Purpose and Philosophy

The Georgia Banking School, a unique growth opportunity for qualified, highly-motivated bankers, is a challenging educational experience that demands full personal commitment. Since 1961, the GBA-sponsored Georgia Banking School has been a highly-effective resource for developing the leadership talents of Georgia bankers. The school’s mission is to prepare first and mid-level managers to effectively and profitably serve the public by:

  • Developing a thorough understanding of banking, focusing on the key functions of banking, their interrelationships and their determinants of profitability
  • Developing analytical skills, management techniques
  • Creating an awareness of the banking environment and the role of commercial lending in the industry.

Stephen Whittaker, assistant vice president, First National Bank of Decatur County, and the Class of 2016 Graduate of Distinction, describes his Georgia Banking School experience this way:

“In three years, the Georgia Banking School provided insight into bank management that otherwise may have taken an entire career to obtain. The opportunity to learn from the state’s top banking professionals, to participate in strategic decision making through the banking simulation, and to develop lasting relationships with bankers across the state is invaluable. Further, the home studies stretched my knowledge of my bank, my market, and the industry as a whole. I highly recommend the Georgia Banking School to all of my peers. There is no better opportunity in Georgia to prepare for a future in bank management than the Georgia Banking School.”

Admission Requirements
For admission, a student must meet all of the following requirements:

  • Be employed as an officer or key staff member of a bank operating in Georgia
  • Have a college degree and two years banking experience, or a high school diploma and five years banking experience
  • Have successfully completed ABA courses in Banking Fundamentals, Money & Banking and Accounting, or equivalent course work, or demonstrated knowledge of these disciplines
  • Be recommended by the bank’s CEO or senior management.

Application Process
Registration will begin July 15. At that time, applicants may register online or by completing a hard copy form. Tuition payment may be paid by check or by bank invoice. Applications must be submitted by March 24, 2017, to guarantee a hotel room.  Applications submitted between March 25, 2017, and the application deadline of April 14, 2017, are welcome, but we cannot guarantee a hotel room. Tuition must be paid in full by April 14, 2017,

Tuition Inclusions and Housing 
Member tuition is $1,975. First Year applicants may register and pay by Feb. 15, 2017, and receive the early bird price of $1,845. Tuition includes: All instruction and course materials; double occupancy accommodations for Sunday - Thursday nights at the UGA Hotel; daily breakfast and lunch; Opening BBQ on Sunday, May 7; and daily breaks. Students may request a private room for a $385 surcharge.

Graduation Requirements / Exams
Completion of the Georgia Banking School program is based on satisfactory attendance and performance in all scheduled classes and lectures, preparation of all assigned work, and satisfactory and on-time completion of all home study assignments. Third-Year students who successfully complete the course of study will be awarded diplomas, which are issued jointly by the Georgia Bankers Association and the University of Georgia.  Students take a pre- and post-test in the First Year of the program and a final exam at the end of the Second Year.  

The specific curriculum for each year is as follows:

First-Year Curriculum
Bank Financial Analysis
Understanding the Federal Reserve
Strategic Thinking
Principles of Lending
Commercial Lending
History of Economic Thought
Bank Technology Trends
Human Resources Legal Issues / Ethnic   Diversity
Consumer Behavior
Social Media
Compliance Management
Employee Development
Coaching and Counseling
Asset / Liability Management I
Hot Trends in Retail Banking 
SBA Lending Overview
Strategic Issues
Your Role as a Community Leader

Second-Year Curriculum
Mortgage Lending
Employment Law
Intro to Real Estate Valuation: Methodology and Case Studies
Investments I
Bank Security / Cybersecurity
Secured Transaction Law
Bankruptcy Law
The Role of a Bank CEO
Risk Management
Sales Development
Asset / Liability Management II
Credit Policies and Procedures
Cash Flow Lending (a case study)
Principled Negotiation 
Financial Statement Analysis
Introduction to Bank Exec
Bank Liquidity & Capital Planning
Leadership Development

Third-Year Curriculum
Bank Management Simulation, Decisions, and Presentation**
Investments II
CEO Panel Discussion
Asset / Liability III
Bank Performance Analysis
Strategic Planning
Communication Styles
Presentation Skills
Economics in Use 

*Course descriptions and a list of faculty members may be found on the GBA website in January.

Bank Management Simulation
The Bank Management Simulation takes place in the third year of the program. This phase of the school allows students the opportunity to make decisions as senior officers of a bank. Working in teams, participants make operating, lending and pricing decisions that influence bank profitability and bank stock price. The computer model allows students to make decisions, to receive quick feedback on the effectiveness of their decisions, and then to make new decisions which adjust bank operations to compensate for a large number of internal and external forces including competition, the economy, and regulatory constraints. As in the real world, good decisions lead to improved profits and higher stock prices, and bad decisions generate reduced earnings and share prices.

Continuing Education Units
Continuing Education Units (CEUs) are granted to participants who satisfactorily complete approved non-degree programs. CEUs are calculated based on one CEU for each ten contact hours of the program. Students will receive approximately 11.5 CEUs. Further information about CEUs may be obtained from the school coordinator while attending the Georgia Banking School.

GBA Contacts

Kathy Friestad 
Professional Development Manager

Alison Moreau
Professional Development Coordinator