The following article was authored by Allen Wallace and shared with LP Magazine courtesy of the University of South Carolina. Congratulations to Ainsley Isenhour, Sydney Bresnihan, Cal Calcina, Anna Dicks, Isabelle McGuire, David Nelson, and Tatum Orlando, who each recently earned their LPQualified certification!
University of South Carolina students are not only earning good grades, but also a valuable certification from a national organization during their fall semester—preparing them to tackle industry issues as they enter the job market.
As part of the Asset Protection for Retailers class offered by the university’s Department of Retailing, the students have successfully passed the LPQualified (LPQ) certification exam, administered by the Loss Prevention Foundation. Theft and shrink has grown to a nearly $100 billion problem for the retail industry according to the National Retail Federation, so incorporating loss prevention studies and certifications into degree curriculum couldn’t be more timely.
“This is a huge differentiator for the students, as certifications continue to be heavily requested by employers,” said Department of Retailing Instructor Mike Watson, who taught the class. “We are creating in-class learning experiences that replicate industry challenges and provide skills that are utilized and recognized in the industry. This type of learning elevates the growth of our students by providing them with opportunities to differentiate themselves as they graduate and move into their careers.”
The LPQ includes three subject matter domains covering the core of the retail loss prevention/asset protection field: the retail environment, becoming a successful businessperson, and loss prevention basics and tools. It was created by the Loss Prevention Federation with input from more than 75 leading retail companies and is continually updated to stay up to date with the industry.
“It’s wonderful for people to have something like this on their resume to help them stand out,” Calcina says. “I would really like to highlight how wonderful of a professor Dr. Watson was. It’s so refreshing to go into class and have a professor who cares about the information and wants success for his students.”
The Department of Retailing, part of the university’s College of Hospitality, Retail and Sport Management, collaborates with the Loss Prevention Foundation regularly, with the foundation providing insight and guest speakers for classes. Foundation President Terry Sullivan serves on the department’s advisory board.