By: Justin Shuler `20, Staff Writer
The actuarial science program is designed to prepare students for a career as an actuary and LVC’s program has become one of the best in the country.
The program trains students to become business professionals and prepares them for actuarial exams which allows them to progress through the actuarial credential process. There is an emphasis on communication, critical reading and writing skills. There is also an understanding that all students come from different backgrounds, so the professors have designed incremental steps to build students into the best possible versions of themselves.
“Our students have a sense of being competent in a business setting,” Dr. Sean Droms, professor of mathematics, said. “Our students learn how to teach themselves, learn how to communicate well, learn how to teach a general audience and learn how to communicate hard topics or tasks to people who may or may not be able to understand the topics or tasks at first glance.”
The curriculum is always changing because of exams and content changes by the Society of Actuaries (SOA) and the Casualty Actuary Society. Professors have included more technical work in their classes as they have realized that the real-world workplace is becoming much more technological. The small school setting of LVC provides a great atmosphere for students and the program to be successful. Small class sizes allow students to interact on a more personal level since professors can assign daily homework assignments and individual presentations.
“We make sure our students are reaching their goals and that they can graduate in four years,” Dr. Patrick Brewer, professor of mathematics and director of actuarial science, said. “Most math programs have each student studying something different, but in our program, we have a sense of comradery and students can see that they are not alone. There is a sense of purpose among the students and the professors and there is a consistent connection among the students and professors.”
The emphasis on communication and individual relationships would not be possible at a larger school. Students work outside of the professors’ offices and have access to the professors to ask questions. The professors are very flexible with their availability to students and they are able to make the curriculum flexible to make sure each individual is reaching his or her personal goals.
“There is a shared mentality among the faculty that the students are learning skills rather than content,” Droms said. “All of the professors are on the same page about the objectives. The faculty measures its own success by the success of the students.”
All of these aspects combined together have formed a very successful program as nearly 100 percent of the students receive job offers, no school has a higher pass rate for actuarial exams and it is the only program in the eastern half of the country that covers the SOA syllabus. Also, the math department has one of the highest retention rates within LVC.
Every year, the school hosts an actuarial career fair where more than half of the recruiters are alumni so they know what to look for in the students. Overall, this is a well-rounded program that produces graduates that are able to take a difficult real-world problem, read into it, find a solution and then explain it to others.