In a world where financial decisions shape the course of our lives, fostering financial literacy from an early age is extremely important.
For the past two decades, Finance University has been at the forefront of equipping K-12 educators across West Virginia with essential financial literacy knowledge to impart to their students. Hosted annually by WVU’s Center for Financial Literacy and Education (CFLE), the generous sponsorship of PRA Group helps fund this valuable educational initiative.
This year’s event, held from July 23-27 in Morgantown, upheld the tradition of excellence set by previous conferences, ensuring that educators are well-equipped to guide the next generation of West Virginians towards the financial empowerment that will improve their economic well-being.
A Deep Dive into Financial Literacy Education
Testimonial: "I had a great experience and learned a lot that I am able to bring back to my classroom!”
The conference provided an immersive experience for educators, bringing a weeklong, university-level exploration of the evolving landscape of personal finance. Interactive presentations equipped educators with the tools, resources, and strategies needed to effectively teach financial literacy to students from grade school to high school.
These educators are now better prepared to guide their students in understanding personal finance and making informed financial decisions. From early morning sessions on topics such as "Investing in Your Students' Future" to engaging afternoon workshops on identity theft, credit scores, and insurance, Finance University 2023 was a journey through every aspect of personal finance.
Testimonial: “The lineup of speakers was astounding. I have already recommended this event to colleagues."
Expert presenters, including Federal Reserve Bank personnel and personal finance professionals, provided educators with valuable insights, classroom materials, and online resources, enabling them to enhance their teaching methods and engage students more effectively. The diversity of voices ensured a well-rounded exploration of financial concepts. The "NGPF Behavioral Economics" session, for instance, explored the fascinating ways in which money intertwines with human behavioral patterns, enriching educators' perspectives on teaching personal finance.
Learning in and Beyond the Classroom
Testimonial: “I learned more in these four days than I did in some of my semester courses in college. I am anxious to take this information into my classroom."
Finance University training covered a spectrum of topics such as state savings programs and how to utilize generative AI like ChatGPT. Educators learned about specialized financial programs as well as the role of technology in shaping the future of financial education.
The training extended its reach beyond the classroom with sessions like "Enhancing Financial Literacy with Community Engagement" and "Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA)," which focused on encouraging students to volunteer financial knowledge in their local communities. Educators considered the practical implications of their work, learning how they can actively engage their students with real-world scenarios and experiences.
A Promise for the Future
Testimonial: "As a first-year teacher, this seminar helped me to feel empowered with knowledge and teaching techniques to teach students personal finance skills which will last them a lifetime."
The impact of Finance University will reverberate through classrooms and generations. By fostering financial literacy education, this event isn't just training: it's an investment in the financial well-being of West Virginia.
With each educator who participates, the ripple effect of financial literacy education grows stronger, promising a future where all West Virginians can make informed financial decisions with confidence.
Learn more about how the Chambers College’s research and outreach centers are supporting West Virginia.
Ann Marie Hibbert
Director of the Center for Financial Literacy and Education
Chair of the Finance Department
"Let's Talk Business" is a series of guest blogs written by members of the Chambers College community. All views expressed in this post are the author's own.
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