Tallahassee, FL - In the world of higher education, sometimes bigger really is better — at least when it translates into greater educational opportunities for students.
That is certainly the case for the Florida State University College of Business’ Risk Management and Insurance (RMI) program, which has been ranked the fifth largest undergraduate program of its kind in the nation and the second largest graduate program by “Business Insurance,” a weekly online publication for insurance professionals. The publication also ranks FSU’s program No. 2 in graduating students at the master’s level.
With a current enrollment of 142 undergraduate and 64 graduate students, the nine full-time RMI faculty members are still able to provide a wealth of individual attention, coupled with international opportunities that only an institution of Florida State’s size can provide.
“Our approach to educating the next business leaders is to give them the best of both worlds: an individualized approach that caters to each student and an international edge that exposes them to the global scope of business,” said Caryn L. Beck-Dudley, dean of the FSU College of Business.
The individualized approach reaches beyond classroom teaching and one-on-one discussions with dedicated professors. From frequent visits by industry professionals to the knowledge made available at two in-house research centers, Florida State’s Risk Management and Insurance program is involved in virtually every aspect of its students’ educations.
One of those two research centers is the Center for Insurance Research. Established to enhance the RMI program through research that will help shape business decisions and public policy in the insurance industry, the center facilitates conferences and symposia, as well as disseminating rigorous research projects and publications on issues related to risk management and insurance.
“The Center for Insurance Research has helped bring our students closer to industry executives, regulators, and academic researchers by providing opportunities to interact outside the classroom,” said Associate Professor Patricia Born, director of the center. “Last year, the center hosted two conferences on insurance regulation and health insurance reform, and brought several guest speakers to campus to meet with students and faculty in the RMI program. The center fosters its ties with members of the insurance community, which have always been supportive of our educational objectives.”
The Risk Management and Insurance program also is home to the Florida Catastrophic Storm Risk Management Center. Created by the Florida Legislature in 2007, the center supports the state’s ability to prepare for, respond to and recover from catastrophic storms. The center has an immediate effect on policy and practices related to catastrophic-storm preparedness through research coordinated with other universities across the nation.
Florida State’s RMI program also offers industry experience to students through the Insurance Society at Florida State University, a student organization that hosts guest speakers, corporate tours, social events and “Insurance Days” — the latter a massive recruiting event.
Designed to bring students and employers together in both informal and formal settings, Insurance Days provides an invaluable two-and-a-half-day experience exclusively for risk management and insurance students. Students have the opportunity to meet potential employers, sharpen interview skills, gather information about different career opportunities and obtain internships. The event has directly contributed to the high placement rate of risk management and insurance graduates since its inception 30 years ago.
“Insurance Days continues to be one of the distinguishing attributes of FSU’s RMI program,” said James M. Carson, chairman of the Department of Risk Management/Insurance, Real Estate & Legal Studies and the Payne & Charlotte Hodges Midyette Eminent Scholar in Risk & Insurance. “Throughout the phases of this latest economic cycle, Insurance Days has enabled our students to meet and interact with employers, ultimately resulting in a near 100-percent student placement rate each and every year. The quality of our students keeps the employers coming back, and the career opportunities, coupled with the excellent faculty and staff, attract outstanding students to the RMI major.”