CULLOWHEE – Western Carolina University will offer a Certified Financial Planner certificate program in Asheville on Wednesdays, March 17 through Dec. 15.

Participants will take five successive courses over the nine-month period, with a one- or two-week break between courses. Classes will meet for six hours each Wednesday at Owens Conference Center on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Asheville. All classes begin at 1 or 3 p.m.

Upon completing the courses, students will have fulfilled all requirements necessary to take the Certified Financial Planner examination.

The lineup of courses includes “Investment Planning,” “Introduction to Financial Planning and Risk Management,” “Retirement Planning,” “Income Tax Planning” and “Estate Planning.” The cost is $600 per course, which includes all materials except textbooks. The deadline for registering for the first course is Friday, Feb. 13. Later registrations will be accepted if space is available.

Instructors will be Grace C. Allen, associate professor of finance at Western; Scott Gardner, instructor in the financial planning program at the university; Roger Lirely, associate professor of accountancy at Western; and Jim Benton, assistant professor of accounting and legal environment of business at Lander University.

Allen directs the Certified Financial Planning degree and certificate programs at Western, and also teaches extensively in the financial planning program. She is past recipient of The University of North Carolina system's Board of Governors Award for Excellence in Teaching; the Chancellor's Distinguished Teaching Award, Western's highest teaching honor; and numerous other teaching awards.

Gardner earned bachelor's and master's degrees at Western and previously worked as a certified financial planner in Asheville for five years. He serves on the board of directors of the Financial Planning Association of Western North Carolina.

Lirely is head of Western's department of accountancy, finance and entrepreneurship. Prior to entering academics, he was vice president and operations manager for a financial services firm in Chicago . He is a past recipient of the Jay I. Kneedler Teaching Award at Western.

Benton is director of the Professional Financial Planning certificate program at Lander University . He is a licensed attorney in Georgia, working in the areas of business transactions, estate planning and federal tax planning.

For more information about the program, contact Grace C. Allen at (828) 227-3189 or by e-mail at alleng@wcu.edu , or consult the program Web site: http://cess.wcu.edu/cfp .

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Last modified: Thursday, January 29, 2004
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