Future Education Task Force Releases Final Report
At the September 2003 CAS Board of Directors meeting, the Future Education Task Force (FETF) presented its final report after nearly two years of research and discussion. The FETF was formed in the fall of 2001 to evaluate the CAS Admissions Process and recommend changes to improve the effectiveness of the CAS basic education process. The Board received the report and thanked the FETF members for their efforts.
After reviewing the task force report, the Board expressed interest in pursuing many of the recommendations, including:
- Providing an earlier exposure to property and casualty practice issues within the education process (Exam A proposal), as long as this doesn't increase travel time.
- Exploration of computer-based testing as a potential way to reduce travel time.
- Mastery of certain topics could be demonstrated by a process other than CAS-administered exams with details to be worked out.
- A hands-on modeling workshop could add value to the education process if a good workshop could be developed and introduced in a way that didn't increase travel time.
- Finding a way to develop more effective/efficient study materials.
The Board also expressed some concerns with the recommendations:
- The proposals increase the number of activities that must be completed to achieve Fellowship. This is not acceptable if it results in longer travel time.
- Further work needs to be done to ensure that the CAS education process supports the CAS Centennial Goal.
- Given the increasing international adoption of the Actuarial Control Cycle as an educational paradigm, the CAS Admissions Committees need to give further consideration to the potential value of including this in the CAS education process.
- Granting a "Diploma in Casualty Actuarial Techniques" as an intermediate step toward ACAS is not worth pursuing.
After discussing the FETF recommendations, the Board and Executive Council authorized the following activities:
- Creation of a Joint CAS/SOA Task Force on Preliminary Education to discuss the differences between the CAS and SOA proposals for the material currently covered on Exams 1-4 and develop final recommendations for joint vs. non-joint educational activity. This includes exploration of options for allowing candidates to demonstrate mastery of certain topics through means other than CAS or SOA administered exams. This task force expects to complete its work by year-end 2003, given the SOA Board's directive to implement new SOA preliminary exams by spring 2005.
- Creation of a Computer-Based Testing Task Force to develop a proposal for implementing computer-based testing for at least one exam by spring 2005.
- Creation of a Task Force on Study Materials charged initially to evaluate commercially-available study materials to see how those materials compare to the current syllabus material in terms of quality and efficiency and develop a proposal for future action regarding options for developing better study materials.
- Creation of a Task Force on Modeling Workshop to develop and pilot a workshop along the lines proposed by the FETF to see whether this is a workable idea for future basic and/or continuing education.
- The Admissions Committees need to determine how best to ensure that the CAS education process supports the CAS Centennial Goal and to review international developments in actuarial education, including the Actuarial Control Cycle. This may require establishment of additional task forces.
The final report of the Future Education Task Force is available at http://www.casact.org/admissions/reports/FETFRpt.pdf.