Grand Canyon University (GCU) in Phoenix received a grant from Charles Schwab to create a new finance learning center focused on providing a workforce pipeline for the Registered Investment Advisor industry.

The school’s Colangelo College of Business (CCOB) will use the multi-year grant to create the Charles Schwab Foundation Learning Center and expand the college’s financial planning degree programs. This grant will also provide academically qualified students with scholarship funding.

“Financial literacy is crucial to learn at all ages and to help in the responsible management to impact a family’s generations,” said CCOB Dean Dr. Randy Gibb, who added that the center will be made available to employees and the community as well.

READ ALSO: Competitive pricing and scholarships push GCU enrollment higher

The center is being created with a grant from Schwab Advisor Services, in partnership with the Charles Schwab Foundation.

Hub for classes, clubs and certifications to open in fall 

The center is set to open for the fall 2021 semester and will be built in the business school’s existing 150,000-square-foot college of business. It will create a home for finance classes and finance clubs, provide a destination for guest speakers on investing and financial literacy, and help address the critical need for more certified financial planners, school officials said.

It also will be the site of students’ preparation for the Security Industry Essentials (SIE) exam, a relatively new requirement for financial services professionals that has been part of the CCOB curriculum for two years

The industry topics supported in the degree program are introduction to investments, portfolio management, financial risk management and insurance, real estate, taxation, property/casualty, and health/life insurance in addition to the core business foundation.

High paying field expanding along with aging population

As America ages and life expectancies rise, the demand for financial planning services is expected to increase. The median annual wage for personal financial advisors was about $87,850, or $42.24 per hour, in 2019, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Covid-19 has highlighted the need for Americans to do a better job of managing their finances, said Mark Jacobson, finance chair for the CCOB and an accounting and finance instructor

“The pandemic showed that many people struggle with money and money management,” Jacobson said. “A couple of months into it, people who had lost jobs couldn’t pay their rent or feed their families. They had no savings.

“There’s been a big push by firms, large and small, in the wealth-management world to add certified financial planners. Schwab, as an industry leader, has a vested interest in growing the number of CFPs.”

Reaching out to students from all backgrounds

CCOB has been working with Charles Schwab since 2018 when the multinational financial services company partnered with GCU to help students prepare for the SIE Exam.

Bernie Clark, executive vice president and the head of Schwab Advisor Services, said a goal of the grant and the partnership will be to further the university’s goal of expanding opportunities for students from all backgrounds.

“We are excited to expand on our work with Grand Canyon University and help more young people of all backgrounds prepare for careers in the independent advisory profession,” Clark said. “We believe this career path offers so much opportunity for growth and success.”

The business college’s namesake, Jerry Colangelo, said the collaboration will heighten the university’s standing in the field.

“For our business school to collaborate with such a highly respected company really brings credit to the quality of students we are graduating into the workforce,” Colangelo said.

About Grand Canyon University: Grand Canyon University is a private Christian university that was founded in 1949. It is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and offers more than 270 academic programs, emphases and certificates for both traditional undergraduate and graduate students and working professionals. For more information, visit:

About Schwab Advisor Services: Schwab Advisor Services is a leading custodian for independent registered investment advisors. For more than 30 years, it has been dedicated to helping advisors achieve their business goals, supporting firms of all types and sizes. For more information, visit:


This story was originally published at Chamber Business News.