Profile: The University of Missouri is home to the oldest departmental-level financial planning program in the country, but it took a while to get there. In the 1960s, the program was the Department of Family Economics and Management before becoming the College of Home Economics. In 1987, the name changed to the Department of Consumer and Family Economics and, finally, in 2000, the Personal Financial Planning Department, three years after the program was registered with the CFP Board. "It wasn't that we wanted to be the first one at all, it's just that I got tired of explaining what we do," says the department chairman, Rob Weagley, only half-jokingly. The program offers a certificate track and several degree tracks, including a Ph.D. Larger universities resist elevating financial planning to departmental status, Weagley says, because they focus on "pure" or theoretical finance, which is largely divorced from real-world financial needs. "But at programs like ours," he says, "all we care about is the application. We care about the people."
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