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Banking & Financial Services

Welcome to Banking and Financial Services

The Banking and Financial Services program is designed for persons interested in pursuing a career in the banking and financial services industry. As a rapidly expanding career choice, work in the credit and financial management field offers much growth potential for today's graduate. The program of study provides students with a foundation of knowledge needed for a successful career in the financial industry. Students will learn about banking systems including the role of financial institutions in the economy, negotiable instruments, mortgages, flow of deposits, commercial lending, credit law, ethics, specialized banking services, public relations and safety.

The Banking and Financial Services program offers a broad-based financial services curriculum focusing on teller operations, customer service, business math, banking history and regulations, lending, credit, insurance, securities, and financial planning. Training includes the skills needed for entry-level banking careers, as well as options to develop advanced skills related to financial management. Students have the opportunity for hands-on work experience in a variety of local financial institutions. Graduates will find positions in financially oriented organizations such as banks, savings and loan associations, credit unions, mortgage companies, finance companies, insurance companies, investment companies, financial planners, credit bureaus, and collection agencies. Many other non-financial firms in diverse fields, ranging from retailing and manufacturing to hospitals and clinics, also employ persons having credit and financial management knowledge.

A wide variety of career opportunities exist within the field of Banking and Financial-related Services. Typical entry-level positions are bank teller, loan officer, fiscal technician, credit authorizer/checker, credit clerk, account representative, brokerage clerk, insurance sales, debt collector, customer service representative, personal banking representative, and gaming cage workers. All of these career titles are listed as high demand occupations for the Skagit and Whatcom County region. According to the Occupational Handbook and Workforce Explorer all of these occupations generally require at least a high school diploma and most require some previous work-related skill, knowledge, or experience. Graduates from 2-year college degree programs are increasingly preferred. Background checks are required for employment in finance institutions. Short term on-the-job training is common.

Students interested in advancing their skills in preparation for financial management positions (degree option) will also find a variety of employment opportunities. The financial services field offers a wide spectrum of opportunities available in career and wage progression as employees demonstrate personal and professional competencies. Career progression will result as the worker gains on-the-job experience and/or seeks more advanced education and training. Experience may be more important than formal education for advancement into some financial-related occupations—most notably, branch managers in banks. Banks typically fill branch manager positions by promoting experienced loan officers and other professionals who excel at their jobs. Other financial managers may enter the profession through formal management training programs offered by the company, or through specialized business education programs at colleges and universities.

Business Programs at SVC

Currently, Skagit Valley College offers a wide variety of business-related courses clustered among four primary departments. Each department offers multiple degree and certificate program options:

Program Options

The Banking and Financial Services pathway includes several certificate and degree options. The program is structured so students can complete short micro-certificate options that prepare them for entry-level employment, or certificate options that provide "specialty" training for those seeking more advanced positions, or an ATA degree option for students seeking management or supervisory positions within financial institutions. Each certificate option builds on the previous certificate completed helping students avoid duplication of coursework, saving time & money towards degree completion.

Degrees / Certificates Credits Estimated Program Length Admission Dates
Banking & Financial Services ATA Degree 92 6-7 quarters All Quarters
Banking & Financial Management Certificate 68 4 quarters All Quarters
Administrative Financial Support Services Certificate 46 3 quarters All Quarters
Business Finance Applications Certificate 25 2 quarters All Quarters
Financial Services Certificate 29 2-3 quarters Fall Quarter Only
Banking Services I Micro-Certificate 13 1 quarter Fall Quarter Only
Banking Services II Micro-Certificate 16 1 quarter Spring Quarter Only

The estimated program length is based on full-time enrollment. It is the student's responsibility to discuss sequencing and work out their individual schedule with a counselor or program advisor. Not all courses are offered every quarter. Any developmental coursework a student may be required to complete may increase the program length. Neither the certificate nor the degree is intended for university transfer.

Program Learning Outcomes:

Graduates of the Banking and Financial Services program will

  • Demonstrate an ability to use appropriate software to complete business related tasks and requirements.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the major functions of banks and other depository institutions.
  • Demonstrate appropriate bank teller procedures: cash handling, balancing cash, documenting work.
  • Evaluate and process quantitative and symbolic data.
  • Apply technology to accounting by creating formulas and inputting data into spreadsheets.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the financial planning process & the components of a comprehensive financial plan.
  • Create and maintain positive customer relations by understanding the practices fostering customer retention and loyalty.
  • Understand ethical responsibilities and consequences as they relate to a financial services work environment.
  • Model professional behavior in the workplace.
  • Demonstrate ability to communicate effectively with co-workers and customers.
  • Develop critical thinking and problem-solving abilities.
  • Function effectively as a team member by applying positive interpersonal interactions.
  • Demonstrate appropriate workplace behaviors – regular attendance, punctuality, ability to communicate well with others, contribute to the team process, and use appropriate problem-solving & leadership skills.
  • Demonstrate the ability to research employment opportunities, prepare an effective employment package, including resume, and present oneself positively in a job interview.

Program Entry Requirements

Apply to the Admissions Office for an application to Skagit Valley College. Make an appointment to take the college's COMPASS Test. Students may enter the program at the beginning of any quarter; although some key courses are only offered at specific times during the year. For more information, contact the Department Chair or the Admissions Office.

You Will Study

  • History of Money
  • Money Management
  • Teller Operations
  • Financial Services
  • Banking Regulations
  • Financial Accounting
  • Financial Planning
  • Financial Analysis
  • Credit Management-Credit Law
  • Customer Service
  • Leadership Development-Supervision
  • Business Law & Ethics
  • Business Math
  • Office-related Software Applications
  • Marketing Basics
  • Employability & Work Experience

Academy of Finance

PROGRAM START DATE: September 4, 2013

Skagit Valley College offers a unique educational opportunity for students who choose to complete the Banking Services I and II Micro-certificate program. This micro-certificate option is a collaborative educational program offered through a partnership between Skagit Valley College and the Northwest Career and Technical Academy (NCTA). The Academy occupies a new building on the SVC campus and opened its doors to students September 2010. The Academy specializes in hands-on professional-technical training taught by industry professionals in a variety of program areas. Located on the NCTA campus, the Academy of Finance provides the classroom site for the entry-level Banking Services I and II program (see program descriptions below). The banking and finance curriculum is designed to help students acquire academic, technical, and employability skills in the areas of banking services and teller training, personal money management, 10-key calculator applications, business math, customer service, marketing, and job search techniques. As part of this program qualified students may earn an internship placement in a local financial institution.

NCTA offers a three quarter (two-semester), full-year program (Sept.-June) with courses scheduled sequentially. Students attend classes for 2.5 hours per day Monday – Friday. Students may enter this program Fall Quarter only. This is a full academic year program beginning in September and ending in June.

Class Hours – students can choose either an a.m. or p.m. section:
01 – AM class 8:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m., daily
02 – PM class 11:25 a.m. – 1:55 p.m., daily

To learn more about this program opportunity, please see "Contact Us" information, or read information provided in the Banking and Financial Services Student Information Packet.

Certificate and Degree Options

 For a complete overview of each certificate/degree see the individual suggested schedules for each Degree and Certificate options.

Banking and Financial Services ATA Degree (92 credits)

This degree specialization is intended for students interested in seeking management or supervisory positions within financial services-related businesses.

Banking and Financial Management Certificate (68 credits)

This specialty certificate is designed to provide students with a foundation of finance-related skills that will prepare them for employment in a financial services-related business environment. The coursework is also appropriate for individuals interested in enhancing their current skills and knowledge as applied in a financial office setting.

Administrative Financial Support Services Certificate (46 credits)

This specialty certificate is designed to provide students with a foundation of finance-related skills that will prepare them for employment in a financial services office environment. The coursework is also appropriate for individuals interested in enhancing their current skills and knowledge as applied in a financial office setting.

Business Finance Applications Certificate (25 credits)

Provides an overview of software applications used in typical financial services-related businesses with a focus on spreadsheet modeling (Excel) and applications of fundamental accounting practices. Financial Management skills are also covered.

Financial Services Certificate (29 credits)

This certificate combines the Banking Services I and II micro-certificates (see complete description below). To earn this particular certificate, students must successfully complete the full sequence of courses required in both micro-certificate options.

Banking Services I Micro-certificate (13 credits)

Students will learn skills needed for entry-level banking careers. Provides training in teller operations, banking regulations, financial planning, credit, lending, insurance, business law and ethics and marketing. Introduces students to career opportunities in financial services-related businesses.

Banking Services II Micro-certificate (16 credits)

Students continue to build a foundation of skills needed for entry-level careers in banking and other financial services-related businesses. Courses include instruction in business math applications, communications, public relations skills, business equipment operations and an internship experience.

Career Opportunities and Job Search Information

The Occupational Information Network (O*NET) is the nation's primary source of occupational information. The O*Net Online database is an interactive research tool for exploring and searching occupations. The database, developed by the US Department of Labor, contains information on hundreds of standardized and occupation-specific descriptors, and provides a variety of FREE Career Exploration Tools.

O-Net Online:

  • SOC - 43-3071.00 - Tellers
  • SOC - 43-3099.00 - Financial Clerks
  • SOC - 13-2072.00 - Loan Officers
  • SOC - 11-3031.00 - Financial Managers

With the current state of the economy and the serious economic issues that many families are facing today, banking and financial services is a growth area for future employment opportunities. Tellers, Loan Officers, Insurance Sales Agents, Billing & Posting Clerks, Personal Financial Advisors, Financial Services Sales Agents, and Financial Managers are all currently listed as "in demand" occupations for the Northwest Region (Workforce Explorer-2011). For more detailed information about employment trends, wage rates, employment opportunities, job tasks, etc. search the websites listed below:

Placement Rate

Placement and Completion Data

Contact Us

Sally Dixon, Department Chair
Business Management

Email Sally

Lynette Brower, Dean of Students
Academy of Finance Program
Northwest Career & Technical Academy
360.848.0706 ext. 4005

Email Lynette

Information Sessions

Information sessions for the Academy of Finance program are scheduled by the NCTA program faculty. For a current schedule of dates/times, please contact one of the persons listed above.