College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences

Family Financial Planning Certificate: Facts

Why earn the certificate?

Financial planning is a career in demand. At a time when many Americans are reaching retirement age, and many others are entering the workforce, the need for personal financial planning expertise is greater than ever – demand for personal financial advisors is expected to grow much faster than the average for all occupations through 2024, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Course Descriptions

Six courses and one capstone course are required to complete the certificate program. Each course is 3 credit hours.

Financial Planning for Families

This course introduces students to various financial planning topics that face families such as the financial planning process, client/planner interactions, time value of money applications, personal financial statements, cash flow and debt management, asset acquisition, and education planning. Risk management, investment planning, retirement planning, plan integration, and ethics are also discussed.

Insurance Planning for Families

This course will prepare students for evaluating the total insurance needs of individuals and families. Competencies to assist individuals and families in making insurance decisions related to their future financial security will be developed. An in-depth study of risk management concepts, tools, and strategies for individuals and families, including the following types of insurance: life, property and casualty, liability, accident, disability, health and long-term care; and government-subsidized programs. Current and emerging issues, as well as ethical considerations, relative to risk management, will also be discussed. Case studies will provide experience in selecting insurance products suitable for individuals and families.

Income Tax Planning for Families

This course will develop a working knowledge of the fundamentals of personal income-tax planning and examine the integration of the planning process with family characteristics, goals, preferences and constraints. This course will also prepare students to evaluate the income needs of individuals and families. Competencies will be developed to assist individuals and families in making income tax decisions related to their future financial security.

Investment Planning for Families

This course provides the student with an understanding of the various types of securities traded in financial markets, investment theory and practice, portfolio construction and management, and investment strategies and tactics to meet a family’s investment goals.

Retirement Planning for Families

This course provides students with knowledge of both public and private retirement plans. Public plans include Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. The private plan includes defined benefit and defined-contribution plans and their regulatory provisions. Specifics of the various plans, including non-qualified deferred compensation plans, are analyzed. Issues that individuals face in retirement, such as lifestyle choices and health issues, are also discussed.

Estate Planning for Families

This course focuses on the efficient conversion and transfer of wealth, consistent with the family’s goals. It is a study of the legal, tax, financial and non-financial aspects of this process, covering topics such as trusts, wills, probate, advanced directives, charitable giving, wealth transfers, and related taxes.


This capstone course is designed for students to demonstrate the skills to develop integrated financial plans for clients and communicate their planning recommendations to clients. Select topics include ethics and professional responsibilities, laws, regulations, client communication, decision making, writing a financial plan, and implementing and monitoring the plan. Students are expected to use skills obtained in other courses and work experiences to complete a comprehensive personal finance case, mini-case studies, and calculation templates.

How long does the certificate take to complete?

Courses are offered online in fall, spring and summer semesters. All coursework is designed to be completed in four terms and fits easily into most schedules.

When will I receive the certificate?

A certificate in Family Financial Planning will be awarded to those who complete course requirements and have a bachelor’s degree. Undergraduate students who complete the coursework will acquire the certificate upon graduation. A bachelor’s degree is required to earn the certificate.

After I finish the coursework, how do I become a Certified Financial Planner?

The Family Financial Planning Certificate is registered through the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards. Students who earn the certificate have fulfilled the education component for obtaining certification and are eligible to take the CFP® Certification Examination. For more information and to create an account, visit

I’m not an enrolled student. How do I get started?

  1. Submit an Application/Interest Form to the FFP Certificate Coordinator at N.C. A&T in care of Dr. Valerie Giddings, chair of the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences. Download the Interest/Application form and email it to; fax to 336-334-7850; or mail to FFP Certificate Coordinator, c/o Dr. Valerie Giddings, Dept. of Family and Consumer Sciences, 102 Benbow Hall, 1601 E. Market St., Greensboro, N.C. 27411
  2. Register for the course through the N.C. A&T Office of Continuing Education, 336-285-3799. Download the Non-Credit and Contract Credit Application form and return it to Pat White:
  3. Pay for the course by check or credit card. The cost is $600 per course.

I am a student enrolled at N.C. A&T. How do I get started?

  1. Find out about this semester’s courses from Dr. Valerie Giddings, chair of the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences, (336) 334-7850 or
  2. Register as you would for any other course.

Can I use my educational benefits from the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs?

The Family Financial Planning Certificate Program, in the Dept. of Family & Consumer Sciences, has been approved for students using educational benefits from the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs. Now even more students can take advantage of the online, Certified Financial Board of Standards®-registered program that teaches students how to help others – and themselves – avoid debt, keep more of what they earn and achieve their financial goals. For more information email

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