Seven University of South Carolina students earned not only good grades but also a valuable certification from a national organization during 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 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," says 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.
"I know the information I learned in this course and through the LPQ certification will be useful in my future career because asset protection is intertwined into every role within the retail industry," says Ainsley Isenhour, a student majoring in retailing with an emphasis in retail management.
Isenhour, Sydney Bresnihan, Cal Calcina, Anna Dicks, Isabelle McGuire, David Nelson and Tatum Orlando each earned the LPQ certification.
"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.
USC Department of Retailing
If you're looking for one of the best colleges for retail, the University of South Carolina Department of Retailing provides inspiring faculty, hands-on technology and career experience to help students achieve their career goals. Our Bachelor of Science in retailing degree offers areas of emphasis in retail management or fashion merchandising and digital innovations.