Kent State University to Pursue Bachelor's in Insurance StudiesPosted May 2, 2011
Kent State University is announcing its intent to bring a bachelor's degree in insurance studies to Ohio. By engaging corporations and private individuals in an ongoing relationship, the university is looking to implement an insurance program in 2012. The degree will initially be housed at Kent State University at Salem.
Currently, Kent State is the only private or public university in Ohio committed to growing a bachelor's degree in insurance studies. By 2016, Ohio's insurance industry workforce is projected to grow by 7.1 percent. Additional employment opportunities also will become available as an estimated 50 percent of the industry workforce reaches retirement age by 2016. The diversity of potential employers and market demands of the workforce creates an ideal environment for partnerships between Kent State's Regional Campuses and the insurance industry.
Kent State President Lester A. Lefton said implementing the insurance studies degree would give students a dedicated path to a rich and diverse career.
"Reflecting national trends, more Kent State University students are interested in academic programs that will provide long-term career opportunities in recession-proof industries; the insurance industry provides a viable option," Lefton says. "National leaders in the insurance industry, including the Westfield Group and Progressive Insurance, have corporate headquarters located in areas served by Kent State's Regional Campuses. Combined with independent agency companies, specialized insurance companies and independent agents, more than 238,000 individuals are employed by the insurance industry in Ohio."
David B. Hazen, vice president of commercial lines of Huntington Insurance, was instrumental in working with Kent State to formulate plans for the degree.
"We need a workforce with a solid understanding of insurance, especially as this industry continues to grow and expand," Hazen says. "We are intent on engaging young people in careers with us. Kent State Salem is a natural fit for this degree seeing as they already offer a bachelor's in business management. Plus, the campus has a proven track record of partnering with industry to bring needed degrees to the area, such as horticulture, nursing and radiology."
Kent State Salem Dean Jeffrey Nolte said the campus is excited to offer more options to its students. "We are always looking to increase our degrees, partner with industry and provide more opportunities for our students," Nolte says. "I'm proud we're able to pursue the bachelor's degree in insurance."
The program will be initially supported by a $20,000 donation from the Independent Insurance Agents of Ohio. This is the group's first charitable donation to a higher education institution.
"This gift is an investment in our future," says Hazen, who is the group's past president. "We believe in the notion of giving back, and feel this is a direct way to make an impact on the future of the insurance industry."
As highlighted in Kent State Magazine, Kent State provides more than $1.96 billion in added income to the Northeast Ohio economy each year. Kent State's Regional Campuses are a key catalyst to economic development for the 12 counties that comprise the region. For more than 40 years, Kent State Salem has developed new educational programs and facilities in response to the changing needs of employers.
Founded in 1897, the Independent Insurance Agents of Ohio has more than 10,000 members. The group is committed to providing its membership with unparalleled legal, legislative and regulatory representation before Congress, the Ohio General Assembly, the judicial system and regulatory agencies. It is one of the most respected lobbying organizations in Ohio and Washington, D.C.
Independent agents rely on the organization for products and services which help them compete and succeed in the marketplace. Services range from insurance products to continuing education programs to a host of administrative, informational and marketing services.
Between Kent State University at East Liverpool and Kent State University at Salem, students can earn a bachelor's degree in 14 different disciplines or an associate degree in 14 different areas. Kent State East Liverpool and Kent State Salem are home to more than 3,300 students. For more information, please visit www.col.kent.edu or call 1-877-KENT-EDU.