Crowder feels CFA offers students numerous opportunities


Office of Career Services Director Sabrina Crowder,explains why the CFA program is so beneficial for CFA Scholars, current stu- dents as well as the community.

MAYA MCCORD, University News Reporter/Writer

On August 22, 2022, the Center for Financial Advancement (CFA) program kicked off its introduction to the student body of Alabama State University.
Director of Career Services Sabrina Crowder, DBA, emphasized her enthusiasm about the opportunities that this program offers.
“CFA will give students the opportunity to explore real estate – more than just buying and selling homes,” she said. “It’s allowing them to understand there are so many opportunities in real estate such as becoming an appraiser. The goal is to get more diverse individuals into real estate and to also make sure those individuals know how to obtain a home and become a homeowner themselves earlier in their life instead at 30 or 40 years old.”
The CFA program provides the CFA scholars as well as any student with opportunities to programs that are beneficial to their success. This would include offering opportunities to individuals in the community, people on campus, and any student who might not want to be a CFA scholar or was not picked to be one but is still interested in learning about real estate and how to become a homeowner early.
The accessibility to these opportunities would not be possible without the assistance of CFA’s LuWanna Williams, who works with “HomeFree-USA,” reaching out to the university and getting in contact with President Quinton T. Ross, Jr., Ed.D., and assistant provost for Student Success and Special Initiatives, Tanjula Petty, Ed.D.
“They told us about the opportunity to be able to come in and educate our students about real estate and homeownership. After they presented this information, we were very excited about it and created an MOU (Memorandum of Understanding).
They outlined the things that the university would need to do and what “HomeFree-USA” and CFA’s program would do—and we signed off on it because we saw nothing but benefits for the students,” Crowder said.
When it comes down to the selection process of who gets to be a CFA scholar, Crowder accentuated that when student resumes are submitted for the application the CFA does not look at GPA’s. They look at the individual, how they answer the application questions, their interests, and their resumes.
During this selection process, the CFA tries to make sure there is a diverse amount of people coming in and making sure they are getting involved and learning all at the same time.
“If you get too many of the same—4.0s, 3.0s, 2.5s—to me a grade doesn’t define a person,” Crowder said. “I think people’s actions and abilities to put themselves out there to learn was more important, so that is how we source it.”
The students were chosen to be CFA scholars by September 1, 2022 and instead of the usual number of 20, there were 26 scholars chosen this year because of it being the first time and the excitement the students brought to be a part of this program.
Students have been so excited that a lot of them immediately started participating in activities included in the program by introducing themselves and filling out their scorecard, which is a graphical representation of their progress overtime and each activity in the CFA is connected to the points on their scorecard. A popular conference with the students is the Money4life Conference from October 5 – October 7, 2022.
Dr. Crowder said, “At this conference there will be a career fair—students will have the opportunity to meet different people and employers from the industry and we’re going to try to set them up so they can begin those mentorships and the possibility into internship—and hopefully upon graduation, career opportunities.”
Students will have the opportunity to promote themselves to employers, make connections, and compete with other students from other colleges and their own for these internship and job opportunities.
The first year of this program already consist of so many new opportunities with jobs and internships for students, but next year they will be selecting up to 10 CFA ambassadors from the CFA scholar’s roster.
“Since it was our first year, we couldn’t have any ambassadors because the whole goal is to identify leaders from the CFA scholars to serve as the ambassadors,” she said. “One way we will choose the ambassadors is that we will look at how they participated as a CFA scholar, we will take into consideration the completion of their scorecard in the CFA program, and we will also be looking for those individuals that the scholars believe will be great leaders and that they are people that they would respect as a person of leadership inside of the CFA program.”
The addition of this program is already giving students and faculty high hopes for the futures of the student body and what they will be capable of in the coming years.