By Ashley Jayne
Ingham County Chronicle
The new Insurance Leadership Academy program was announced at the March 17 Ingham County Intermediate Board of Education meeting. The program, run through the Capital Area Career Center, will provide high school juniors and seniors with opportunities to get experience in the insurance field. Earning college credit is also possible with this program as the Career Center has partnered with Olivet College and Ferris State University. Students will gain hands-on experience by working at Accident Fund Insurance three days a week.
Students in the Insurance Leadership academy will spend approximately half of each school day in the program classes. Three days a week will be devoted to learning about insurance in a class room environment and the other two days will be spent at Accident Fund to gain field experience. There will be morning and afternoon sections. Students in the morning session will go to Lansing Eastern High School for their class days. Those in the afternoon session will go to the Capital Area Career Center.
The Insurance Leadership Academy in Ingham County is modeled after a program in Eaton County. Olivet College student Leah Lupu attended the Eaton County program in its second year. Lupu said she felt far more prepared than her peers as a college freshman because of her participation in the program. She also said that, because she had a basic knowledge of the field before attending college, she was able to obtain two licenses to sell insurance.
Assistant Superintendent for Instruction Cindy Anderson said the insurance program is one of four being brought to the Capital Area Career Center for next year because insurance will soon be a career with very high demand. According to Communications Director of the Insurance Institute of Michigan Lori Conarton, 40 percent of the insurance industry’s workforce is age 55 or older and will be retiring soon.
While students are able to earn nine college credits in the program, Lansing School District Superintendent for Instruction Mark Coscarella said the aim of the program is to give students enough experience to get an entry level job in insurance immediately after high school graduation. It will also prepare those who are college bound to excel in college programs that are relative to insurance.
Students who wish to enroll in the program for the 2015 to 2016 school year must send in an application. The program is open only to high school juniors and seniors, and there is room for 22 students in each section. Transportation will be provided to students to and from the program. Informational meetings will be held on April 22 and May 20 from 6-7 p.m. at the Capital Area Career Center. In addition, more information about the program and insurance careers can be found at insuringmifuture.org.