Development Education (DE)

About the Credit Union Development (DE) Program - What is DE?

Linking our past with credit unions' present, the DE program brings renewed relevance to the philosophy of "People Helping People." This unique and transformative training provides critical lessons in cooperative principles, credit union philosophy and international development issues while incorporating challenges credit unions face today.

During the National Credit Union Foundation’s week-long DE Training, participants are involved in group exercises, field trips, encouraged to ask questions of visiting speakers, and are required to complete team projects proposing solutions for credit unions to help alleviate or eliminate challenging situations in any given area. Since 1982, more than 1,800 credit union advocates from over 35 countries have graduated from DE Training to become Credit Union Development Educators (CUDEs).

Upcoming DE Training & CUDE Event Dates

If you are interested in attending DE Training, email us at to be placed on our notification list for 2018 training registration:

April 2018 DE Training - SOLD OUT
April 18 – April 25, 2018 - Madison, WI

June 2018 DE Training - SOLD OUT
May 30 - June 6, 2018 - Madison, WI

September 2018 DE Training - (Registration opening May 18, 2018)
September 19 - 26, 2018 - Madison, WI

November 2018 DE Training - (Registration opening July 6, 2018)
November 7-14, 2018 - Madison, WI

>> Register here for the Michael Ray DE Dinner at 7pm on Saturday, February 24th.
>> Register here for the DE Luncheon at 12pm on Sunday, February 25th. 

Annual Summer DE Workshop for DE Alumni will be held in Seattle, Washington August 14-16, 2018.

Scholarship Information

Many state credit union foundations and leagues offer scholarships to DE training. Check with your state foundation or league for scholarship specifics and how to apply. Note that DE training falls into the "education" or "professional development" scholarship category for many states.

Why Become a CUDE?

Attendees of an early Foundation DE Training class in 1983.
Attendees of an early Foundation DE Training class in 1983.

DE training is open to everyone from new employees who need a credit union orientation to seasoned executives who need to recharge. Participants cite many benefits of attending DE training:

  • Graduates acquire skills in credit union outreach initiatives, problem solving, technical assistance, team building, and public presentations.

  • Graduates earn certification as Credit Union Development Educators (CUDEs). They join a networking group including over 1,800 graduates across America and 35 other countries.

  • CUDEs realize that local issues are indeed global – and that credit unions grow stronger by working cooperatively.

  • CUDEs return to their jobs with new understanding of how to promote cooperative principles and credit union values as distinct advantages in today’s competitive financial services marketplace.

  • CUDEs become passionate advocates of the credit union philosophy, which boosts employee motivation, creativity and a deeper commitment to their credit union organization and the movement.

For More Information... Lois Kitsch, National Program Director, at (608) 504-1765 or

“DE Training helps you bridge the gap between who you are and who you dream of being.”

Cindy Beauregard, CUDE 2016
Heart of LA FCU

Read More DE Training Testimonials

For CUDEs:

Interested in getting your I-CUDE designation? Click here.

Would you like to be a program mentor at an upcoming training? Click here for the job description, complete the application and send to Lois Kitsch at