter designation once the course work is completed and the exams are passed.

The courses include the principles of risk management and insurance, commercial insurance, risk management, and insurance proposals and negotiation. Two marketing classes are recommended as electives: professional selling and the marketing of services.

“At Farmers Insurance, we view education and development as crucial for the success of our business and for the success of our employees and agents,” said Annette Thompson, chief learning officer for Farmers.

“As a recognized leader in training and learning, we at the University of Farmers are thrilled to have worked with Davenport on this new specialization and feel it will provide greater opportunities for current and future insurance professionals,” said Thompson.

The University of Farmers is located in Agoura Hills, Calif., and captured the first-place prize in Training magazine’s 11th Annual Training Top 125 awards program last year.

“The University of Farmers provided a compelling, detail-rich account of how it tied its training programs to corporate strategic goals and the demonstrable changes in learner behavior, performance and efficiency that came about as a result of that training,” said Lorri Frelfeld, editor in chief of Training.

In addition to the new Davenport Insurance Scholarship being sponsored by Farmers, Pappas said other student scholarships are offered for the specialty by insurance and risk management companies, associations and foundations. He said a four-year degree program is available and up to 90 credits may be transferred to it from other fully accredited colleges or universities, the Insurance Institute of America and the American Institute for Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters.

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