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New College Credit & Degree Opportunities
for IUPAT Members and Families

The International Finishing Trades Institute (iFTI) continues to build affiliations with institutions that offer advanced educational opportunities for union members and families.

Partners in Learning with
Columbia Southern University

The iFTI is pleased to announce that we are now partners in learning with Columbia Southern University (CSU). Based in Orange Beach, Alabama, CSU offers a variety online associate, bachelor, master's and even doctoral degree programs for IUPAT members and families at a discounted rate.

This includes Business Administration, Environmental Management, Occupational Safety & Health, Criminal Justice and Information Systems & Cyber Security among a large variety of other fields of study.

The iFTI partnership with CSU offers these discounts for IUPAT members and family members:

In order to enroll you will need to reach out to the Admissions Team at CSU (800-977-8449 ext. 6521). They will evaluate your transcripts and credits to see what classes you can receive credit for.  Please mention that you are a part of the International Finishing Trades Institute's Articulation Agreement so that you can receive the 10% discount.

Instructors can qualify to be a sponsored participant.  For more information on being sponsored, and if you have any questions, email

Download a full list of opportunities on the iFTI and CSU Learning Partnership HERE.

iFTI Engages with the American Council on Education to Expand College Credit Opportunities for Apprentices

The International Finishing Trades Institute is one of nine training and education institutions accepted into the American Council on Education (ACE) Apprenticeship Pathways project with the goal to increase the opportunity for apprentices to earn college credits for completing iFTI training curriculum. Specifically, the iFTI Painter Decorator Apprenticeship Program course materials.

ACE, the major coordinating body for the nation’s colleges and universities with more than 1,700 colleges and universities as members, led a team of faculty reviewers to thoroughly evaluate the Painter Decorator Apprenticeship Program course materials for college credit eligibility. The faculty reviewing the courses considers the depth, range, and thoroughness of the course content, materials and assessments which holds the iFTI to a higher degree of accountability and ensures an expert and skilled workforce.
The iFTI review is published in a national guide which will help colleges and employers recognize student competencies and experiences garnered through the apprenticeship program and align the member with an educational pathway.

“The fact that we not only offer our apprentices the skills and safety training for a successful career in construction, but now also additional opportunities to earn college credits for that training which can be applied to the start of a college degree program, expands the personal professional horizon for our apprentices,” said iFTI Executive Director Anton Ruesing. “That gives us yet another tool for the recruitment and retention of apprentices to successfully grow the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades.”

The iFTI continues to partner with the ACE Apprenticeship Pathways Project to include apprenticeship curriculum from other crafts in addition to the Painter Decorator training materials in the immediate future.

Painter Decorator IUPAT apprentices should contact their district council director of training for more information on how qualify for these degree credits.
Copyright © 2021 The IUPAT International Finishing Trades Institute, All rights reserved.

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