Forty-four high school history teachers representing various school districts across the state gathered in two week-long programs with Campbell University’s Lundy-Fetterman School of Business to learn innovative ways to teach financial literacy and economic education to their students. The June program was held on Campbell’s main campus, while the July program was held at Campbell’s Raleigh campus.
The Economic & Personal Finance Institute arose from a partnership between Campbell’s Business School’s Center for Financial Literacy & Economic Education (CFLEE) and the North Carolina Council on Economic Education. It aims to help teachers meet recent state mandates requiring students to receive a passing grade in this area to graduate.
“As an institution of higher education, we require certain competencies in our students, and in the last couple of years, ensuring financial literacy has become an accreditation standard we have to address,” said Dr. Mark Hammond, vice president for academic affairs and provost at Campbell. “So to have students coming into North Carolina colleges and universities who have some fundamental understanding of economics and finances as a formal part of their education is really important. It’s consistent with what we strive for and must do with our students as well.”
The five-day workshop gives teachers a refresher course and new information on government and economic systems, cost and benefits of trade, building wealth and training students for high-demand jobs in finance. At the end of the week, teachers earn a professional development certificate and receive access to lesson plans and digital resources to take back to their respective schools.
“Members of our community often ask if we are teaching these vital life skills, and I’m proud to say we are,” said Dr. Aaron Fleming, superintendent for Harnett County school district. “Personal finance is a skill that every student graduating from high school needs. I’m very appreciative of the teachers from across Harnett County and North Carolina for taking the time to attend.”
The June program took place on Campbell University’s main campus, during the week of June 20-24, kicking off the summer program. Thirty teachers from 12 counties — Alamance-Burlington, Beaufort, Charlotte-Mecklenburg, Harnett, Iredell-Statesville, Johnston, Lee, Moore, Sampson, Scotland, Wake and Wilson — were in attendance.
Master teacher, Amber Sluder, joining from Winston-Salem’s Forsyth County, recounted her experience, “I can’t say enough about the Campbell leadership who welcomed us and organized the week. They were on hand daily for our every need and got us everything we asked for throughout the week.”
The July program, which took place at the Campbell University Raleigh Campus during the week of July 25-29, produced similar responses. Fourteen teachers from nine counties — Cumberland, Franklin, Granville, Greene, Johnston, Nash, Orange, Scotland and Wake — were in attendance.
During the week, North Carolina Secretary of State Elaine Marshall (’81), the first woman ever elected to a statewide executive branch office in North Carolina, joined the class for lunch.
“Teachers do not enter this profession for the income, they are most interested in the outcomes their students produce; what you all are doing here is going to be life changing,” Secretary Marshall stated as she talked with the teachers on the importance of financial literacy. “If you improve one family’s life, you will be a hero.”
Dr. Shahriar Mostashari leads the Center for Financial Literacy and Economic Education — a partnership between Campbell’s Lundy-Fetterman School of Business and the North Carolina Council on Economic Education — launched in 2017 as part of a national network of centers for economic education affiliated with the national Council for Economic Education.
“Dr. Mostashari and Cassie Taylor, the business school’s external relations coordinator, organized and delivered an important program for NC teachers that will potentially have lasting effects on their students,” commented LFSB dean Dr. Kevin O’Mara. “We feel fortunate to have partnered with the NCCEE and our NC teachers over the past few years; Together, we have trained over 150 teachers. Outreach efforts, such as these programs, fit seamlessly with the mission of the business school and Campbell University. We hope to host many more programs in the future.”