MBA Partners with Blackboard for Online Training

The Mortgage Bankers Association has teamed up with Blackboard Inc., Washington, to offer Web-based training designed for midsize and large financial institutions.

The Financial Services Training Package, or FSTP, combines more than 1,000 hours of financial services courses and content from CampusMBA with Blackboard's flagship application, the Blackboard Learning System.

CampusMBA is the educational arm of the trade association.

Blackboard is an enterprise software company that facilitates online education programs for a variety of public and private sector clients.

The FSTP is a fully featured learning system that uses content from CampusMBA. Included in the package are courses and content on compliance, origination, underwriting, financial analysis, fraud, subprime lending and financial privacy. All courses taught through this package are eligible for credits toward professional certificates and designations from the Mortgage Bankers Association.

Described as a complete turnkey solution, the FSTP features course creation, 24/7 hosting, 24/7 live user support and two days of training. Integration between FSTP and a participating institution's information systems is available.

Nearly 3,000 banks, financial service companies, colleges and universities already use Blackboard on a daily basis to create courses for hybrid delivery, supplemental learning and long-distance education.

Increasingly, companies are attempting to train employees with a limited budget and staff. The FSTP allows companies to easily leverage their existing program with CampusMBA content and the Blackboard Learning System to create in-house training programs that benefit employees as well as the company, Blackboard said.

Companies using the package can train staff with existing CampusMBA content, easily develop their own Web-based training or implement a blended training model by mixing their courses with parts of the CampusMBA program.

"Providing your staff with a Web-enabled, highly relevant and easy-to-use learning system benefits their personal and professional development, increases employee loyalty and, in today's competitive environment, helps build competitive edge," said Dan Thoms, vice president of MBA education and business development. "Also, the ability to easily author courses tailored to specific needs adds value to any program."

Charles Brodsky, director of corporate and government sales at Blackboard, said content is key to any training program.

"We are proud to be offering a program in conjunction with the Mortgage Bankers Association that offers the banking community a way to receive and maintain professional designations and college credit at a very affordable price point. This program offers anyone in the industry a way to advance their careers in the ever-changing real estate finance industry."

A spokesperson for Blackboard said the company is a leader in electronic education software and has clients in primary, secondary and higher education as well as in the corporate world.

She said the software is centered on a learning system that includes different portals for different content. The MBA will use the Blackboard technology to power its content.

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