Financial Literacy

Catalog Description:
Consumers who function successfully in today’s economy are confronted with economic and personal finance decisions on a daily basis. These decisions have become increasingly difficult due to the numerous goods and services available in the market. Alabama students need to learn how to make sound decisions by accessing and assessing consumer information and comparing and evaluating goods and services. Today's classrooms must include appropriate opportunities for students to be engaged in personal finance related activities that prepare them to make sound decisions throughout their lives. 

This course will introduce classroom teachers to basic personal finance concepts and principles that can be used in everyday lessons and activities. Most importantly, the course will present personal finance and economic vocabulary that can be used in daily classroom discussions. As a final product, participants will create a Financial Literacy Webliography.

Allow 5 - 7 hours per session for completion of all requirements.

Participants are expected to have regular access to computers. In addition, participants should be proficient with using email, browsing the Internet, and navigating to computer files.

During this course, participants will learn skills and strategies to:

  • Explore developmentally appropriate personal finance concepts and principles for middle and high school students
  • Examine personal finance content standards at both state and national levels
  • Learn about theory and best practice in teaching personal finance concepts to middle and high school students
  • Explore and analyze web sites and other technology for use in learning personal finance content and develop a list of technology resources appropriate for teaching personal finance content to middle and high school students

Required Readings, Activities and Assignments:
Each session includes readings, an activity and a discussion assignment, which participants are required to complete within each week.

Course Outline:

Orientation: (1-2 hours)
Participants will prepare for the course with an introductory reading and ice breaker activity. Participants will read tip sheets for participating in online discussions, credit information, and complete an orientation survey.

Session One: Hands on Banking (5-7 hours)
The Hands on Banking® program is an interactive financial-literacy curriculum for students grades 4-12 and adults. The Hands on Banking program was developed to teach both the basics of good money management and the skills need to create a brighter financial future. The lessons examine financial concepts and decision-making through illustration, real-life problems, and mathematical computation. The curriculum is relevant to students' lives and is designed to support their financial success. This fun and innovative program was developed by Wells Fargo as a free community service. 

Session Two: Financial Responsibility and Decision Making (5-7 hours)
Students in today’s classrooms clearly need to be provided with a sound understanding of financial and economic concepts in order to navigate their financial futures. This session explores ways to use reliable information and economic decision-making to determine personal finance decisions. Participants will explore resources for integrating personal finance into classroom instruction. Also, participants will begin developing a plan for integrating financial literacy resources into the classroom.

Session Three: Income and Careers (5-7 hours)
This session explores ways that students can use a career plan to develop their personal income potential. Readings, activities, and lessons presented in this session will explore career options, identify sources of income and examine factors that affect one’s income and career. We will review resources from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Federal Reserve Bank, and the Foundation for Teaching Economics.

Session Four: Planning and Money Management (5-7 hours)
The topic of planning and money management is a crucial component of personal finance for people of all ages. According to the JumpStart Coalition for Financial Literacy, only 26% of 13 to 21 year olds surveyed said that their parents taught them how to manage money. Delving further into the statistics, approximately 40% of American families live off 110% of their incomes and 85% of adults polled felt that young people lack the financial skills required to become financially self-reliant adults. 49% of parents indicated that their children think they are more likely to become millionaires by starring in a reality TV show than by learning how to budget and save. What does all of this mean for students and educators?

This session presents ways in which students can organize their personal finances and use a budget to manage cash flow. Ideas and lessons for developing a personal finance plan, charitable giving, and system for keeping and using financial records will be included.

Session Five: Credit and Debt (5-7 hours)
The establishment of a strong credit history—creditworthiness—is an important part of financial literacy. Building a strong credit history is a vital component of being financially successful. Credit history is particularly important—it will be an important part of a future loan application; it is often viewed as a measure of trustworthiness when applying for a job; and property owners often use credit history when reviewing an applicant for possible rental. In this module, participants will learn about the different types of credit, the characteristics that lenders look for when lending credit, the concept of creditworthiness, the importance of building and maintaining a strong credit history, and measures that one can take to prevent identity theft.

Session Six: Saving and Investing (5-7 hours)
Saving and investing are both important concepts to understand on the pathway to financial literacy. The readings in this session describe investment and saving strategies that can be easily implemented whether one earns minimum wage or executive pay. In this session, participants will learn ways to develop middle and high school students' understanding of saving and investing in terms of implementing a diversified investment strategy that is compatible with personal goals. Participants will finalize their personal finance concepts webliographies and post plans for integrating personal finance concepts into our classrooms.

CLICK HERE to register.


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