Education Focus 20/20: Dynamic Educational Content Is Key for Members

By Myra A. Thomas

As the Secured Finance Network celebrates its 75th anniversary, its commitment to the education of its membership remains tantamount to the organization. Part of that commitment is making sure that secured lenders of all stripes are provided with the essential tools, training, and best practices to ensure their professional success. But that educational content must stay dynamic, updating foundational courses and offering new and compelling material to deal with current business challenges. SFNet’s new initiative, Education Focus 20/20, supported by the Secured Finance Foundation, brings that vision to life. We are revamping course content to reflect the changes in the industry and to better respond to the needs of our members.

While we have a commitment to provide the basics of the trade, we have listened to our members and are making sure that our educational content remains current, providing an educational trajectory that better promotes professional development. “It’s our goal to foster a stronger community by providing the knowledge and tools necessary to succeed in our continually evolving industry,” said SFNet CEO Rich Gumbrecht. “Our members count on us to complement and supplement their own education offerings.  Together we are making a conscious decision to invest in our people.”

The new Education Focus 20/20 curriculum provides a consistent, clear and logical pathway for members. It consists of five tracks in the categories of field exam, account management, business development, operations, and underwriting, with a level one and level two course for each. An introductory ABL course--a beginner level class--serves as a precursor to the various tracks.

Almost every class in Education Focus 20/20 will be brand new or updated from a previous SFNet class, so participants can be assured they are gaining relevant, up-to-date knowledge. In addition to CPE credit, SFNet will now offer Certificates of Completion for every track and for each individual class. Members will immediately know the relevant sequence of classes to follow to meet their professional goals. SFNet is also ensuring members will be able to plan ahead and take advantage of course offerings by providing an updated education calendar on the website, outlining courses available over the next two years.

In-person and online training will continue to cater to a wide range of professionals, whether they are just starting out, have advanced to the executive ranks, or are looking to move into a new discipline. In addition, SFNet’s educational offerings will continue to include webinars with content designed to reflect topics relevant to secured lenders today, like retail finance, tech finance, and healthcare ABL. Of course, asset-based lenders and factors face hectic schedules, and so SFNet is mindful of the time constraints of our membership. In 2020, the rollout of new and revamped online courses and webinars will be a big focus, making it easier for even the busiest secured lender to take part in the best of what SFNet has to offer.

Whether it’s in-person training across the country, online content, or even personalized in-house training at your organization, the emphasis remains on the real world. Course material will put a stronger emphasis on case studies to better align with the challenges secured lenders face in the business world today. With Education Focus 20/20, SFNet will also focus on promoting career advancement for secured lenders by offering a new leadership development program, tailor-made for our members. As with all our in-person courses, this workshop will provide attendees the opportunity to not only learn from industry leaders but to network with other secured lenders taking the course.

Simply put, there are changes afoot for 2020. But as always, SFNet’s membership can count on their organization to provide practical knowledge, as well as leading educational programming to advance their career. In 2020, members can expect a more logical and clear pathway to SFNet’s educational content. SFNet’s teaching faculty will continue to be made up of a diverse group of industry leaders—leaders who are passionate about their areas of expertise and committed to providing an interactive and demanding educational experience. Education is and will continue to be one of the key values of SFNet and our Foundation.

No matter the secured lender’s business title or years in the industry, SFNet is offering quality content and programming that is responsive to each and every members’ needs, and in turn, ensuring their professional success. Member companies can be assured that SFNet’s programming provides the necessary educational tools to supplement on-the-job training and in-house programs. And SFNet will continue to act as a network of peers, keeping secured lenders on the cutting edge of developments in the industry.

For more information on SFNet education programs, please visit our website.

About the Author

Myra A. Thomas is an award-winning business, finance and tech editor and journalist, as well as researcher, with extensive print and online experience.