The University of Arizona

UA Workshop to Arm Teachers with Financial Education Tools

By Jeff Harrison, University Communications | June 21, 2011

Now in its 10th year, the National Educator Financial Literacy Training at the UA gives educators the skills to teach personal finance to students and others.

Michael Staten, professor and director of the Take Charge America Institute
Michael Staten, professor and director of the Take Charge America Institute

More than 100 educators from schools across the nation will attend the 10th annual National Educator Financial Literacy Training in Tucson later this month.

The University of Arizona's Family Economics and Financial Education program is part of the Take Charge America Institute for Consumer Financial Education and Research. It is designed to provide educators with ready-to-teach lesson plans and materials – free of charge – as well as giving them the skills and confidence to effectively teach personal finance.

Most of the attendees are school teachers, although others come from the Veteran's Administration, universities, extension offices, credit counseling agencies, career centers and even a credit union employee from South Korea.

The program is based in the Norton School of Family and Consumer Sciences in the UA College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

The course, "Take Charge of your Finances," is geared for those who will go on to provide financial education to students, parents, other educators and community members. The program, held at the Omni Tucson National Resort, runs June 27-30.

Rod Griffin, director of public education at Experian, will speak on "Understanding Your Credit Report."

Other speakers and their topics include:

  • Jane Rojas, senior vice president and financial adviser for Morgan Stanley Smith Barney: "Saving and investing."
  • Doug Harrison, account manager, Life Underwriter Training Council Fellow: "Insurance 101."
  • Michael Sullivan, education director for Take Charge America, Inc.: "Identity theft and managing debt."
  • Cate Johnson, director of the Office of Economic Education at the Take Charge America Institute: "Think, Think, Nudge, Nudge: How Behavioral Economics Can Encourage Savings."
  • Christine Hollingsworth, competitive events manager from Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA): "Web 2.0 technologies."

Twelve award-winning FEFE national master educators will conduct workshops covering topics including values, goal setting, needs versus wants, career development, spending plans, paychecks and taxes, saving and investing, housing, transportation, credit and identity protection.

Michael Staten, director and professor at the Take Charge America Institute, said a 2008 national survey by the Jump$tart Coalition showed that, when quizzed, high school seniors correctly answered less than half of the questions on financial literacy.

"One look at our current economic crisis tells you that money management affects virtually everything we do," Staten said. "A financially literate community is vital in addressing current and future problems."


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Kimberley A. Brooke