teacher and students on a zoom class together

Community bank partners with local school district to launch new Diploma Plus One Pathway in banking and finance

July 9, 2021 | TS Bank

Council Bluffs, Iowa, July 14, 2021TS Bank has partnered with Council Bluffs Community School District to launch a banking and finance Diploma Plus One Pathway career exploration program for high school students. Enrolled students receive high school credit as well as an industry-recognized credential from the American Bankers Association (ABA).

“We're excited to introduce more students to the banking industry and to give them learning experiences in marketing, banking, information technology, human resources, financial education, investing and more. These students will meet a broad range of TS Bank employees and complete projects related to banking and finance,” said Director of Financial Literacy, Kyle Osborne.

This model for a course was piloted during the second semester of the 2020-21 school year with a small number of students. According to Osborne, the students learned banking fundamentals in this first of its kind program. Three students from Thomas Jefferson High School finished the spring semester and created their own "bank." Each student completed their work-based learning experience, received high school credit and the ABA certificate. 

TS Bank is among a growing number of local businesses partnering with the Council Bluffs Community School District to provide a meaningful experience for students to earn a second credential while in high school.

“We're grateful our students will now have the opportunity to earn a Diploma Plus credential from the American Bankers Association® through this TS Bank experience,” said Council Bluffs Schools Superintendent, Dr. Vickie Murillo. “We value the expertise of partners like TS Bank to meet our goal of preparing all of our students for future careers.”

Osborne stated, “We believe these skills are necessary for success after high school. With our commitment to offering the highest level of banking education, we have transitioned from the in-school branch model to a school career exploration model. This new career exploration program takes learning and the skills necessary for life after high school to the next level."

Faith Christensen, an incoming senior at Thomas Jefferson High School when asked about the program stated, “I'm in the career exploration program and it's going very well. There's more to banking than what I thought there was! So far from the program I have gained knowledge about different personality types and how they can all work together. I've also learned about everything that goes into how a bank makes money through its products and services!"

Christensen was a student banker at both Rue Elementary and Wilson Middle School and shared more about her experience in a recent radio interview. She was one of the first student bankers at the Rue Elementary when the in-school bank launched and is now one of first students in the career exploration program. 

Christensen and her classmates in this first banking and finance class have learned how a bank runs on the inside and how there's more than just what meets the eye. The comprehensive program provides information about different bank services and product offerings, credit scores, personal saving plans and lending practices. After high school Christensen wants to attend a four-year college, most likely in the Midwest, to get a bachelor’s degree in accounting and become a CPA (Certified Public Accountant).

“I have enjoyed everything I have done so far in the program. TS Bank and others have taught me so much about banking than I thought I would ever learn,” concluded Christensen.

Since 2009, TS Banking Group (the bank holding company of TS Bank) has reinvested over $1.25 million specifically toward increasing financial literacy through a division called TS Institute®. Efforts in financial education originally started in the Treynor School District before expanding across southwest Iowa. Over the past few years, this financial literacy programming has grown to include North Dakota and Illinois through TS Banking Group's additional bank charters.

About TS Bank: TS Bank’s mission is to Ignite Prosperity® in the communities it serves. Leading the resurgence of community banking, TS Bank reinvests 10 percent of their net income locally; hosting educational events and partners with local organizations and non-profits. TS Bank was chartered in 1923 and has $365 million in assets, along with the largest Iowa state-chartered C-Corp trust department west of Des Moines at nearly $218 million in assets named TS Prosperity Group. Locations include Treynor, Macedonia, Atlantic, Corning, Council Bluffs and Ames, Iowa. For more information, visit tsbank.com

About Council Bluffs Community Schools: In the Council Bluffs Community School District, more than 9,000 students from Council Bluffs, Carter Lake and Crescent, Iowa, are served by 1,200 staff members in 11 elementary schools, two middle schools, two high schools and one high school alternative learning center. The District boasts a vision for all students to earn a second certificate along with their high school diploma, helping to prepare them for post-secondary education, training and employment. For more information, visit cb-schools.org.