TBA University Partnerships

Building Next-Gen Bank Leaders

University CampusThe Texas Bankers Association is committed to ensuring the future of our industry by growing and supporting the banking programs at Texas colleges and universities. TBA has committed hundreds of thousands of dollars to building the next generation of bankers. We have a full-time staff member whose primary job is to build the Texas community bank talent pipeline and to connect Texas community banks with qualified candidates. We align the long-term growth and diversification needs of our banks with our university partners and students through both financial and programmatic support:

  • Matching grants up to $250,000 to Sam Houston State, Texas Tech University and Texas A&M University. 
  • Distribution of Future Banker and TBA Diversity Scholarships for individuals pursuing a career in banking.
  • Assisting the development of new university banking programs at Stephen F. Austin University, Texas A&M-Kingsville, and Texas Southern University to enable local students to find community bank opportunities close to home.

Undergraduate Banking Programs

TBA supports six undergraduate banking programs in Texas. The mission and vision is to "support diversity inclusion and develop talent on behalf of member banks.

Smith-Hutson Endowed Chair of Banking at Sam Houston State University

For many years, the Smith-Hutson Endowed Chair of Banking at Sam Houston State University had the distinction of having the only undergraduate banking major in the nation. Established in 1997 by the late Dr. Jim Bexley, who held the Smith-Hutson Endowed Chair of Banking until his death in 2019, the program has grown to include an executive MBA in banking.

Since its inception, approximately 432 students have graduated with a bachelor’s degree in banking and financial institutions. A total of 1,280 students have interned at Texas banks. Just as impressive is the fact that the demographics of these students mirror those of the state: approximately 25% of Sam Houston students are Hispanic and 18-19% are African American.

Initially, the university offered a banking minor, which was followed by a banking major and then an executive MBA. An advisory board comprised of bankers and regulators was formed to provide advice and ensure the curriculum is current and relevant.

Texas Tech University - Excellence in Banking Program

The success of other banking programs prompted Texas Tech University to offer the Excellence in Banking Program through the Jerry S. Rawls College of Business. The program was launched in fall 2019 in an effort to keep talent in the area. Bankers in the Panhandle, South Plains and Eastern New Mexico were experiencing difficulty attracting talent to their banks. Students graduating from other universities weren’t coming back.

The curriculum includes marketing courses that teach marketing principles, relationship building and etiquette for bankers. The credit lending component, which includes many elements from the Risk Management Association courses, prepares students to become credit analysists. Management of financial institutions is another required component.

The classroom experience is enhanced by bringing in seasoned bankers who can relate their real-life experiences. A 10-week (paid) internship is required in order to obtain practical experience.

Texas A&M Kingsville - Minor in Banking

In 2016, officials at Texas A&M Kingsville saw that there was an unmet need for a banking program in the Coastal Bend region. Local banks were very supportive, and the program officially launched in fall 2019, although the first bank management class with a real-world project was offered in fall 2017.

Most of the students come from the Coastal Bend region, but significant numbers hail from Houston, Corpus Christi and the Rio Grande Valley. Some come from San Antonio and Kingsville and a few from Austin and Dallas.

The banking program has two dimensions: One is the banking minor, which consists of six courses, including advanced classes in finance with electives in accounting and marketing. The other program is digital banking, which is a certificate consisting of finance and information systems courses. The information systems classes include data security, fraud and data analytics.

Texas A&M University

Texas A&M University offers a Certificate in Commercial Banking as well as a Master of Financial Management. The program was launched in 2011 thanks to a handful of bankers, who got together to address the banking talent shortage. Undergraduates applying to the program are BBA finance majors within the Mays Business School.

The graduate student track of the Commercial Banking Program, however, includes not only students who have received a BBA in finance, but many come from outside the business school and have majored in subjects such as agriculture economics, agriculture business, economics and political science. The program is so popular, that 65% of the Commercial Banking Program students are graduate students.

While some of the state’s banking programs focus heavily on community banks, A&M University prepares students for careers at banks of varying sizes including money center banks, regional and community banks.

Stephen F. Austin State University - Chadwick Family Banking Program

Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches launched the Chadwick Family Banking Program in January 2018. The undergraduate degree program offers a Bachelor of Business Administration in banking that prepares students for careers as community bankers.

In addition, the Chadwick Banker Scholarship was established to provide financial assistance for students seeking to become community bankers. The program is supported by an advisory board comprised of community bankers and is instrumental to the program; the bankers serve as expert guest lecturers, make career guidance presentations to students, assist in grading student projects and provide internships to help students launch their careers.

Approximately one-third of the students in the program are from East Texas, one-third are from Dallas, and one-third come from the Houston area.

University of Houston - Commercial Banking Certificate & Track in Finance

Although the University of Houston does not offer a banking major, it does provide the Commercial Banking Certificate & Track in Finance, which is in its sixth year.

Approximately 60% of the Bauer College of Business students have transferred from other schools, largely junior colleges; 30% hold jobs of 20 hours or more a week.

The Advisory Board is comprised of 20 active members who represent major money center banks in Houston, although there is a fair amount of community bank representation. UH offers a class in credit analysis that focuses heavily on technical skills beginning with preparing a statement of cash flow and construction, case studies and a mock loan committee of senior bankers that sit in on student presentations.