What’s in Store for Claims College's Freshman and Sophomore Classes

CLM’s National Education Program Manager Sandy Lovis explains what returning students can expect in their sophomore year, and what she expects will change in 2014.

January 30, 2014 Photo

Last year’s successful launch of CLM’s Claims College saw more than 500 students embrace the notion that the best kind of education comes from those who are leaders in the industry. These “freshmen” learned first-hand that the Claims College is an intensive educational experience, complete with pre-course reading materials, group projects, and final exams.

CLM’s National Education Program Manager Sandy Lovis is shepherding the creation of each school’s curriculum this year. She sheds light on how her prior experience has prepared her for this role, what returning students can expect in their sophomore year, and what she expects will change in 2014.

How are the schools organized?

Each school has a dean and six-to-eight executive council members. The dean is responsible for guiding the executive council as well as overseeing and finalizing the course content. The executive council members are charged with identifying lead faculty members who will collaborate together in order to design and develop courses. All of these roles are comprised of senior-level executives who are known for their extensive knowledge and industry experience.

A further reflection of their commitment to the industry is the fact that they are all undertaking these tasks on a voluntary basis in addition to their full-time jobs. Their enthusiasm is definitely motivating for me.

How are you helping to make the Claims College the best learning experience possible?

My role is to manage the Claim College overall. That includes managing the day-to-day process, determining deadlines, ongoing communication with the deans and executive councils, and reviewing course outlines. As such, I wear many hats—I am project manager, record keeper, and many times, a sounding board.

Because of my background in claims and training, I understand how the claims-handling process works as well as the importance of creating content that is instructionally sound. Creating meaningful learning objectives are integral to the content since they are statements that specify what learners will know or be able to do as a result of a learning activity. The outcomes are usually expressed as knowledge, skills, or attitudes, which is what we want at the Claims College in order to be successful.

How has your past experience helped prepare you?

I started my career as a liability adjuster, and I have spent the past 13 years in learning and development, where I have designed, developed, delivered, and deployed large-scale learning solutions for financial and insurance companies, mostly in claims. At QBE, I was the head of claims training, where I designed an entire curriculum for trainees that not only had an e-learning and instructor-led component, but also practical hands-on and self-study opportunities, as well.

As students progress through the Claims College, they can expect less lecture in levels two and three. While the first-year curriculum is necessarily lecture-intensive, by year three it will consist mostly of practical and hands-on education. The philosophy behind that is that we want our students not only to gain knowledge, but also learn skills. In order to do that, we need to give them time to apply what they have learned in the classroom so that they can use those skills when they go back to their companies. That is what will make the Claims College more valuable and differentiate us.

What schools are being added this year?

Last year, we began with the School of Workers’ Compensation, the School of Casualty (formerly Claims Management), and the School of Professional Lines. These schools will be offering both level one and level two courses in the fall. In addition to these, we’re launching four new schools: The School of Construction, School of Insurance Fraud, School of Transportation, and the School of Property.

The goal with these new schools is to offer classes on topics that are relevant to students’ jobs; whether it is to enhance what students already know or to learn something new. The best part is that the students are learning directly from the industry leaders who know the subject matter. What could be better?  


Looking to Matriculate?

Claims College 2014 takes place in Philadelphia, Pa., on Sept. 7-10, 2014, with registration opening on April 1, 2014. Capacity is limited to 200 for the School of Casualty and 100 for all other schools. Costs are below; if your company is a CLM Corporate Member, there is no cost for you to attend.

  • $499 Fellows (claims, risk, and litigation management professionals)
  • $999 Members (only defense attorneys with fewer than five years of experience will be allowed to attend the Claims College)

Interested in joining the Claims College faculty? Contact Sandy Lovis at sandy.lovis@theclm.org for more information.

About The Authors
Eric Gilkey

Eric Gilkey is vice president of content at the CLM, and serves as executive editor of CLM magazine, the flagship publication of the CLM.  eric.gilkey@theclm.org

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