City University of Seattle Partners with American Bankers Association to Offer Accelerated Business Degree Pathways to Banking Employees Nationwide

City University of Seattle Partners with American Bankers Association to Offer Accelerated Business Degree Pathways to Banking Employees Nationwide

City University of Seattle is the first higher education institution in Washington State to partner with the American Bankers Association to provide credit alignment opportunities and develop industry-specific degrees that support professional development in the banking sector; CityU banking programs among the first to incorporate AI practices.

October 29, 2019 – Seattle, WA – City University of Seattle (CityU), a private nonprofit university dedicated to serving working adults, has formed a new education partnership with the American Bankers Association (ABA) that allows banking employees nationwide to convert ABA coursework into college credit to substantially reduce the cost and time to complete a business degree. The partnership, announced earlier today at the ABA Annual Convention in Seattle, marks an expansion of CityU’s existing credit alignment offer with ABA’s regional association, the Washington Bankers Association. In some cases, students can earn a degree in one year for under $10,000. CityU is the first and only university in Washington state to align the ABA’s professional development training with industry-relevant degree programs, and the partnership further advances the University’s mission to support workforce and leadership development through education.

The credit alignment through CityU and ABA can fulfill up to 25 percent of the MBA program requirements and as much as 50 percent of specific undergraduate business programs – reducing the degree completion time to as little as one year for a master’s degree and under two years for a bachelor’s degree if the student has earned an associate degree before enrolling at CityU. Additionally, the education partnership offers employees of ABA member associations a 15 percent tuition scholarship toward a degree, which can bring the total cost to less than $10,000 for graduate and undergraduate business degrees when factoring in employer tuition reimbursement programs.

“We are pleased to expand our partnership with American Bankers Association to offer education and career advancement opportunities to banking professionals nationwide,” said Randy Frisch, President of City University of Seattle. “These professional development opportunities are tailored to meet industry-specific demands and we believe that this program will help generate and support emerging leaders within the finance sector.”

Succession planning, in terms of recruiting and retaining employees with strong leadership skills, is listed among the top challenges for sector growth according to a 2019 Community Bank Priorities Survey. To address this industry need, CityU, in partnership with ABA, has created innovative business degree programs to engage and retain banking professionals including a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, which is one of the first of its kind to offer core artificial intelligence courses customized for business students. Also being offered is a Bachelor of Arts in Business Management, and an MBA program that includes a specialization or graduate certificate in banking.

“Our newest education partnership with City University of Seattle is one that we are especially proud of because it demonstrates our commitment to delivering career-relevant opportunities for bankers at all levels in every role,” says Jim Edrington, Chief Member Engagement Officer at American Bankers Association. “As we continue to highlight banking as a ‘career of choice’ higher education collaborations will continue to allow ABA to provide retention and career advancement opportunities to banking employees nationwide.”

City University of Seattle is an affiliate of the National University System, a network of accredited nonprofit, private universities that is expanding its nationwide effort to assess prior training and education, which includes identifying competency-based and prior-learning approaches. National University System higher education institutions, which include City University of Seattle, National University, Northcentral University, and John F. Kennedy have established credit policies and workforce partnerships, many of which include a scholarship component, with Boeing, YMCA, and numerous public safety agencies.

“Education partnerships established through National University System’s Workforce Education Solutions, such as this one with City University of Seattle and American Bankers Association, address the nationwide need for more highly-skilled workers,” said Chris Graham, President of Workforce Education Solutions at the National University System. “Through these strategic partnerships, we continue to create market-relevant academic pathways that are tailored to meet industry demands while providing affordable and accessible advancement opportunities for students.”

City University of Seattle has served the non-traditional student for more than 40 years with programs that are uniquely geared to address the needs of working adults by combining the convenience of a flexible format with the academic rigor of top-tier graduate programs including a Doctor of Business Administration, Master of Science in Information Security, and a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice, which also offers credit mapping and tuition scholarships for time and cost savings toward the degree.

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About City University of Seattle
City University of Seattle is a private, nonprofit university dedicated to serving working adults and transfer students. The university is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities through the doctoral level and offers more than 60 online, onsite and performance-based programs. CityU’s primary campus is located in downtown Seattle, Washington, and the university has multiple sites throughout Western Washington and Canada, and international partnerships with highly-regarded institutions in China, Mexico, Vietnam, Czech Republic, and Slovakia.

About the American Bankers Association
The American Bankers Association is the voice of the nation’s $18 trillion banking industry, which is composed of small, regional and large banks. Together, America’s banks employ more than 2 million men and women, safeguard $14 trillion in deposits and extend more than $10 trillion in loans.

About the National University System 
The National University System is a network of accredited nonprofit education institutions serving a diverse population of students including PreK-12 students and working professionals. NUS higher-education institutions serve more than 45,000 students through National University, Northcentral University, City University of Seattle, and John F. Kennedy University. NUS education-focused initiatives include Workforce Education Solutions and the Sanford Programs. For more information, visit

Published October 29, 2019



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