Accreditation & Guidelines

National Accreditation

  • CUNA Management Schools are accredited three-year schools.
  • The Southwest CUNA Management School (SCMS) is accredited through the Credit Union National Association (CUNA). Each year a review of the Curriculum and Administrative Guidelines is conducted by the CUNA Management Schools Committee (representatives from each of the four regional schools).
  • The Director of SCMS meets annually with the SCMS Oversight Committee to review future direction, curriculum and administrative policies and procedures.

School/Student Guidelines

  • The CUNA Management School shall be held on a university or at a college facility.
  • Student Eligibility Requirement
    • Employee of a league or CUNA affiliated credit union.
    • Officer or committee member of an affiliated credit union, a potential credit union officer, a committee person recommended by the league, or
    • Employee of a non-affiliated credit union and other applicants may be admitted to the SCMS with the approval of school's Admission Committee.
  • Students applying for advance standing (second or third year) after having dropped out for one or more years would be reviewed on individual merit and circumstances. The student project would have to reflect current financial data, goals, projections, and plans.
  • Students will complete a minimum of 162 hours during the three year school.
  • Three summer sessions (July - 8 days) plus two mid-year sessions (March- 2 days).
  • Social type activities are not be included in the required school hours.
  • Students shall reside on campus during school sessions - TCU dorm in July and designated hotel in March.
  • Students are required to attend all classes. Students with authorized excuses (illness/emergencies) may be allowed to continue in school, providing they make up their missed classroom time through a make-up assignment. A student's failure to comply with this policy may impact the students status in the program.
  • When there are two or more students/alumni from the same credit union, students are expected to:
    • develop independent projects.
    • build on previous student(s)'s information, updating to reflect their own language and interpretations related to history. The future focus is expected to be original. Any usage of a prior student's work is expected to be properly cited.
    • Students may work together to collect information.
    • Students are encouraged to discuss their findings and brainstorm ideas.
    • All written submissions must be developed independently.
    • Histories should contain independent interpretations of events.
    • SCOT elements and Environmental/External Factors may be similar - analysis of these items should be unique to the student.
    • All SIs, Objectives, Strategies, and Action Plans must be independently developed.
  • Students will normally attend for three consecutive years. However, when forced to drop out due to extenuating circumstances, they may be allowed to re-enroll without repeating previously completed class work. Each application for re-enrollment is judged on its individual merit.


  • Each CUNA Management School course content shall approximate the curriculum developed by the CUNA Management Schools Committee. Core curriculum to cover, but not limited to:
    • General Management
    • Financial Management/Asset Liability Management
    • Human Resources Management
    • Communications
    • Marketing/Sales/Business Development
    • Information Technology
  • Instruction
    • University or college faculty members, CU professionals, industry consultants or their equivalent shall serve as instructors.
    • Instructors will not use the classroom for their personal gain: i.e. advertising their abilities in an effort to obtain business.

Student Project

  • Students develop a three-year strategic business plan for their own credit unions. This project is divided into sections for completion over a two-year period. The sections include (but are not limited to):
    • Mission Statement
    • History of the Credit Union
    • Strengths, Challenges, Opportunities, Threats (SCOT List)
    • External/Environmental Analysis
    • Outline of Strategic Initiatives
    • Strategic Initiatives (SIs) minimum of 5, one of which must be financial management. (Formerly referred to as KRAS or Key Result Areas)
    • Internal Analysis
    • Three-year Objective
      • Strategies
      • Action Plans
      • Cost Benefit Analyses
    • Executive Summary
  • Strategic Initiative Class Presentation
  • Project Honors
    • Each year one Award of Excellence is presented to the year's top project.
    • Additionally, each year a number of Honor Graduates are also recognized for project excellence.

Note: Students are responsible for sharing a copy of their project with their credit union.

Graduation Requirements

All students must:

  • Attend all classes. In the event a student must miss a class, arrangements need to be made in advance for a make-up assignment.
  • Meet minimum requirements for student project, and successfully complete course work and related assignments.
  • Give a strategic initiative class presentation.
TCU Neeley School of Business

Thank You 2020 Sponsors

Academic Fellow

CUNA Mutual GroupCornerstone Resources

Academic Patron

Catalyst Corporate FCUCornerstone League

Educational Sponsor

Cornerstone Foundation

Friends of SCMS

American Airlines FCU
Arkansas FCU
Blalack & Williams, PC
Bossier FCU
Callahan & Associates, Inc.
Cornerstone Advisors
Credit Union of America
CU Direct

CU Strategic Planning
Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas
InTouch CU
JRF Consulting Services, LLC
Las Colinas FCU
Neighbors FCU

Sievewright & Associates
South Carolina FCU
Tarrant County's CU
The BA Group
Tinker FCU
Vantage West CU