West Virginia University John Chambers College of Business and Economics will expand its Finance University, a financial literacy conference open to primary and secondary educators across the state, thanks to a grant from Next Gen Personal Finance to the Center for Financial Literacy and Education.
A nationally renowned organization dedicated to financial literacy, NGPF’s goal is to ensure that 100 percent of students leave high school financially capable by 2030.
Naomi Boyd, Fred T. Tattersall Chair of Finance and director of the Center for Financial Literacy and Education at the Chambers College said the $35,000 grant from NGPF is a perfect fit for Finance University.
“The grant from Next Gen Personal Finance allows more educators than ever to participate in this ‘teach-the-teachers’ event,” Boyd said. “Financial literacy is such an important topic in today’s world, especially when the subjects of managing money and student loan debt are a part of the daily conversation. These educators are at the forefront of the development of financial literacy skills for our state’s youth and are creating impactful lessons that will shape generations to come.”
Finance University will be held in Morgantown July 7-11 and is available free of charge to primary and secondary educators in West Virginia. The weeklong seminar provides educators with interactive presentations that build their own financial literacy, while providing them with financial literacy tools and resources to help elementary, middle and high school-aged students to better understand personal finance.
Tim Ranzetta and Jessica Endlich founded NGPF to partner with educators and provide them with free resources, best-in-class professional development and tools so they can advocate at their schools. Five years later, NGPF resources are used in more than 50 percent of U.S. high schools and its one-day FinCamps have reached more than 2,000 schools in 40+ states. When it came to finding a partner in West Virginia, Ranzetta said Finance University was a natural fit for NGPF, given its history and reputation in serving financial educators in the state.
“We know that having a highly qualified and confident teacher in every classroom is critical to the success of any financial education program. Quality professional development builds content knowledge, creates collaborative relationships and provides opportunities for educators to find resources they can use with their students,” Ranzetta said. “Finance University provides a great way for educators to accomplish these three goals. We are so happy to be part of it this year.”
Boyd said a recent study by the Federal Reserve linked mounting student loan debt in the U.S. to a decline in homeownership. In her comments about the study, she said the need for a better understanding of money by younger generations is critical to their financial wellbeing as adults.
“NGPF is a perfect partner for us at the Center for Financial Literacy and Education,” Boyd said. “It allows us to grow our outreach programs, which are a critical component of moving our state forward. Educating teachers so that they can deliver financial literacy to students at younger ages is one way we can make a real difference in West Virginia.”
Financial literacy efforts by the Chambers College have been identified as a goal for the WV Forward initiative to advance the state’s economic future. WV Forward is a statewide collaboration led by West Virginia University, the state Department of Commerce and Marshall University to help grow the economy by adding jobs, investing in education, and improving health and wellness to create the most prosperous West Virginia possible.