Center For Financial Literacy Gets $120,000 Grant For Teacher Training, Will Restart Champlain College Summer Program

The Champlain College Center for Financial Literacy has received a $120,000 challenge grant from Next Gen Personal Finance, a non-profit organization that connects educators and students with free financial literacy resources. According to an announcement Wednesday, Champlain’s CFL is one of the few places in the nation that offers educators a three-credit graduate summer residency course. This nationally recognized training program was last held during the summers of 2011-2013.

Ninety-three educators in Vermont were trained and went back to the classroom able to significantly improve personal finance education in schools across the state. The total impact is that an estimated 37,000 students will receive personal finance education by 2021 from these trained teachers.

“The funds will be used to re-launch the Center’s successful graduate-level educator training program to give up to 145 high school teachers the confidence, skills and curriculum tools to bring personal finance education into the classroom,” explained John Pelletier, director of the Center for Financial Literacy (CFL). Once funding has been raised, this program will provide educator training for four summer programs (2017-2020).

Tim Ranzetta, founder of Next Gen Personal Finance (NGPF), says “NGPF is pleased to have the opportunity to support John’s outstanding work both in the state of Vermont and as an advocate on the national stage for financial literacy. We cannot imagine a better investment than to support the Champlain College Center for Financial Literacy given its proven track record in the professional development of financial educators.”

The program costs approximately $2,000 per educator and includes five days of intensive financial literacy training, led by some 20 different personal finance experts for 45 hours of instruction. Room and board is included, along with a classroom tool kit. Participants will earn three graduate credits for successful completion of the course. The CFL also offers an online classroom resource for educators at TeachFinLit.org.

“The financial literacy boot camp for teachers covers saving and investing, credit reports and scores, credit and debt, managing risk, income and careers — in short, the financial knowledge needed to navigate daily life,” Pelletier said.

This training has been recognized by the White House, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the FDIC and by President Obama’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability. The Summer Institute teacher training program has also been the subject of two studies showing the direct impact of the instruction (see Research Report and CFL’s Prepped for Success).

The initial funding of $50,000 will cover the 2017 summer institute for 25 teachers, with future year’s funding dependent on Champlain raising an additional $170,000 by February 2018, Pelletier explained. Reaching this fundraising goal will allow a total of 145 teachers from Vermont and other states to go through the program over four years.

“We will be looking for additional partnerships with local and regional financial institutions to meet this ambitious challenge in the next year,” Pelletier said.

He noted that the Center’s research on the Summer Institute programming clearly shows the major impact that trained educators can have by improving their students’ financial knowledge and behaviors. At the Champlain Summer Institute pilot that used this curriculum, teacher confidence levels rose from 39 percent before taking the course to 94 percent after the completion of the course, a 141 percent increase. Educators who take this training have huge impacts on the financial knowledge and behaviors of their students, Pelletier said.

Based on national survey data, high school students who received personal finance education by CFL trained teachers had “high financial literacy,” on par with older Generation Xers (age 35 to 49) and outperformed Millennials (age 18 to 34). And the effect doesn’t stop there. Teachers reported positive material changes in their own lives and personal finance management as well.

The educational model for the financial literacy summer institutes was developed by the Jump$tart Coalition, the National Endowment for Financial Education, the Council for Economic Education, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), Family Economics and Financial Education, Junior Achievement, the U.S. Department of Education and U.S. Department of the Treasury.

The Center for Financial Literacy released its National Report Card on State Efforts to Improve Financial Literacy in High Schools in 2013 and 2015 and this past December issued the 50-state report card on Adult Financial Literacy. The 2016 National Report Card on Adult Financial Literacy, shows that adults in America earned just a C grade. More than three-quarters of adults live in states with poor grades.

“As a society, we need more training programs that increase the number of financially literate citizens who can make better and wiser financial decisions in their own lives,” he noted. “Providing educators with the effective tools to teach our young people is a dramatic step forward toward that goal.”

About the Champlain College Center for Financial Literacy:

Established in 2010, Champlain College’s Center for Financial Literacy is a nationally acclaimed, one-of-a-kind financial literacy program aimed at increasing knowledge of money matters in classrooms, ensuring that college students graduate with the skills to make sound decisions about spending, credit and investments, and helping adults navigate difficult financial situations like buying a home and saving for retirement. The Center advocates for more financial education opportunities at the local, state and national level and has launched a variety of programs aimed at increasing the personal finance sophistication of our citizens. Learn more at http://www.champlain.edu/centers-of-excellence/center-for-financial-literacy(link is external)

About Next Gen Personal Finance

Founded in 2014 as a non-profit, Next Gen Personal Finance (NGPF) believes that all young people deserve a free, engaging and high quality financial education to enable them to thrive. NGPF offers high school and college educators the most comprehensive set of online resources that are up-to-date, customizable and curated from the best of the web (and FREE too!). From a full curriculum of 11 units and 65 lessons to supplementary materials, such as a Video Library, Assessment Bank (over 800 questions), and Project and Activity Banks, NGPF satisfies so many use cases. In fact, thousands of teachers in all 50 states have come to rely on NGPF as their “one stop” for financial education resources. NGPF also serves the educator community through professional development offerings, including a Professional Learning Community (PLC) program, monthly webinars, conference workshops, weekly podcasts and a Summer Institute. For access to NGPF free resources, visit www.nextgenpersonalfinance.org(link is external)

Source: BURLINGTON, VT (01/18/2017) Champlain College

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