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Teaching Financial Literacy to College Students

Teaching Financial Literacy to College Students 2018-07-30T14:48:47+00:00

Recommendations for Teaching Financial Literacy to College Students

Want to understand the best process for teaching financial literacy to college students? The resources and tools you need can be found here, where we describe the optimal steps involved in evidence-based practices for teaching college students financial literacy.

Teaching Financial Literacy to College Students Has Eight Components

Programs for Teaching Financial Literacy To College Students Processes

1. Proven Method for Teaching College Students Financial Literacy

Read the following example for an illustration of how this system has helped others fulfill their commitment to teaching college students financial literacy.

As a Marketing professor and faculty advisor of the DECA chapter at State University, Eileen Sumner was interested in teaching financial literacy to college students, but wasn’t sure how to teach financial literacy while designing it the program to scale. Dr. Sumner wanted to bring personal finance instruction to the 120 DECA members at the university. She knew most of the members personally; they were motivated college students pursuing marketing, finance, hospitality, or management careers. But she wasn’t sure about the personal finance subjects from which they’d benefit the most, or how to motivate them to learn more about money.

She sought help from the DECA student leaders to conduct a survey among chapter members. Almost all DECA members (93%) completed the survey, and the data indicated that the students wanted to learn about credit, debt, and planning for major purchases.

Planning for Teaching Financial Literacy To College Students Developments

Formation of Teaching College Students Financial Literacy Methods

2. Defining Goals, Making a Difference: Teaching College Students Financial Literacy

Eileen’s first notion was to provide three 2-hour workshops for teaching financial literacy to college students, specifically the DECA members. She decided it would be best to do one workshop on each topic presented across three sessions, each serving about 40 students. Her longer-term vision was to establish a sustainable program to be presented annually.

Since she knew her students were interested in credit, debt, and large purchases, Dr. Sumner set a goal for students in these workshops to attain Level 3 on Webb’s Depth of Knowledge hierarchy, the Strategic Thinking stage – where they could demonstrate high-level cognitive rigor like planning, reasoning, and explaining thought processes.

3. Next, Focus on Methods for Presenting and Time Organization

After Dr. Sumner had clarified her short-term and longer-term objectives, she shifted focus toward choosing delivery methods for teaching financial literacy to college students.

She selected a hybrid paced method to teaching students financial literacy according to time and achievements, so the DECA students would gain cognitive reasoning skills about the topics of interest within the specified time frame. Given their need to build practical skills around credit, debt, and major purchases, Eileen adopted a flipped instructional model. In other words, students would watch a podcast lecture and conduct independent research, and then the workshops could include hands-on activities where students practiced real-world decisions.

Infographic of Teaching Financial Literacy to College Students Conclusions

Blueprints of Teaching Financial Literacy to College Students Policies

4. Listen to your Audience, Design Subject Matter Based on their Needs

The financial literacy survey had indicated that the topics of greatest interest to the DECA members were major purchase planning, credit, and debt. Eileen’s approach to teaching college students financial literacy was to present one workshop on each topic, with three sessions on each subject offered at different times of day so all students could attend according to their schedule constraints.

5. Teaching College Students Financial Literacy Requires an Educator with a Special Touch

The next step involved in teaching financial literacy to college students was for Dr. Sumner to find a highly-qualified instructor – one with proven content knowledge and educational skill – to record the podcast and proctor the workshops.

After asking around among her State University colleagues, she discovered that the NFEC had a presence on campus led by Art Farrell, a Certified Financial Education Instructor. Eileen’s student relationships and Art’s skill as a certified financial educator made them a perfect team: Art would record the podcasts and they both would conduct the workshops.

Alignment of Teaching Financial Literacy to College Students Competencies

Procedures for Teaching Financial Literacy to College Students Administration

6. Consider Scaffolding, Motivational Aspects when Choosing Curriculum

Now Eileen needed financial literacy curriculum for college students and support materials for teaching college students financial literacy – materials designed to stimulate complex thinking, motivate students to take real-world action, and that incorporated suitable scaffolding. She accomplished this goal by locating curriculum that covered the topics through practical, engaging, and interactive activities.

7. Evaluating Impact of a Program for Teaching College Students Financial Literacy May Attract Funding

Among the 120 State University DECA members, 95 (79%) attended all three workshops and 112 (93%) attended at least two. The average improvement between pre- and post-test results was 37%.

Dr. Sumner compiled these data into a report to indicate program effects, which she could use to raise funds and attract more students to attend workshops in the future.

Universal Teaching Financial Literacy to College Students Management

8. Honing Skills Depends on Rewards, Ongoing Reinforcement

Although Eileen’s initial attempt at teaching financial literacy to college students had proven successful, she knew students would need ongoing education to hone their skills. She and Art staged a graduation event right after the workshops concluded, but to help them retain and apply their knowledge, they provided ongoing question and answer forums at the quarterly DECA meetings. At these forums, students brought in any questions and challenges they’d run into, and received troubleshooting ideas to try out.

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