Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation Celebrates Inaugural Equipment Finance Course at ASU

The Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation celebrated a milestone in its new partnership with the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University in developing a first-of-its-kind equipment finance course curriculum. Twenty-four students — a number that is significantly above average for a new course — are registered for the inaugural spring semester elective course focused on credit analysis and equipment leasing.

On March 19, students, along with ASU faculty, were invited to further their classroom learning and have an opportunity to meet and network with industry professionals during the Small Business Lending Forum hosted by Orion First in Phoenix. In addition to welcoming ASU students and faculty, the event sponsors selected the ASU equipment finance program as the recipient of a charitable donation raised from the event.

The ELFF/ASU partnership was initiated and led by equipment finance industry veteran and ASU alumnus Fred Van Etten, president of Midland Equipment Finance. Van Etten is a long-time supporter of both the foundation and ASU and was inducted into the W. P. Carey School of Business 2023 Hall of Fame class.

“As the equipment finance industry has evolved and matured, it became obvious to me that educational support and rigor around the discipline at the college level was essentially non-existent,” Van Etten says. “Understanding the Foundation’s commitment to developing future industry talent and my experience with the academic resources available at ASU, the potential of bringing these two organizations was irresistible for me.”

The equipment finance curriculum is being developed at the direction of Dr. Laura Lindsey, department of finance chair and Cutler Family Endowed Professor at ASU.

“We firmly believe that this innovative program will provide students with education and training that directly meets industry needs, bridging the gap between academia and real-world application,” Lindsay said. “This will facilitate a smooth transition for graduates who opt to pursue careers in this field.”

The next phase of the program will be to expand to a series of courses incorporating the finance elective, lease accounting and additional coursework in sales and marketing. The goal is to launch a full certificate program in equipment finance by the 2026-27 academic year.

The W. P. Carey School of Business partnership is part of the foundation‘s Campus to Career NextGen talent development programs, which are designed to fulfill the need for the equipment finance industry to attract the future workforce and to be intentional about diversity, equity and inclusion efforts in recruiting. Other programs include the foundation’s scholarship program, industry volunteer presentations at colleges and universities, and internship listings and resources to connect students and employers.

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